Cabin Air Filter

This method will create 8 cabin air filters of the appropriate size (8.5×7.25×1″) which should cover your filtration needs for 2 years. Assuming you have the the tools on hand the only additional cost is a filter that sells at any home improvement store for between $4 and $15 depending on your desired level of filtration. I prefer an allergen rated one that goes for $15 but even a cheap one is better than none at all.

Supplies needed: 20x30x1″ central air style filter for a home, tin snips, duct tape, marking implement, measuring implement

Time: 30 minutes


1) Lay the filter on a flat, clean surface and mark two lines along the length of it 8.5″ from either side. This will leave an “alley” of 3″ in the middle which is excess.

2) Starting at one edge of the filter follow the line you just created and mark it at 7.25″ and 14.5″. Now come in from the opposite edge and do the same. You should be able to make 4 of these 8.5×7.25″ rectangles on each side for a total of 8, with 1″ of excess remaining in the middle.

3) Use tin snips or an equivalent to cut out the 8 rectangles, ensuring you cut through all metal and all paper layers. If a little paper flakes off don’t worry about it. Draw arrows to mark the air flow direction on the paperboard edge of each rectangle.

4) Use duct tape to enclose the side edges of each rectangle that are free, ensuring that you cover the top, side and bottom edges as you go. Try to not compress the filter material too much when you do this.

5) Store all but one of your new filters in a paper or plastic bag to keep them clean for later usage.

6) Remove the passenger side’s lower glove box by pressing in on the right side and popping it out, then repeating the same for the left side.

7) Remove the filter tray’s cover by pinching the 2 small parts on the right and pulling backward on the piece (this requires almost no strength so if it’s fighting you you’re doing it wrong), then pulling it away from the left side.

8) The filter fits in lengthwise. Match the airflow direction of the system, keeping in mind that air flows downwards as it is inducted by the fan right below the filter area. If you forgot to mark the air flow direction it’s not the end of the world as most modern filters work in both directions. Insert the filter’s rear-left corner first, then push back and sweep it to the left until both sides of the filter are in. It will be a tight fit and will likely cause a bit of flexing/compression on the filter. This is normal but try to keep it to a minimum.

9) Push the filter away from you until it is flush against the rear of the tray area. It will look like it’s sticking out a bit but remember there is some clearance behind the cover you removed.

10) Replace the tray cover, left side first, ensuring that the right side snaps into place properly. Give the cover a light tug once it’s reinstalled just to be sure it’s not loose.

11) Replace the glove box.

You’re done!

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