- Car Care & Maintenance
How to replace the cabin air filter in a 2006 Nissan Altima. Step by step with pictures.
I am going to show you how to replace the cabin air filter (aka pollen filter) in a 2006 Nissan Altima. The procedure is similar for many different Nissans. You are supposed to replace your cabin air filter every 15,000 miles, just like the engine air filter. The pollen air filter removes pollutants and contamination from the air entering the passenger compartment through the vents. This is very important if you have asthma or allergies and would be badly effected by breathing in pollen and other nasties.
Your blower motor has to work much harder to run when the cabin filter is old and dirty. This adds more draw to your car's overall electrical system, which has a negative effect on gas mileage. You won't be able to notice any difference in fuel economy after replacing a clogged cabin air filter, the change is very minor, but every bit helps. You'll also be breathing much cleaner air if you replace your dirty pollen filter. :)
Tools required: You may need a small pry bar or large screwdriver for leverage purposes.
Time required: 5-20 minuted depending on experience.
First, open up the glove box and remove anything that may fall out when the box is lowered. There are plastic tabs at the back corners of the glove box which prevent it from opening all the way and dumping it's contents on the floor. To access the cabin air filter you will need to get the glove box all the way down. Green arrows indicate the general location of the plastic tabs. Blue arrow points out the cabin air filter cover.
The plastic tabs catch on the dashboard. To lower the glove box you will need to squeeze the whole glove box together so that you can scrape the tabs down past the dashboard. The easiest way to do this is slide a screwdriver or similar tool in between the glove box and dashboard and pry the box inwards so that the tab clears the dash and the box can be slid open. It can be difficult to squeeze both tabs past the dash, but it can be done. Don't give up!
Once you have the glove box out of the way, you can access the cabin air filter cover. To get the cover off you need to pull the two bottom tabs (green arrows) towards you. I notice that it says "push" on these tabs, but I have no idea why. Your best bet is to get a screwdriver or something behind these tabs and pry them towards you. Once the cover is off you can pull the cabin air filter out. The blower motor is directly below the filter, so make sure you don't let any leaves or debris fall down into the fan. It may be easier to pull the filter out with a pair of pliers.
This is a comparison between a new cabin air filter and an old one. This is pretty average for how a pollen filter looks after 15K miles. This is what air is going through before you breath it. Gross.
Before putting in the new filter I recommend trying to reach your fingers in and down into the fan and see if there are any leaves in there. If your hand can't get in and remove leaves you may have to get creative. Try a vacuum with a rubber hose on it or a clothes hanger with a piece of bubble gum on the end. Haha. Any significant amount of debris in the fan will cause a vibration while it is running. It doesn't need to be perfect though, just get out any large things.
Once you have the new filter in, you are ready to put the cover back on. Put the top of the cover in first, sliding the top tabs in above the filter. Then clip the lower tabs into place. It may take some patience, but make sure you get the cover on properly. Before continuing, you may want to turn the key on and test the fan to see if there is any major vibration from the fan. Small noises from the fan will usually go away on their own.
Next, you will need to get the glove box back up. Use the same methods as before, just slide the tabs up past the dashboard. Then put back all the contents of the box that you previously removed. After that, you should be finished! You will be breathing much cleaner air through the vents now! :)
Thank you very much for reading my hub. I hope you find it useful! All feedback is appreciated, positive and negative.