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How to Replace Volvo S40 or V50 Cabin Air Filter

Updated on January 18, 2017

Volvo Cabin Air Filter Replacement Steps

by: Dan Bunag

The vehicle cabin air filter is simple but essential part of the car's air conditioning and heating system as it filters pollens, air pollution or dirty/smelly outside air, and other breathing contaminants. This is especially important if you have allergies, are sensitive to pollutants or have some other respiratory problems. The cabin air filter is a regular maintenance or service item. Thus it should be replaced at specified intervals or more urgently, when you have the tell-tale sign of foul smelling air coming from your air conditioning system vents.

Volvo recommends replacing the cabin air filter every 15,000 miles. The cabin air filter costs approximately $20 - $30 and the labor is around $85 - $130 depending on your area and independent garage or Volvo dealer.

Due to dealer or independent garage costs, I decided to replace the cabin air filter myself one holiday morning. I would like to share in this lens the steps and the photos I took should you decide to take on this task. In my opinion, this task level of difficulty is between medium to difficult due to the location of the cabin air filter and the vehicle design. I have replaced cabin air filters from a 99 Honda Accord, 2000 and 2006 Honda Odyssey without much difficulty as they were located on the passenger side and quite accessible. In the S40 and V50, the cabin air filter is located to the right of the accelerator pedal, thus making it necessary to remove the accelerator pedal to gain access. So unless you're pretty handy and have a lot of patience, it may be best to have a professional mechanic handle the job.

Although you can purchase replacement air cabin filters from various local and online vendors, I recommend purchasing cabin air filter Part Number AQ1101 from as it is flexible or foldable. Reason: Most replacement cabin air filters have rigid sides. Because there's not a lot of space down there, this will save you a lot of frustration when you're ready to install the new filter. You can buy one or 3-pack depending on whether you want to change the cabin air filter yourself again.

Tools and Materials Required - Volvo S40, V50, C30 (from 2004.5 Model Year)

3/8" and/or 1/4" ratchet wrench

5" extension or assorted extension

10mm socket

T25 Torx with regular size or stubby driver handle

9/32" socket

flat head screwdriver

flash light or trouble light

vacuum cleaner

Filterhead AQ1101 Cabin Air Filter

Steps 1 - 2

Under Dash Cover Removal / Installation

1. Make sure the vehicle ignition is off.

2. Remove the three T25 torx screws holding the under dash panel cover. Next disconnect the under dash lamp electrical connector by depressing the clip.

Step 3

Center Panel Cover Removal / Installation

3. Remove the center panel cover (see photo) behind the radio console stack by prying it with a flat head screwdriver.

Step 4

Accelerator Pedal Assembly Removal / Installation

4. Locate and remove the three 10mm nuts that holds the accelerator pedal secure.

Step 5 - 6

Accelerator Pedal Wiring Harness and Assembly

5. Disconnect the wiring harness that is connected to the accelerator pedal by depressing the clip using flat head screwdriver.

6. Remove the accelerator pedal assembly and put out of the way.

Steps 7 - 8

Cabin Air Filter Access Door or Cover

7. Locate and remove the 9/32" screws holding the cabin air filter access door or cover and put in a safe place.

8. Remove the cabin air filter access door by gently pulling from the rear.

Steps 9 - 10

Old/Dirty Cabin Air Filter

9. Remove the dirty cabin air filter by pulling it out. It's okay if you damage it in the process. There's not a lot of space down there.

10. Using the vacuum cleaner, vacuum dirt and debris before installing the new cabin air filter.

Step 11

New Cabin Airl Filter

11. Install the new cabin air filter. If you followed my recommendation of buying the Filterheads AQ1101, you can fold, insert, and maneuver the new cabin air filter in place. NOTE: When installing the new filter, make sure to note and follow the direction of the air flow.

Step 12


12. Reverse all the previous steps to reassemble and complete the installation.

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