If your Saturday to-do list includes changing your car's cabin air filter, you'll want to make sure you don't find yourself halfway through the job and short a tool -- chances are that would mean repositioning the old setup, heading to the store, buying the necessary gizmo, driving back home, and starting all over again from scratch -- a surefire way to waste valuable weekend time!
Fortunately, changing the cabin air filter of most vehicles probably doesn't require any tools that aren't already lying around the house. The first time you set out to perform this particular project, it's usually a good idea to have a spare rag, a vacuum cleaner and a set of screwdrivers on hand. The rag and the vacuum are used to wipe up the housing compartment and suck clear the ventilation system to prepare everything for the new filter. The screwdrivers are, predictably, there to unscrew any hardware you might encounter. (Some cabin air filters simply clip into place, while others are installed more rigorously.)
In regard to safety, it's also a good idea to pop on some goggles and a breathing mask. The goggles will protect your eyes if anything zings out unexpectedly, and the breathing mask will keep you from inhaling dust or other junk that gets shaken loose during the replacement process. After all, you don't want to go to the trouble of protecting yourself from particles only to suck in a whole lungful right at the last second.
We'll take a more in-depth look at how to remove the old cabin air filter on the next page.