As we've already discussed, cabin air filters can be hiding out in a number of different nooks and crannies depending on what type of car we're talking about. Some lurk under the hood while others are housed behind the glove compartment. It's also possible yours is located under the dashboard. Once you've spotted where the filter's housing unit is, simply open it up and remove the old filter to make way for the new one. This can involve unclipping or unscrewing it -- and it typically doesn't take long to figure out which task you'll need to do. Some unlucky car owners may need to remove the glove box to get the job done, but in most cases, that's not necessary.
Once you've pulled the filter element free, you'll want to judge whether it needs replacing or whether it'll be good to go for a few more miles. If it's gray and grimy, that's a strong indication you should splurge on a new one (and it's hardly a splurge -- most cost less than $25). Sometimes, however, air filters contain activated charcoal that turns them gray before their time, so make sure there's also plenty of telltale dust before you replace it. New cabin air filters are usually nice and white -- at least in the beginning.
If you do opt to replace your filter, it's a simple process. On the next page we'll dive into how you go about attaching your fresh cabin air filter.