Audi Parts Catalog Audi Accessories Catalog Audi Technical Articles VW-Audi Tech Forums
 
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
VW / Audi Cabin Air Filter Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

VW / Audi Cabin Air Filter Replacement

Peter Bodensteiner

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$20

Talent:

***

Tools:

Screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

 
Audi A4 (1997-01)
Audi A4 Quattro (1997-01)
Audi TT (2000-04)
Audi TT Quattro (2000-04)
VW Beetle (1999-02)
VW Golf (2000-02)
VW Jetta (2000-02)
VW Passat (1996-00)

Parts Required:

New cabin air filter

Hot Tip:

Clean out the filter housing when filter is removed.

Performance Gain:

Cleaner air in passenger compartment

Complementary Modification:

Change engine air filter

If you're dealing with a pre-owned or older Audi or Volkswagen, there's a good chance that the cabin air filter, or pollen filter, hasn't been changed as frequently as it should be. Indeed, it's not a terrible thing if this is the case; a dirty cabin air filter won't affect the performance of your car.

Perhaps this filter gets ignored because it's an "extra" filter above and beyond what most cars have. The cabin air filter screens the outside air on its way into your car's climate control system. For those of you like myself who suffer from seasonal allergies (and I do mean suffer), who seek the solace in a controlled environment such as indoors or in a car's interior, the cabin filter is an attractive feature.

In truth, a dirty filter shouldn't let more nasty stuff into your car than a new filter, but it does pose a restriction to the car's HVAC components and will keep them from working at peak performance. The act of changing this filter also gives us a chance to explore our Audi A4's somewhat unique and intricate cowl paneling, which hides several components and separates them from the main engine compartment.

One portion of the plastic paneling in the Audi's cowl area appears to be dedicated to providing access to the cabin air filter.
Figure 1

One portion of the plastic paneling in the Audi's cowl area appears to be dedicated to providing access to the cabin air filter. It is normally secured with a bolt running through the middle of the filter housing as indicated, but it was missing in our project car.

While it appears you can access the filter simply by removing this small panel, and that's how you'll find this project described in some manuals, you also have to remove the panel below it, which is quite a bit larger and more cumbersome to remove.
Figure 2

While it appears you can access the filter simply by removing this small panel, and that's how you'll find this project described in some manuals, you also have to remove the panel below it, which is quite a bit larger and more cumbersome to remove. Plus, it's not that easy to remove only the filter panel without a) loosening the larger cowl panel that stretches across the engine compartment, or b) cracking the small panel. For these reasons, I recommend simply removing the large cowl panel by pulling it toward the front of the car.

The rubber strip on the leading edge of the panel (green arrow) sandwiches the edge of the panel and a metal lip on the firewall to hold them together.
Figure 3

The rubber strip on the leading edge of the panel (green arrow) sandwiches the edge of the panel and a metal lip on the firewall to hold them together. Simply slide it off of the metal lip to free the cowl panel. The cowl panel also slides out from under another plastic panel that covers the bottom of the windshield.

The flat, black plastic panel that lies at the base of the windshield is actually made up of two pieces, split and overlapping at the midline of the car.
Figure 4

The flat, black plastic panel that lies at the base of the windshield is actually made up of two pieces, split and overlapping at the midline of the car. You want to remove the one on the passenger side, which integrates the cabin air filter housing. This piece has three Phillips-head plastic fasteners. Loosen them 1/4-turn to remove the windshield panel. These fasteners can strip easily so don't turn them further than you need; however, if one is stripped, you may be able to remove the panel anyway. If you can't, you can easily cut a straight slot in the plastic and use a conventional screwdriver to turn it.

Here's the upper filter housing during removal.
Figure 5

Here's the upper filter housing during removal. First, yuck! Second, note the extensive drainage channels both in this housing and the one in which the filter rests--check to be sure these are clear of any debris. Third, note the leaves that have collected here, despite the barriers provided by all these plastic panels. The ability to clean all of this out is another reason to just go ahead and remove the large cowl panel when you're doing this job.

Grab the folds in the filter to lift it up and then slide it out of the housing.
Figure 6

Grab the folds in the filter to lift it up and then slide it out of the housing.

I probably should have cleaned up around the filter before removing it in order to keep any debris from falling into the intake tract for the climate control system.
Figure 7

I probably should have cleaned up around the filter before removing it in order to keep any debris from falling into the intake tract for the climate control system.

There, all cleaned up.
Figure 8

There, all cleaned up. A few seconds with a shop vacuum tidied things up nicely.

This close-up shows one of the drainage holes that appear on either side of the filter housing, above the filter itself.
Figure 9

This close-up shows one of the drainage holes that appear on either side of the filter housing, above the filter itself. This also gives a good view of the metal edge at the bottom of the windshield; the tabs of the three, 1/4-turn plastic screws in the upper filter housing rotate into position underneath this metal edge during reassembly to secure it in place.

Note the air flow direction indicator printed on the side of the new air filter.
Figure 10

Note the air flow direction indicator printed on the side of the new air filter.

A look inside the filter housing reveals these triangular supports that hold the filter in position at the top of the housing.
Figure 11

A look inside the filter housing reveals these triangular supports that hold the filter in position at the top of the housing.

Use your hand to guide the filter above these triangular supports as you slide it into the housing and into place.
Figure 12

Use your hand to guide the filter above these triangular supports as you slide it into the housing and into place. Make sure the filter fits snugly to the housing around its perimeter.

Time to turn around and start the reassembly.
Figure 13

Time to turn around and start the reassembly. Grab the black panel that covers the bottom of the windshield and includes the upper filter housing. Slide the far passenger-side corner underneath the hood hinge.

Work your way toward the center of the car, where you will connect this piece to the driver's side half.
Figure 14

Work your way toward the center of the car, where you will connect this piece to the driver's side half.

Here's a close-up of one of the tabs on the underside that holds this piece to the windshield as described earlier.
Figure 15

Here's a close-up of one of the tabs on the underside that holds this piece to the windshield as described earlier. This first shot shows the tab unlocked, as it would be before installation...

.
Figure 16

...and this one shows the tab after it has been rotated into the locked position, using one of the screw heads on the top side. The tab goes underneath the windshield, securing the plastic panel in place.

17
Figure 17

The filter housing is now in place.

Replace the small honeycomb panel that goes on top of the filter housing, and then slide the larger plastic cowl panel underneath it.
Figure 18

Replace the small honeycomb panel that goes on top of the filter housing, and then slide the larger plastic cowl panel underneath it. The cowl panel also slides under the lower windshield panel.

On the driver's side, the hood latch cable runs in a channel in this piece of weatherstripping.
Figure 19

On the driver's side, the hood latch cable runs in a channel in this piece of weather-stripping. Press the cable into the channel...

.
Figure 20

...and as you replace the weather-stripping that secures the cowl panel, its end holds the cable in place like so.

Secure the weather-stripping to the plastic cowl panel and the metal lip on the firewall.
Figure 21

Secure the weather-stripping to the plastic cowl panel and the metal lip on the firewall. Work your way over to the passenger side.

The passenger-side end of the weather-stripping is also notched to clear the weather-stripping running along the fender side of the engine bay.
Figure 22

The passenger-side end of the weather-stripping is also notched to clear the weather-stripping running along the fender side of the engine bay.

Bookmark and Share

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Project/Wish List]
  [Privacy Statement]  [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc. -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page

Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:02:39 AM