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Pelican Technical Article:

Cabin Air Filter Replacement

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

*

Tools:

Screwdrivers Torx bits, rag

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W210 (1996-03)

Parts Required:

New cabin air filters

Hot Tip:

Wipe down the inside of the filter housings

Performance Gain:

Clean air in cabin

Complementary Modification:

Recharge AC system

Are you noticing a musty smell inside your Mercedes? Are your windows fogging up on short drives? Chances are, you need to replace the filters in the HVAC system. It's recommended that you change your cabin filters every 14 months: two years depending upon environmental pollen and dust load. These filters help to keep both dirt and allergens out of the air entering the cabin. When they become saturated, they can trap moisture and dirt, often causing that musty smell. Many times, changing the filters makes a car smell like new again after a few weeks.

Changing the filters on the Mercedes W210 is a relatively easy job, usually taking about a half hour or so. The car uses four filters, two on the top of the cabin filter housing and two on the bottom, both located behind the glovebox on the passenger side of the engine. Begin by first opening the glovebox and removing the light assembly at the top. Pry the right side of the light assembly downward and it will pop out. Disconnect the connector going to the light and set it aside. Now you'll need to remove the glovebox. The glovebox is held in place by six Phillips head screws, two on the top edge of the glovebox under the dashboard trim, two along the bottom edge of the glovebox under two rubber caps and two hidden up underneath the top edge on either side of the light. You'll need to remove the rubber caps along the bottom edge of the glovebox. Just pop them out with a screwdriver.

Once all the screws have been removed, give the glovebox a firm tug towards you to remove it from the dashboard. Directly underneath you'll see the filter housing. Slide the white locking tab upwards to release the access door covering the two filters inside. Once released, you'll see how the two filters are stacked side by side. Pull the first filter out, then slide the other filter towards the door opening and pull it out. Install the new filters the same way, taking note of the elongated pleats on the ends of the filters. These must be facing upwards. Once in place, re-fit the access door and slide the locking tab down to secure the door. Now just re-install the glove box and the top filters are done.

To change the lower filters, crawl underneath the dashboard on the passenger side and remove the two screws holding the lower trim plate to the dashboard at the front edge. Once removed, you can slide the trim plate off. You'll see the two yellow locking tabs holding the filter access doors to the bottom of the airbox. Slide the locking tabs towards the front of the car to release the access doors. With the doors removed, you'll see the old filters. Take note of the printing on the bottom edge of the filter showing the direction of airflow. You'll want to take note of this when you install the new filters. Also make sure that you check the top edges of the old filters as you remove them so you know which filter goes where. Use the tabs on the bottom of the filters to pull them out of the housings. Then simply push the new filters up into the housing, re-fit the housing doors and re-fit the lower access panel.

The cabin air filters are accessible on the passenger side of the car.
Figure 1

The cabin air filters are accessible on the passenger side of the car. The top set of filters are behind the glovebox, the bottom set are accessed from underneath the dashboard in the passenger footwell.

The glovebox is held in place by six Phillips head screws.
Figure 2

The glovebox is held in place by six Phillips head screws. The green arrows point to the screws along the top edge of the glovebox. The purple arrows point to the screws hidden up inside the glovebox inside the top edge. The yellow arrows point to the rubber covers over the screws on the bottom of the glovebox.

Open the glovebox and remove the light assembly from the top by carefully prying out the right corner first, then disconnecting the electrical sender.
Figure 3

Open the glovebox and remove the light assembly from the top by carefully prying out the right corner first, then disconnecting the electrical sender.

Pry out the two rubber covers on the bottom of the glovebox to access the screws underneath.
Figure 4

Pry out the two rubber covers on the bottom of the glovebox to access the screws underneath.

Give the glovebox a good tug to pull it out of the dashboard.
Figure 5

Give the glovebox a good tug to pull it out of the dashboard.

Inside the dashboard, you'll see the upper housing for the cabin air filters.
Figure 6

Inside the dashboard, you'll see the upper housing for the cabin air filters. Slide the white locking tab upwards to unlock the access door (green arrow). Remove the door.

There are two air filters inside the upper housing.
Figure 7

There are two air filters inside the upper housing. Pull the first one straight out. As you can see in this picture, ours was filled with dust and a few leaves.

Once the first filter is removed, slide the other filter over and pull it out of the housing.
Figure 8

Once the first filter is removed, slide the other filter over and pull it out of the housing.

ThisPicture shows the two new upper filters.
Figure 9

This picture shows the two new upper filters. Place them in the filter housing in the reverse order of how you removed the old ones. Take note of the raised ends on each of the filters. These face up when you install them. Now pop the access door back on and re-install the glovebox.

Now crawl under the dashboard on the passenger side and remove the two Phillips head screws holding the access panel to the dashboard (green arrows).
Figure 10

Now crawl under the dashboard on the passenger side and remove the two Phillips head screws holding the access panel to the dashboard (green arrows). Remove the lower panel.

Under the access panel are the two doors that hold the lower cabin filters in place.
Figure 11

Under the access panel are the two doors that hold the lower cabin filters in place. Slide the two yellow locking tabs towards the front of the car to release the doors (green arrows).

With the doors removed, you'll see the old filters.
Figure 12

With the doors removed, you'll see the old filters. Take note of the printing on the bottom edge of the filter showing the direction of airflow (green arrows). You'll want to take note of this when you install the new filters.

Here is aPicture of the new lower filters.
Figure 13

Here is a picture of the new lower filters. Make sure that you check the top edges of the old filters as you remove them so you know which filter goes where. As you can see here, one filter has a beveled edge at the top while the other is straight.

Use the tabs on the bottom of the filters to pull them out of the housings.
Figure 14

Use the tabs on the bottom of the filters to pull them out of the housings. Then simply push the new filters up into the housing, re-fit the housing doors and re-fit the lower access panel.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Triband Comments: Pry out the glove box at the top black edge with a hard plastic tool like a plastic spatula. That is what I used and it was successful. Be careful not to damage the wood trim by covering with a cloth. MBZ, 1998 W210, E-320
November 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Taher Comments: These are very useful information & instructions that I first know about I do appreciate .
September 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ELFERGANI Comments: I have MB E280 1998 AFTER REMOVING THE GLOVEBOX THERES NO FILTERS BEHIND .
July 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't have that vehicle in the US in 1998, that may be why it doesn't match. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jerro Comments: Thanks I will certainly try this on my s500glove box
March 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ilir Comments: One more thing if I could. What is best size of tires for my car? Actually, I using R16 225x55.
January 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Stick with the tire sizes indicated on the door jamb sticker. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ilir Comments: I have never replaced the upper ones. Technicians told me you don't have like them in your car. It's E-230, 1996 year of manufacture, gasoline. Do you think is worth to try and take glove-box out? Under the dashboard I got one only.
January 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would try to replace all of them. Not just the easy access filters. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Greg Comments: These are really good instructions!! They have worked well for me. The bottom two under the dash came out quickly enough. The extra two screws in the glove box though were annoying but i got the glove box out to find no filters or housing or anything to make me think there were any?
I have a 2001 e320 automatic estate in the UK, did this model have any upper filters? Are they located somewhere else? or perhaps this model only has 1 set of pollen filters?
November 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure when it comes to UK models. It should be pretty close to the same. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
treetops Comments: Great DIY, worked perfectly. Only suggestions I have are 1 use your feet to brace the dashboard while taking the glove box out and 2your really have to fold the lowest carpet down to get the charcoal filters it. If this has not been done before also a good idea to lay some plastic down on the carpet, because the old foam gasket falls apart on the way out... messy.
September 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bob I Comments: Thanks for the detailed instructions. I replaced all four filters yesterday. It was long over due since I had purchased the filters a few years ago. On my 2001 W210 I had trouble finding the two upper glove box screws on either side of the light. Eventually I realized they were never replaced by the technician that changed the filters previously. A good hard pull was needed to remove the glove box. I reinstalled everything without the missing screws since I didn't have any and it seems to fit just fine and is tight. I wonder if it is common for technicians to not reinstall the upper screws?
August 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not installing screws - is not common. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Titus Comments: My 2000 w210 only found 1 cabin filter under the dash board. But No filter behind the glove box. Are they 2 model for w210 air cond system?
November 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should have two.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you sort out how many you have.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
dralloc2011 Comments: I have a 1997 E 320. I was trying to take out the driver's side vent because the adjustment knob back light was not working. I wanted to check to see if the power connector was loose. I almost had the unit out but there is a screw directly above where the parking brake lever is and I cannot get to it. Is there a way to remove the parking brake lever in order to access that last screw?
September 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The parking brake lever is attached to the knee bolster, If I remember correctly; the cable deatches when you pull the bolster off and handle comes off with the bolster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fred Comments: changed all 4 filter thanks, they were dirty.
September 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mike Comments: i cannot remove the 2 hidden screws on each side of the light,,what size screwdriver is it? its annoying as i cant use a longer one it it doesnt seem to be long enough
June 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The screws are just up at the end of the black glovebox plastic, attached to dashboard. A 6" screwdriver should work. You are likely just missing the fastener when trying. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
souniwillie Comments: Hi fellas,
I went to extract my filters and found only one! There are no upper filters in my motor car and only one filter at the bottom. It is a UK model - maybe that is the reason.
May 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Either that or someone left one out. I am not sure if your model would be different. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Useless Comments: Had the same problem with the stuck glovebox. After using pliers through the lamp hole and grabbing the back side of the lamp hole and using my body weight for pulling force, it came out - there are molded snaps spaced around the glove box!
May 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Memo Comments: Open the glovebox and remove the light assembly from the top by carefully prying out the right corner first, then disconnecting the electrical sender.
It's a small screw an the back of light assembly
May 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
david Comments: excellent.
I did myself.
February 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Pat Comments: I am having the same problem. All screws are out and the glove box is stuck. I would rather not pry it out.

1996 E320. My daughter slammed the door and broke something in the door. It will not stay closed. How can I get inside the door itself?
February 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the glove will not come out, there must be a fastener remaining.

You can remove the door panel, then open the door at the latch, working on the inside. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
01320hostler Comments: I suspect that there's a factory assembly clip that breaks when pulling the glove box off for the first time. Make sure all 6 screws are removed...and pull hard.
December 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rashid Comments: How long before the smell will go
October 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Should go away pretty quick. If it doesn't you may have to disinfect the blower housing with special deodorizing cleaner. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right cleaner.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rashid Comments: Apart from the 2 pollon Filters in the dashboard and 2 Cabin filters under the passenger side are their any under the driver side or anywhere else?
October 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not that I am aware of. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
12247 Comments: I am having the same problem as above. Removed all recommended screws and removed the padded adjuster screws too but still no removal of the glovebox. At a loss so far as to what to do.
June 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: My only suggestions are:
* A fastener was missed.
* Insufficient force used to remove the unit.
* A previous owner glued the in place.

-whunter-
 
BBB Comments: Great directions, but they didn't work for me yet. I removed all six of the screws, along with the light, but the glovebox will just not come out. I even loosened but did not remove the latch, but the glovebox still remains firmly attached somewhere on the top. I then removed the two rubber padded adjuster screws. Then portions of the dashboard started to move when I tried to pull out the glovebox. Any idea what is holding the box in? Many thanks.
May 16, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, I can't think of why it would fail to come out.
- whunter
 

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