How to Install a Cabin Air Filter on a Dodge Caravanby Josh Baum
If you've noticed funny odors blowing through the vents on your Dodge Caravan lately, the problem could be that your cabin air filter needs changing. This could also be the culprit if you've noticed that the air blowing through your vents doesn't blow quite as hard as it used to. Replacing this filter on a regular basis can help keep your passenger cabin air smelling fresh, cut down on allergens and even reduce the amount of dust blowing into your car. And best of all, it's quick and easy to replace by yourself without tools.
Get down on the floor in front of the front passenger side seat and look underneath the dash. On some Dodge Caravan models, you can look right up into the area beneath the dash from here. On others, there is a piece of molded plastic covering this gap. If there is such a panel on your model, grab one side of it with both hands and gently pull it down. You will hear a snapping sound, which is the plastic clips on the panel disengaging from other plastic clips on the dash. Work your hands around the sides of this panel, pulling it down a little at a time, until you can remove it completely.
Look at the large black plastic unit underneath this section of the dash, which is called the climate block. On the underside of this block there is a long, thin hatch that is just about the same size as the side of your air filter. Squeeze the sides of this hatch together and pull it down to expose the cabin air filter.
Study the old filter for a moment before you remove it. You should see an arrow printed on the edge of the frame. This arrow indicates the direction that air is designed to move through the filter. It's important to note this because you'll need to install the new filter with the arrow pointing in the same direction.
Pull the old filter directly downward. Be careful if it's very dirty; if you shake it too much, it could knock some dust and dirt loose onto the carpet of the car.
Slide the new air filter up into place. When you do this, make sure that the air flow directional arrow is facing out through the hole and is pointing in the same direction as the old one. You should also note that the filter slides into a plastic frame, and if it does not go in smoothly, it is likely slightly off the tracks of the frame. Pull it out and reinsert it if this happens.
Put the removable hatch back on the climate block. If your Caravan had the removable plastic panel, put it back on by gently pressing it upward and back into place. Every time one of the plastic clips reengages, you should hear an audible click.
- If you or any of your frequent passengers have severe allergies, you can buy specialized HEPA filters that are designed to catch smaller particles that can irritate asthma or hay fever sufferers.