How to Replace the Cabin Air Filter on a Hyundai Elantra

by Josh Baum

The cabin air filer is a common feature on newer vehicles. It is a disposable fiberglass filter, much like an engine air filter, and it filters the air that flows in through the cabin air intake and out through the passenger cabin vents. Replacing this filter every 10,000 miles helps maintain strong air flow through the vents, makes cabin air more pleasant smelling and can cut down on irritating allergens in the passenger compartment.

Open the passenger side glove compartment and empty it.

Reach into the glove compartment with one hand while supporting the lid with the other hand. Push the lid up just a couple of inches, then grab one of the support arms on the side of the lid using your other hand. This support arm has a round tab that fits inside a plastic track to make sure the lid opens smoothly. Pull this arm gently toward the center of the glove box until the round tab pulls free of the track, then rotate the support arm so that the round tab is at least a couple of inches away from the track.

Repeat step two on the other support arm. Once the second arm is free, the entire glove box assembly will come loose and swing forward toward you, so you should support it with your hand on the lid. Lower the glove box assembly down gently, where it will dangle by the hinges.

Locate the cabin air filter box, which is the only major component visible through the cavity behind the glove box. It is a black plastic box with a hatch on the front. Grab the tab on this hatch, push it down and pull the hatch open. You should be able to see the old filter right behind the hatch.

Look at the cardboard edge of the old filter for an arrow or series of arrows. These arrows indicate the direction of the air flow through the filter, and should appear on the edge of all cabin air filters. You must install the new filter with the arrows pointing the same way.

Pull the old filter out of the compartment and throw it away. Slide the new filter into the compartment, making sure the air flow arrows are pointing the right way. Replace the hatch on the compartment.

Push the glove compartment back up into position, but don't force it in. When it is almost in place, you must reach in with your free hand and carefully reinsert the round tabs back into the plastic tracks. After both tabs have snapped back into place, open and close the lid to make sure it moves smoothly.

Replace the contents of the glove box and enjoy 10,000 more miles of fresh air.


  • check Take care when pulling on the plastic support arms inside the glove box. They will flex to a point, allowing you to pull the tabs out of the tracks, but if you force them too much they may break.


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