The cabin filter in your car cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. If it’s dirty, dust, pollen and other airborne material can make riding in your car unpleasant, especially if you have allergies or other respiratory problems.
Recommendations on when it should be replaced vary by manufacturer — Volkswagen recommends replacing it every 20,000 miles or 2 years — however it may need to be changed earlier depending on how much you drive and where.
The following is a guide for replacing the cabin filter in a 2010-2014 Volkswagen Golf & GTI. Other models/years may also apply.
Tools Needed: 2 Hands
Parts: VW Cabin Filter 1K1819653B or Mann CUK2939
Locate the two plastic screws underneath the glove compartment. Use your fingers to remove them by turning counter-clockwise.
Pull the carpet material down and out from underneath the dash. You may need to fold the edges inwards to be able to pull it out.
With the carpet material removed, locate the plastic housing that holds the cabin filter in place. Remove the cover by pulling right on the cover with your fingers.
Remove the old filter by pulling it down and out. You may need to push and bend the side of the filter to clear any obstructions. There will be leaves and other debris in the filter, so watch your face.
The old dirty filter
Old filter on left, new filter on right
Carefully insert the new filter into the housing. Make sure the slanted end of the filter is on the upper right when you install it.
Align the clips on the plastic cover with the slots on the filter.
Push the cover up all the way then to the left to lock in place.
Tuck the carpet material back into the dash and re-install the two plastic screws that hold it in place.
That’s it! You’ve saved time and money by doing it yourself and the air in your vehicle will now be a lot cleaner.