How to Choose the Right ACC Cabin Filter for Your Ride
To improve air circulation in the vehicle’s cabin and maintain the performance of the a/c system, you need to replace the ACC cabin filter at least once a year or every 12,000 miles. But if you frequently drive in heavily polluted places or along dusty roads, you should replace the filter more often, such as after every 6 months or every 4,000 to 5,000 miles.
If it’s now time for replacement and you’re looking for a new cabin filter, here are a few tips to help you get the right filter for your ride:
Make sure it fits.
To get the right fit, determine the specs of the original filter and make sure the new one has the exact specifications. If you’re purchasing online, make sure to check the part number and get one that ensures OE fit and function.
Know what the ACC cabin filter is made of.
Most manufacturers nowadays are kind enough to let you know what you will be paying for. This is particularly important for online purchases because you have no chance of personally scrutinizing the product before purchasing it. When buying from an online store, take time to read the product description to know the filter’s features, benefits, warranty coverage, and everything that makes it worth the price.
Upgrade to activated charcoal cabin filter if it’s worth the extra cost.
Activated charcoal cabin filters are generally costlier than OE filters. It is because the charcoal in ACC filter is activated or treated with chemicals, and then heated to trigger its odor-control properties. Charcoal is also capable of trapping even noxious gases, making the air inside the cabin cleaner. But if you’re only after the charcoal’s ability to trap toxic and odor-causing gases, you can settle for cabin air filters that have a charcoal layer. They will do the job well without costing you an arm and a leg.
So when does an ACC cabin filter become necessary? If you’re frequently driving in a highly populated or heavily polluted area with slow-moving traffic or you often pass a dusty terrain, that’s when an ACC filter becomes well worth your bucks. It’s also ideal for drivers with sensitive nose or people suffering from allergies and those who should stay away from airborne triggers.
DIY: Installing an ACC Cabin Filter
To keep the air in your vehicle’s cabin clean and free of allergens, you must replace the cabin air filter regularly based on the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval. It’s a good thing that removal and installation of cabin filter, especially the one positioned behind the glove box, is fairly easy and can be done even by a newbie DIYer. Even if you upgrade your stock into an ACC cabin filter, the replacement process won’t be different at all.
Difficulty level: Easy
What you’ll need:
- Socket set
- Phillips screwdriver
- New ACC cabin filter
- Flathead screwdriver
Removing the old cabin filter
Step 1: Open your ride’s glove box. The sides of this box have two stoppers that you need to pry out using a flathead screwdriver. This will make the glove box door hang downward, supported only by its hinges.
Step 2: Using a Phillips screwdriver, loosen and pull out the six screws from around the edges of the glove box insert and set them aside.
Step 3: With a ratchet and socket, unbolt the two retaining bolts at the bottom of the glove box insert. Pull the insert away from the dashboard.
Step 4: Locate the unlocking button on the wiring harness of the blower motor resistor. Press this button and disconnect the harness from the resistor.
Step 5: Release your ride’s existing cabin filter cover by pressing the four L-shaped tabs toward the cover’s center. Two of the tabs are on the top of the cover while the other two are on the bottom. Then, remove the cabin filter cover from the a/c box.
Step 6: Detach the upper and lower halves of the filter from the a/c box.
Installing the new ACC cabin filter
Step 7: Insert the replacement filter in place, starting with the shorter unit of the two halves. Make sure that the arrow on the filter points upward. Slide in the second half of the filter on top of the shorter one, making sure its arrow is pointing downward and its bottom tab is half inserted in the groove on top of the shorter filter.
Step 8: Re-install the ACC cabin filter cover on the a/c box, aligning the L-shape tabs with the slots in the box. Engage the tabs into these slots by sliding the tabs toward the box.
Step 9: Reconnect the wiring harness to the blower motor resistor’s receptacle.
Step 10: Reposition and secure the glove box insert in its place, lift the glove box door upward, and press the door stoppers into their slots until they snap into place.
While the process can be lengthy because it involves removal of the glove box, all the steps are simple, so the task won’t last an hour.