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We’re heading to Florida in less than two weeks now, which means it’s time to start getting everything ready to go. We drive from Toronto to Kissimmee every year, and after doing it for a while now with the kids, I thought I would share how we do it all this year. The first thing I do is get the car ready, and in an effort to save a bit of money, I decided to tackle replacing both the cabin and engine the air filters in our Dodge Grand Caravan myself. Usually we just pay to have this done when we get the oil changed.
Never again will I pay though because, spoiler: this turned out to be a super easy 15 minute job. Amazing! Usually, you should change both of these filters yearly (I have a feeling our cabin one hadn’t been changed for a while though), but make sure to follow the recommended change intervals as noted in your vehicle owner’s manual in case it suggests something different.
The first thing you need to do is take a trip to the store (I hit up Canadian Tire because I love their selection!) and grab some FRAM air filters. The orange boxes on the left are the FRAM Engine Air Filters, and the green ones on the right are the FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filters. If your cabin air filters get blocked (and I’ll show you just want that looks like in a second), it means that the air coming into your vehicle is restricted. It also means that the heating, defrosting, and air conditioning may not be working so well. There’s no way I’m heading to Florida without top notch air conditioning (I’m not a fan of the heat).
First up, I’m changing the cabin air filter.
Inside the box you’ll find some generic instructions, and the filter. You can go here to find customized instructions for your vehicle.
Empty out your glove box. Also, ignore the insane mess of the interior of the car. Cleaning the car before the drive comes next weekend – one step at a time folks.
On the outside of the left hand side of your glove box you’ll find a little string attached to a hook. You need to slide this string towards you.
The string is attached to this little hook clip, that you can see inside your glove box. You need to slide the plastic circle from the small hole where it usually is…
To the big hole so that you can pop it out.
There, now that the little hook is out, you can just let the string snap back behind the glove box.
Now you drop the glove box by squeezing in the left and right sides, and pulling down gently.
These were the clips that you were squeezing past the sides. Just let the glove box hang down now.
Now we can see the compartment for the cabin air filter. Squeeze the two clips and pull to remove the cover.
There’s the old filter, just go ahead and pull it out.
Remember how I mentioned above that a clogged air filter could inhibit the proper air flow into your vehicle. Well, with a husband that suffers from allergies, I’m guessing one literally full of leaves was about a year past due for a change. Gross.
Shiny new FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter vs old cabin air filter. Yikes. I’m so excited about using this FRAM filter – it has activated charcoal and Arm & Hammer baking soda inside of it to absorb and eliminate odours (our A/C has been smelling musty all summer, and I never thought to try changing this!)
Now, just slide that new FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter back into the slot. Make sure that the flow arrow is pointing down toward the floor! You have to give it a little push to make sure it goes in all the way.
There’s the new filter back in place.
Pop the cover back on.
Pull the string back out.
Push the plastic circle on the hook back through the big hole in the glove box and slide down into the little hole to lock in.
Push the sides back in to pop the glove box back into place. That’s it for the cabin air filter – now you can fill your glove box back up with all the stuff you don’t really need (unless it’s just me that does that).
Bonus: It was so darn easy to change out the engine air filter, that I thought I’d show you that too, in gif form! Double bonus: a cameo by Bo, who was itching to help but I refused to let him with the cabin air filter (the engine was dirty though, so I wasn’t so against him doing this one, lol)
To change out your engine air filter, just undo the clips, lift up the cover, slide out the old air filter, slide in your new FRAM engine air filter, put the cover back down, and re-attach the clips. This literally took less than two minutes!
Check out even more tips and tricks for changing your air filters here, and let me know what other how-to’s you’d like to see!