The cabin filter in your vehicle helps to trap pollen and dirt that passes through into the inside vents.

This is the same setup that your home furnace filter does to help your breathing. Today’s vehicles try to incorporate some of the technology used in your everyday life, (like furnace filters), into your vehicle, (cabin filters).

Just like any other type of maintenance item, the cabin filter is usually tucked into the heater box somewhere. Repair manuals and owner’s manuals can show the locations and recommended intervals to replace these filters.

This vehicle is a 2000 Mercury Villager, with a step by step guide to replacing the cabin filter.

Cabin filter cover

The cabin filter on this vehicle is located under the wiper cover.

Open the hood and locate the screws to remove the cover.

Access cover
Locate screws

There should be at least 8 screws holding this plastic cover on.

Turn on the wipers and park them in the up position.

Wiper arm lock tab
Pry out tab

This will allow you to access the lock tab that holds the wiper arm in place. Pry the tab out ¼ inch.

Grab the passenger arm and pry up to remove from the pivot.

Pry up arm
Remove right arm

Be careful when removing the arm not to lose the keyway that holds the arm in place.

Arm keyway
Remove left arm

Then remove the driver’s side arm making sure not to hit the windshield.

Lift up the cover to access the cabin filter.

Lift access cover
Pull out cover

Remove or pull out of the way enough to get to the filter.
There is one more cover to remove.

Old filter
Remove screws

Take out the 4 screws that attach the cover onto the filter.

Remove the cover and filter.

Lift cover
Remove filter

A closer look will allow you to see how dirty this filter can get.

Dirty filter

A good guide line to follow would be to replace every year or 15,000 miles.

Install the new filter and cover.

Install new filter
Install screws

Install the cover and wipers.

Install cover
Install wiper arms

Make sure to check the blower motor operation and wipers after everything is reassembled.

Check wipers and blower

Comparison pricing

Just to give you an Idea of how much you can save on replacing the cabin filter for this vehicle, here’s a comparison on the two.

If you have a repair shop install it, add 100% mark-up to the part and 1 hour shop labor to replace it at a shop labor rate of $80.00 per hour.

Cabin filter repair by doing it yourself: $40.00 for this filter.

Cabin filter repair at a repair shop: $160.00 for this repair.