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First Generation RL (1996-2004)

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Old 06-15-03, 12:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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RL cabin air filter replacement DIY (56k beware)

I posted this on another board also, but in case there are users here that don't go there, I have posted it here too...

I get people asking me how to do this all the time...


Here is a step by step guide to changing the cabin air filter in your Acura 3.5 RL...
this may also help for other models because the instructions are similar...
It is very easy, and may save you some money

(you can click on the pics to get a larger picture)


I am a cheapskate, so I bought a non Acura replacement...
it was at least half price and is impregnated with carbon to absorb odors,
I really don't know which is better, but the Acura ones are so expensive.
what ever filters you buy, make sure they are made for your car.
these are the ones I bought...


what you will need to complete this project:
a pair of replacement filters
a philips screwdriver
about half an hour for a newbie, but it could be done in about 10 minutes
(a flat head screwdriver and a pair of needle-nose pliers can be helpful as well)


to start, get to this part of your car



we are gonna remove the glove box...
under the glove box there is a white plastic panel...
it is held in by 3 clips. Acura calls this the "dashboard lower cover"



pull down to release the front of the panel,
the back is held in by hooks and doesn't need to be fiddled with...
it should look like this when you pulled it down...




open the glove box and remove the glove box stop from each side,
there are two little tabs holding them in and the pivot out...



when they are out they look like this...



there is a pleather/vinyl flap that is held in by three plastic screw/anchors,
unscrew the three and release the flap...



pull the flap forward and rest it in the glove box,
detach the damper clip...



detaching the damper clip is kinda tricky...
you have to press the little tab and gently pry the side out,
this is where the flat head screw driver and/or the needle-nose pliers come in handy...
here is the damper clip by itself, the arrows show where you have to press...



carefully close the glove box to help you hold it in place.
where the glove box hinges there are two bolts,
remove the bolts and carefully open the glove box,
besides the trunk switch connector that it will be dangling from,
the whole glove box should be free...



after you have disconnected the trunk switch connector,
locate and remove the three screws in the glove box back cover...



the back cover is also held in by four clips,
gently pull the cover to release the clips,
this is a pic of the back of the cover to show the clip location...



with the back cover removed, the filter lid should be visible...



emove the lid by releasing the to clips on the side of the lid...

(to be continued...)
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Old 06-15-03, 12:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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(continued from above)

Turn the ignition switch to ON and set the recirculation control switch on RECIRCULATE.
pull the filter assemblies out of the housing as shown,
Separate the first filter assembly from the second where they are hinged together,
one side goes up and the other side goes down...




they were supposed to change my filters at the dealer at the 30,000 mi service,
when I checked my receipt, that service wasn't listed, so I asked about it,
the guy told me that they did it but forgot to list it...
when I got home I checked and I found that it was dirty!!!
I was pissed! I reported it to American Honda and told the dealer off!
I went to a local parts place to buy a filter, since I already had it off and finished the job myself!
here is a pic of the dirty filter (acura oem) and new filter (non acura brand).
(the oem is supposed to be white! that guy just didn't want to send it back to get it checked!)



anyways, the filter assembly has a little grove on the sides...
the edge of the filter on both sides should fit into this grove.
this shows both the right, and wrong, way to do it...



do the reverse to get it all back in...
when the new ones are slid in, it should look like this...


I hope this was helpful...
now you can breath easier knowing that your cabin air filters have been replaced...
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Old 06-15-03, 02:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 06-15-03, 04:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 06-15-03, 08:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Good DIY!

Yeah, those OEM filters are way too expensive. I bought the purolator kind from Discount Auto and they look just like the ones you put in. I had no smell for about 2 months, and then I started getting a funny smell from the vents. I might have to find a charcoal filter and build a custom one myself.

How much does your dealer charge for the OEM filters? Mine charges $40 apiece. That's crazy!
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Old 06-16-03, 02:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by g-man
Good DIY!

Yeah, those OEM filters are way too expensive. I bought the purolator kind from Discount Auto and they look just like the ones you put in. I had no smell for about 2 months, and then I started getting a funny smell from the vents. I might have to find a charcoal filter and build a custom one myself.

How much does your dealer charge for the OEM filters? Mine charges $40 apiece. That's crazy!
$40 bucks each sounds about right... the two dealers I've checked near by have quoted me about $80 to do it... of course that includes labor, but still it is not hard enough for me to consider having them do it...

This is actually the second time I changed the filters with non-acura ones... I just happened to have the original OEM's sitting in a box, because I was going to take them to the dealer to show that they didn't do the service, I never did, but since I had them I put them in to take pictures for the above DIY... I haven't had the smell problem that you mentioned (or I can't tell if I do or not) after two months. I had a little over 30,000mi when I fist changed them, and now I have a little over 50,000mi and no problems as far as I can tell... except for being dirty.



and, Thanks everyone, for the compliments... I hope the RL'ers on the board can use the info... I know that there is a DIY for the Legend's filter, but I thought that the RL's was significantly different enough to warrant a separate DIY for them.

Last edited by jinny; 06-18-03 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 06-17-03, 11:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Thank you... very good information.
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Old 03-30-04, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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^bump for those who missed it...
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Old 04-05-04, 04:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just did this today. Dealer quoted $90 ($40 for filter and $50 for labor). I did it for $30 (filter only).

Thanks Jinny! Instructions much better than my good for nothing Chilton. Made me decide to go for pricey but good Helm's manual.
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Old 04-05-04, 04:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by g-man
Good DIY!

Yeah, those OEM filters are way too expensive. I bought the purolator kind from Discount Auto and they look just like the ones you put in. I had no smell for about 2 months, and then I started getting a funny smell from the vents. I might have to find a charcoal filter and build a custom one myself.

How much does your dealer charge for the OEM filters? Mine charges $40 apiece. That's crazy!

I got a tip from a friend when I complained about that mildew smell from the aircon.

1. Get a can of Lysol air spray (kills mildew, fungi, etc) this can be found in any grocery store.
2. Turn on the engine and fans. Switch to fresh air mode.
3. Open the hood.
4. There is a vent right below the base of the wiper on the driver's side. Spray for about 60 seconds. Let the fan run at the highest speed for about 5 minutes.

This fixed the odor problem on my other car (Sienna). Hope this fixes yours.
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Old 11-09-04, 08:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Great DIY on the cabin air filters!

also great tip on trying to remedy the yukky AC smell. I guess you can do that too for an air freshener haha.
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Old 11-13-04, 05:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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UPDATE:


This sucks. I live in Socal and Pepboys doesnt carry cabin air filters, and when I went to Kragen, guess what? They have it listed but it cannot be ordered. Has Fram discontinued this part?

Anyone have any luck buying these filters anywhere else?

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-04, 02:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3g Legend
UPDATE:


This sucks. I live in Socal and Pepboys doesnt carry cabin air filters, and when I went to Kragen, guess what? They have it listed but it cannot be ordered. Has Fram discontinued this part?

Anyone have any luck buying these filters anywhere else?

Thanks!
how close are you to the Northridge area?

I have a couple brand new OEM filters if you want them...
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Old 11-16-04, 02:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinny
how close are you to the Northridge area?

I have a couple brand new OEM filters if you want them...
I sent you a private message
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Old 11-16-04, 02:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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and I received it.
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