Changing a cabin air filter in an older Honda Odyssey minivan

Posted By on October 22, 2016

Katelyn2014NissanJuke_insidMy daughter took her "leased" Juke into the Nissan dealership in Minnesota for a $25 oil change and while it was in the service bay, the service department recommended she do a few additional maintenance items totaling $1200 … "but we can do it all today for a flat $1000" (don’t you just love it when automotive service departments see $$$ when they see a young lady … and you wonder why car dealers get such a bad reputation). Thankfully she gave me a phone call and will have her Drew look up a couple How-To YouTube videos, pick up couple filters online and change them himself.

HondaOdyssey_cuthereThat reminds me … our Honda Odyssey needs a cabin air filter!


One of the questionable design idiosyncrasies of our 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan is to have purposely blocked the access door for the cabin air filter with structural plastic  … I can only assume it was engineered for better support behind the glove compartment? A sure way to know if the filter has ever been replaced is when you realize the support is still in tack! Someone … my dadHondaOdyssey_stopsobviously never fell it was important to change the cabin air filter … so after 15 years, I suspect that is is overdue.
After picking up the correct filter (online for me), is to remove the glovebox. A couple tabs can be push into the box cavity from the sides. Next, remove the 2 small bolts under the box holding the hinges in place.


The glovebox drops out and offers an open view of the air handling components behind. Be sure not to lose the small clips that are used for the hinges … they can drop into the plastic that surrounds the footwell (don’t ask how I know this).




HondaOdyssey_snip HondaOdyssey_grinder HondaOdyssey_cuthere

The next step is to note the Honda prepared notches in each side of the plastic support and use a tool to snip or cut the "unnotched" sections. I used wire snips but instead of playing with my hot knife (far cleaner) … I ended up cutting them with a cut-off wheel on my 4-1/2" grinder. If you dislike dust, avoid using the cut off wheel.

HondaOdyssey_bracket HondaOdyssey_screws2

There are a couple more fasteners that hold the metal bracket behind the cut out plastic and to access the cabin filter door, this will need to be removed too … but you will replace this bracket. The surrounding plastic dash trim will not need to be removed, but you will need to pry it and flex it a bit in order to get a socket and fingers to the fasteners holding this bracket in place. I used a wadded up rag to hold the flexed plastic trim out of the way.

HondaOdyssey_door1_mOnce out of the way, the "snapped on door" pops off and the old cabin filter can be slid out. Having a snooted vacuum is helpful in getting this opening cleaned out.


The end of the new filter is marked for airflow direction, so be sure to keep the arrows aligned and going from right to left.

Put the snap on door back in place removing or replacing any degraded foam gasket … and replace all but the plastic support that was cut out.


By the way … a cabin air filter can be pretty dirty after 15 years. Ugh!


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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