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How to Replace the Cabin Air Filter in a 2006 Nissan Altima


I am going to show you how to replace the cabin air filter (aka pollen filter) in a 2006 Nissan Altima. The procedure is similar for many different Nissans. You are supposed to replace your cabin air filter every 15,000 miles, just like the engine air filter. The pollen air filter removes pollutants and contamination from the air entering the passenger compartment through the vents. This is very important if you have asthma or allergies and would be badly affected by breathing in pollen and other nasties.

Your blower motor has to work much harder to run when the cabin filter is old and dirty. This adds more draw to your car's overall electrical system, which has a negative effect on gas mileage. Replacing a clogged filter makes only a small difference in fuel economy; you aren't likely to notice, but every bit helps. You'll also be breathing much cleaner air if you replace your dirty pollen filter.

How to Replace the Cabin Air Filter in a 2006 Nissan Altima

  1. Open the glove box.
  2. Make the plastic tabs clear the dashboard.
  3. Take out the air filter cover and the air filter.
  4. Pull out any leaves.
  5. Put the filter cover back on.
  6. Put the glove box back on.

Tools required: You may need a small pry bar or large screwdriver.

Time required: 5-20 minutes depending on experience.


1. Open the Glove Box

First, open up the glove box and remove anything that may fall out when the box is lowered. There are plastic tabs at the back corners of the glove box which prevent it from falling completely open and dumping its contents onto the floor. To access the cabin air filter, you will need to get the glove box all the way down. Green arrows indicate the general location of the plastic tabs; the blue arrow points out the cabin air filter cover.


2. Make the Plastic Tabs Clear the Dashboard

The plastic tabs catch on the dashboard. To lower the glove box, you will need to squeeze the whole glove box together so that you can scrape the tabs down past the dashboard. The easiest way to do this is slide a screwdriver or similar tool in between the glove box and dashboard and pry the box inwards so that the tab clears the dash and the box can be slid open. It can be difficult to squeeze both tabs past the dash, but it can be done. Don't give up!


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3. Take Out the Air Filter Cover and the Air Filter

Once you have the glove box out of the way, you can access the cabin air filter cover. To get the cover off, you need to pull the two bottom tabs (green arrows) towards you. I notice that it says "push" on these tabs, but I have no idea why. Your best bet is to get a screwdriver or something behind these tabs and pry them towards you.

Once the cover is off, you can pull the cabin air filter out. The blower motor is directly below the filter, so make sure you don't let any leaves or debris fall down into the fan. It may be easier to pull the filter out with a pair of pliers.

Dirty vs. clean cabin filter

Dirty vs. clean cabin filter

This is a comparison between a new cabin air filter and an old one. This is pretty average for how a pollen filter looks after 15K miles. This is what air is going through before you breath it. Gross.


4. Pull Out Any Leaves

Before putting in the new filter, I recommend trying to reach your fingers in and down into the fan and see if there are any leaves in there. If your hand can't get in and remove leaves, you may have to get creative. Try a vacuum with a rubber hose on it or a clothes hanger with a piece of bubble gum on the end. Haha. Any significant amount of debris in the fan will cause a vibration while it is running. It doesn't need to be perfect though, just get out any large things.


5. Put the Filter Cover Back on

Once you have the new filter in, you are ready to put the cover back on. Put the top of the cover in first, sliding the top tabs in above the filter. Then clip the lower tabs into place. It may take some patience, but make sure you get the cover on properly.

Before continuing, you may want to turn the key on and test the fan to see if there is any major vibration from the fan. Small noises from the fan will usually go away on their own.

6. Put the Glove Box Back on

Next, you will need to get the glove box back up. Use the same methods as before, just slide the tabs up past the dashboard. Then put back all the contents of the box that you previously removed. After that, you should be finished! You will be breathing much cleaner air through the vents now!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 alanfish91

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