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Chevrolet Malibu Cabin Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to clean or change the A/C system's cabin air filter element in a 9th generation 2016 to 2023 GM Chevy Malibu.

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2020 Malibu Glove Box
Open & Empty Out
Damper Arm - Right Side
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu in cleaning or changing the A/C system's cabin air filter element located in the HVAC blower motor housing.

The 9th generation Malibu was supposed to undergo a "facelift" in 2022 or 2023 and the refreshed vehicle may have continued being produced into the 2024 and 2025 model years but it will now apparently be discontinued after the 2023 model year.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Holden such as the Impala, Corvette, Bolt, Sonic, Spark, Express, Trax, TrailBlazer, Equinox, Traverse, Blazer, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Cruze, Volt, Camaro, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, LaCrosse, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT4, CT5, CT6 and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement filters with their part numbers are as follows: ACDelco CF185, Spearhead BE-966, EcoGard XC10022C, TYC 800181P, Hastings AFC1624 and Premium Guard PC6154C.

No tools are needed to access and replace the cabin air filter element.

The first few steps are to sit in the front passenger seat, open the glove box and empty out the contents.

Move to the right outer side wall of the glove box and locate the plastic damper arm.


Pull Damper Arm Back
Button - Larger Hole
Disconnect Damper Arm
Pull the damper arm back towards yourself to move the mounting button out of the smaller hole and into the larger hole in the side wall of the glove box.

Detach the damper arm from the right side wall of the glove box by pulling out the mounting button.

Push In Side Walls
Remove Side Stops
Left Side Stopper
Firmly push in the two side walls of the glove box until the plastic stoppers can be removed from behind the dashboard.
Lower Glove Box
HVAC Blower Motor
Left Side Release Tab
Lower the glove box down towards the floor mat.

Don't worry if the glove box hinges come apart. They can easily be re-attached later on.

Once the glove box is out of the way, you'll be able to see the HVAC blower motor housing and the rectangular shaped filter access cover.

Right Side Release Tab
Push In To Release Clip
Right Retaining Clip
There is a release tab on the left side of the filter cover and another release tab on the right side of the cover.

Gently push in the two tabs towards the center of the filter cover to release the retaining clips.

Filter Cover Removed
Slide Out Old Filter
Old Filter Removed
Set the filter cover aside in a safe place.

Slide the old filter straight out of the slot in the HVAC blower motor housing.

Inspect Both Sides
Clean With Vacuum
OEM Part Number
Inspect both sides of the old filter.

If the old filter is dark grey or black and clogged with dirt, dust, sand, pollen, soot, hair, insects, leaves and other debris, it should be replaced with a new element.

I recommend buying the Spearhead BE-966 cabin air filter since it has excellent reviews on Amazon from other 9th generation Malibu owners.

If you'd prefer to buy the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) filter, the GM part number is ACDelco CF185.

If the old filter is relatively clean, just tap out the large debris and remove any fine dust with a vacuum cleaner.

Empty Filter Slot
"Air Flow" Arrow Down
Slide In New Air Filter
Check the filter slot in the HVAC blower motor housing for any large debris such as leaves, twigs or insects.

If your vacuum has a crevice attachment, clean out the filter slot.

Orientate the new filter with the "Air Flow" arrow pointing down towards the floor mat.

Slide the new filter straight into the slot. Make sure it is fully seated in the slot.

Push On Filter Cover
Secure Retaining Clips
Raise Glove Box
Line up the filter cover and push it back into place.

You should feel or hear the two retaining clips "click" securely into place.

Double check that the filter cover is securely attached.

Raise the glove box up towards the dashboard.

Re-Insert Side Stops
Damper Arm - Right Side
Button In Larger Hole
Firmly push in the two side walls of the glove box until the plastic side stops can be re-inserted behind the dashboard.

Move to the right outer side wall of the glove box.

Re-insert the small mounting button on the damper arm into the larger hole.

Pop Button Forward
Close Glove Box
Filter Change Done!
Push the damper arm towards the front of the car to pop the button into the smaller hole.

Double check that the glove box damper arm is securely attached.

Replace the contents of the glove box and close it to complete the job.

Enjoy the fresh clean air from your A/C system!

Be sure to write down the filter change in your car's service records.

According to the owner's manual, the service interval specification for the passenger compartment air filter is to change it every 22,500 miles (or every 36,000 km).

Please check out all of the 2016-2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
(Note: I am not a registered charity. Donations are not tax deductible.)


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