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Subaru Forester Cabin Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to clean or change the A/C system's cabin air filter element in a 4th generation 2014 to 2018 Subaru Forester.

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2017 Forester Glove Box
Open Glove Box - Empty Out
Move To Right Side
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fourth generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Subaru Forester SUV in cleaning or changing the A/C system's cabin air filter element in the HVAC blower motor housing.

Owners of other Subaru vehicles such as the Outback, Impreza, Legacy, XV Crosstrek, WRX, BRZ, SVX, Tribeca, Exiga, Trezia, Levorg and Baja may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement filters with their part numbers include the following: Purolator C36115, Ecogard XC36115, Subaru 72880FG000, Luber-finer CAF1869P, TYC 800122P, POTAUTO MAP 1036C, ACDelco CF3304, Bosch 6038C, Hastings AFC1526 and Wix 24030.

No tools are needed to access and change the filter.

Glove Box Damper Arm
Pull Damper Arm Off Peg
Right Side Plastic Side Stop
The first few steps are to sit in the front passenger seat of the SUV, open the glove box and empty out the contents.

Then move to the right outer edge of the glove box and locate the black plastic damper arm.

Gently pull the damper arm off the two pronged mounting peg.

Left Side Side Stopper
Push In Both Side Walls
Release Side Stops
Firmly push in the two side walls of the glove box towards each other to release the side stops.
Lower Glove Box
HVAC Blower Motor Housing
Pinch Together Two Tabs
Gently lower the glove box down to the floor mat.

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 tray.

There are four tabs on the front of the filter tray with two on the left side and the other two on the right side.

Gently pinch together the two tabs on the left side and the two tabs on the right side to release the retaining clips.


Squeeze Two Right Side Tabs
Slide Out Old Filter
Old Filter Removed
After you have released the four retaining clips, gently slide the cabin air filter housing straight out of the slot.

The cabin air filter is permanently attached to a black plastic tray.

Inspect Both Sides
Subaru-Forester-Cabin-Air-Filter-Replacement-Guide-017 Subaru-Forester-Cabin-Air-Filter-Replacement-Guide-018
Clean With Vacuum
Inspect both sides of the old filter.

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

I recommend buying the TYC 800122P cabin air filter since it has excellent reviews on Amazon.

If you prefer to have the original part, you can buy the genuine OEM Subaru 72880FG000 cabin air filter.

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

Empty Filter Slot
"UP" Arrow
Slide In New Air Filter
The outer face of the filter tray should have a directional arrow.

Orientate the new filter with the "UP" arrow pointing in the correct direction.

Carefully slide the new air filter back into the slot in the HVAC blower motor housing.

Push In To Secure Clips
New Filter Installed
Raise Glove Box - Dashboard
Firmly push in the filter tray to secure the four retaining clips.

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

Double check that the filter assembly is securely in place before moving on to the next steps.

Raise the glove box up towards the dashboard.

Push In Two Side Walls
Re-Insert Side Stops
Glove Box Damper Arm
Firmly push in the two side walls of the glove box until the plastic side stoppers can be re-inserted behind the dashboard.

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

Line up the hole at the bottom of the damper arm with the two pronged mounting peg on the glove box.

Push On To Mounting Peg
Damper Arm Secured
Close Glove Box - Done!
Push the glove box damper arm back into place over the two prongs at the end of the mounting peg.

Double check that the 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!

For more, please check out all of my 2014-2018 Subaru Forester DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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