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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Resident Gearhead
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 10:40 am
Posts: 1635
Location: West Point
Year and Trim: 2003 SSEi
Cabin Air Filter Replacement
2000+ Bonneville


The intention of this tech article is to provide step-by-step instructions for changing the Cabin Air Filter on a 2000+ Bonneville.


Liability Statement:
Perform this task at your own risk! Neither the author nor anyone associated with this article accept ANY liability if you damage your car, hurt yourself, or otherwise screw something up. This is a guideline designed to help you perform the tasks described herein, therefore the risk is yours and so is the responsibility.

Application Note:
The following procedures were performed on a 2003 Bonneville SSEi. They should, however, be applicable to all 2000+ models with a Cabin Air Filter.

Skill Level Required ~ 1
On a scale of 1 to 5 where
1 = What’s a wrench?
1.5 = I’ve seen a wrench before.
2 = Got me some tools!
2.5 = Got me some tools, and I ain’t afraid ta use ‘em.
3 = Decent mechanic, but some things scare me.
3.5 = Good mechanic – ain’t skeert.
4 = Highly skilled in the mechanical arts.
4.5 = Mechanical wizard.
5 = Automotive god…don’t try this at home.

Tools Needed –
Long, flat screwdriver
Slight amount of patience


If you have a 2000+ Bonneville, you may or may not know that your car is capable of filtering the cabin air. Your car may or may not have come with a Cabin Air Filter installed. Mine did not, so I set about installing a filter.

The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t already, is locate the hiding place for the Cabin Air Filter. Open your hood and look on the cowl above the firewall on the passenger side of the car. You should find a compartment similar to Figure 1.

Figure 1:
Image

It didn’t take me long to deduce that this is where the Cabin Air Filter lives – the words “AIR FILTRATION SYSTEM” on the lid were a huge clue. Push the two tabs toward the back of the car and the lid will pull up, revealing either the Cabin Air Filter or a cavernous hole (see Figure 2). Look at all that dust in there. Without a filter that stuff is going into my A/C system, through the vents, up my nose, and straight into my brain.

Figure 2:
Image

As I mentioned before, either your car has a Cabin Air Filter, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, and your hole looks like Figure 2, you will need to purchase a Cabin Air Filter with a frame. The frame holds the filter element firmly in place. If your car has a Cabin Air Filter installed, and it doesn’t appear to have a frame, you will need to get a frame or, better yet, replace it with a filter that does have a frame. If you have a filter and a frame, you can get a replacement element or replace the filter and the frame. You can get a new filter & frame assembly from NAPA for a little over $20. The part number is 4474. Interestingly, you can get just the replacement filter for the exact same price. Might as well get the one with a new frame, I reckon. The NAPA filter is removable from the NAPA frame, so if you find a filter element for less somewhere, you can replace the filter and keep the frame. Cool.

Figure 3 shows you what the filter & frame assembly looks like, and identifies which side is up and which end points to the front of the car.

Figure 3:
Image

Take a look at figure 4. This is a view looking at the right side of the filter.

Figure 4:
Image

The pin at A will lock the filter in place when it snaps into the corresponding hole at A in Figure 1 (this will not be referred to as the “A hole”, thank you very much). The spring tabs at B center the filter in the hole and force it down against the seal (C). When you insert the filter, the seal at C will be down and will go in first – just like Figure 5. It will seem odd, but it is true.

Figure 5:
Image

You may get to a point where the filter is a little too wide for the hole…as in Figure 6.

Figure 6:
Image

I puzzled over this one through an entire 20 oz. Mountain Dew, then I just closed my eyes, gave ‘er a little shove, and voila!, in she went. It’s a little snug, but the cowl on the car will flex enough to let the filter in. Probably best to do this when the plastic is warm, however. No sense in tempting the Plastic Gods. Now, just push it up into place until the A pin (Figure 4) snaps into the A hole and locks the Cabin Air Filter into place. It should look something like Figure 7. Slap the lid on & you’re done – no more pollen up your beezer, mate.

Figure 7:
Image

One final note – no tools are needed for installation, but a long, flat screwdriver comes in handy when removing the filter & frame. Use it to lift the A pin out of the A hole so the filter will slide back freely. This is masterfully demonstrated in Figure 8. Then just yoink it out of the hole. Additionally, if you get a fantasmic deal on filter elements alone (i.e., no frame) you can leave the frame in place and just pull out the filter by moving the retaining tab (top left in fig. 6) and slipping the filter out.

Figure 8:
Image

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