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DreamensioN

Ventilation Filter Cleaning

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One of the things that is often overlooked in regular car maintenance is the cleaning of the ventilation filter. Most cars have them, and if they aren't cleaned, it can lead to odours from the vents.

 

Recently I've been noticing a musty smell coming from my vents when I first turn the airconditoning on. It occured to me that in the 4.5yrs I've had my car - I have never cleaned the ventilation filter. So today - that's what I did.

 

The ventilation filter in the 200sx can be washed and reused, though the technical manual suggests that it can only be washed twice - I dare say you could wash it multiple times without any problem.

 

To get to the ventilation filter is fairly straight forward.

1. Remove glovebox

2. Remove instrument panel re-enforcement

3. Remove filter cover fix clip

4. Disconnect the thermal amp connector

5. Slide the filter cover upwards and remove it

6. Remove filter

7. Replace with new or cleaned original filter

8. Reassemble filter cover, clip, instrument panel assembly, glovebox.

 

So first things first...remove the glove box. This is easy. Holding the glovebox in are 2 plastic hinges. These can be pulled out and the glovebox will detach and come out. You will need to get your head under the glovebox to see them.

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These are them...

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With the glovebox removed, you can now see the cooling unit.

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You will want to remove this metal re-enforcement assembly. Simply undo the screws holding it in. There are 2 along the bottom and 4 along the top.

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And this is what it looks like when it's pulled out...

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You should now have full access to the cooling unit. Disconnect the thermal amp connector (circled in red).

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This is the clip you will need to remove to get the filter cover off. Leverage the clip out with a flat head screw driver.

P1290290.jpgP1290291.jpg

 

Now you can remove the filter cover.

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You might need to do a bit of fiddling to get the filter out - I found when doing mine that a plastic beam (which looks like it's part of the dash) was in the way, and I couldn't work out how to remove it. In fact, I don't think it does come out. So when removing the filter, be prepared to "squash" the filter as you remove it. As long as you're careful and take it easy, it'll be alright.

 

My filter was DIRTY. Here's a pic of all the crap that was caught up in it. Notice how black it is.

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Wash the filter in warm soapy water. I had to wash mine twice to get all the dirt out of it. You can see the colour of the water here. Lots of dust/dirt came out of this one.

P1290294.jpg

 

After the filter has been washed - let it dry properly...the last thing you want to do is put back in a moist filter that will grow mould. You can let it dry naturally or hit it with a hair dryer. I did the latter. Here's my "clean" air filter. I didn't get it prestine white, but it sure is a lot cleaner than it was before.

P1290296.jpg

 

This is what I meant about "squashing" the filter as you remove/reinsert it. It's just a little tricky to get in and out - but it can be done. Just be gentle so you don't break the plastic filter frame, or tear the filter membrane. You can see my left hand in this photo gently pulling the plastic cross beam out of the way, in order to get the filter in. Don't worry about how it looks "crushed" - the filter springs back into its correct shape.

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And now with the filter back in - simply reassemble everything and you're good to go.

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tried to do this last night - everything came off like in your photos

 

BUT... i could not get the filter out without trying tobreak that beam for support... and was too chicken to pull it any harder... are there more clips/screws i can undo to make it come out esier?

 

also trying to do this with a fractured right thumb make it a much more time consuming exercise than what it really should have taken

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tried to do this last night - everything came off like in your photos

 

BUT... i could not get the filter out  without trying tobreak that beam for support... and was too chicken to pull it any harder... are there more clips/screws i can undo to make it come out esier?

 

also trying to do this with a fractured right thumb make it a much more time consuming exercise than what it really should have taken

 

It can come out - you just need to squash the filter a bit, but it does spring back into place.

 

what you might be able to do (as someone said above) is cut a section of the plastic bar out - enough to pull the filter straight out. That won't weaken anything as the glove box hinges into the sides - and doesn't rely on the plastic bar. Worse comes to worse - you can do it with a hax saw blade - and just remove half an inch worth of plastic immediatly infront of where the filter would slide out.

 

One thing that would be interesting is how Nissan removed it - do they pull out half the dash to do this?

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