How to Replace Hyundai Accent Cabin Air Filter

How to Replace Hyundai Accent Cabin Air Filter
How to Replace Hyundai Accent Cabin Air Filter

My Hyundai Accent’s fan never has blown enough air out the top vents.  The AC has actually never worked since I owned it so it was only the vent that I used, but it’s always been pitiful.  I finally broke down and got the AC compressor that had seized up replaced so I was really excited to have cold air–but after the repair I had nothing more that a weak cold breeze.  I asked the Hyundai service guy if he thought it was enough air flow and he didn’t think it was either.  I asked about an air filter and even unlatched the glove compartment to look but I didn’t see a filter–and besides, a cable runs straight across the whole area behind the glove compartment so how would you get a filter out of there?  Well, now I know there’s a filter in there and I’ll show you how to change it.


Parts Needed:

Tools Needed:

  • None!

How to Replace Hyundai Accent Cabin Air Filter

Step 1: Open the glove compartment.

Yes, they hide the air filters in the glove compartment.  No!  They hide them behind the glove compartment.  Now I must say that if you don’t want all the contents of your glove compartment dumped on your floor then you should carefully empty your glove compartment now.

Hyundai Accent Glove Compartment Open
Open your glove compartment

Step 2: Release the “catches” on the sides of the glove compartment box.

These catches double as the bumpers when you open the glove compartment and hit on the frame of the glove compartment when the door opens all the way.  You can release them both at the same time or one at a time.  If you release one at a time then you’ll need to hold that side out while you release the other side.  Here I am releasing the right one:

Releasing the right catch of the glove compartment
Press in, in the very middle of the side to retract the stop

Once you get the catch to clear the edge of the opening, position it like this and hold it in place:

Right glove compartment door catch released
Park the catch wedged against the edge of the opening

Once you have done one side, repeat on the other side and you will be able to open the glove compartment ALL the way open:

Glove compartment open all the way
Now we can get down to business

Step 3: Disconnect the fresh/outside air cable.

This was what duped me when I first looked back here–there’s a cable cutting straight across the opening?!?!  I mean–how are you going to get a filter in and out of here??  Well, there is actually a way and shame on Hyundai for not explaining and/or engineering this better.  The instructions in the owner’s manual are TERRIBLE:

The owners manual are very poor instructiions
No instructions on adjusting the cable when you reconnect it!?!

I’ll walk you through it though…

Step 3a: Release the cable from the front of the air cleaner door.

One thing to note is that piece of foam may be off to the left in your case:

Diagram For Releasing Cable from filter door
Pull the cable free from where it is snapped into the filter door

Step 3b: Release the air damper cable.

First take note of the position of the cable in the metal clip.  Now that I have done this once I have a tip to make this so much easier to put back together–you can make it easy on yourself by taking my advice.  If I were you I would place a piece of masking tape on the black plastic tubing to mark where the edge of the metal clip was located so you know exactly the location when you are re-assembling (and I’ve gone back and demonstrated for you):

How to make it easier to reinstall the cable by marking its location with tape before you remove it
Mark the cable location with tape

It is possible to figure out where it goes by cycling the fresh air/recycled air lever on the AC controls but it is smarter to mark it ahead of time 🙂

Put some tape on the cable before you remove it.
Put some tape on the cable before you remove it.

Press the metal clip open with your thumb while pulling the cable out with your fingers.  Then slip the loop on the end of the cable off the post on the end of the damper arm as seen below:

Diagram of how to release the outside/inside air damper cable
Release the outside/inside air damper cable
Tape wrapped around the cable
Wrap the tape around the cable

Once you have removed this arm you will have a lot of room to work and get out those filters:

Air damper cable freed from the clip and damper arm
Here the cable has been freed

Step 4: Remove the air filter door.

I have to admit that I didn’t even read the instructions before hand and broke my door.  I fixed it, well, I figured out a way to keep it shut, but let’s just all learn from me how not to do this and do it correctly.  Here’s the instructions from the owner’s manual:

Diagram of How to Release Cabin Air Filter Door Top Latch
Find the tab at the top of the door and press it down

The latch is hidden up under the metal plate on top so you will have to feel up in there to find it. Press down on the tab that sticks out while pulling the top of the door towards you.  The door tucks in at the bottom so once the top is free then you want to lift the door up and out of the slot it is tucked into on the bottom end.  This is what the bottom end looks like:

Close-up of how the filter door tucks in at the bottom
Details of how the door tucks in at the bottom
The removed cabin air filter door and where it broke
The door removed (and where it broke for me)
Side view of the filter door removed
Side view of the filter door removed

Step 5: Remove the top air filter.

This filter is in two pieces, a top and bottom.  The bottom one tucks down into a slot so it cannot be pulled straight out.  There is a little tab on the front edge of the filter that you can grab a hold of.  Remove the top one first, moving the cable out of the way so you can pull it straight out.

Diagram showing how to remove the top Cabin Air Filter
Pull out the top filter first–that is one DIRTY filter!?!

Step 6: Remove the lower air filter.

Once the top one is out you can lift up and remove the bottom filter:

How to remove the lower filter
Lift the filter up and then pull it out
Removing the lower filter
Pull the lower filter straight out (this was a picture of after I cleaned the filter, btw)

The dealership didn’t even tell me that this car had a cabin air filter when I had the AC condenser replaced and the previous owner must not have ever changed it either, it was like mud on the front:

Two very dirty air filters
Two VERY dirty air filters–good grief!

Step 6: Reinstall the lower (new) filter.

Make sure you orient the filter correctly.  The direction of air flow is from right to left.  There is an arrow on the outside edge that should point to the left:

Diagram showing the air flow direction arrow on edge of filter
Make sure the arrow on the outside edge points to the left
Reinstall lower filter with notch on bottom
Slide the new filter in, with the notch on the lower edge and the arrow pointing left
Reinstalled lower filter
The lower filter fits down in like this

Step 7: Install the upper (new) filter.

The top filter will fit tightly on top of the lower filter.  If you don’t find room for the top filter, you may not have the bottom filter installed correctly.  The groove in the bottom of the top filter will slide on top of the notch of the bottom filter:

Reinstalling the top air filter
Orient the filter as diagrammed above and slide in

The two filters should be flush on the front when they are both installed properly.

Step 8: Reinstall the filter door.

First, slip the lower end down in the retainer:

Directions for reinserting the bottom of the filter door
Tuck the bottom tab of the door in the slot indicated above

This is what it will look like installed:

Image showing close-up of lower end of filter door reinstalled
Slip the lower end into the slot

Then snap the top into place.  I cannot show you a picture of that but hopefully my advice and instructions saved you from making the same mistake I did!

Step 9: Reconnect the air damper cable.

Slip the loop at the end of the wire over the post on the damper arm and snap the cable into place, leaving the same amount of plastic tubing sticking out of the right side of the clip as you noted in Step 3b.  If you took my advice and marked the cable location with tape it will be easy:

Hyundai Accent-Clean Air Baffle Tip-Tape Marker Reinstalling
Insert the cable into the clip, with the tape lined up with the edge
Directions for reinstalling the damper cable
Slip the loop over the post and snap in place

You can test the damper at this point and I was able to hear the damper shut as I cycled the sliding switch:

Indoor/Outdoor Air Damper Switch on the AC controls
Sliding this switch back and forth toggles the indoor/outdoor air damper

Step 10: Close the glove compartment back up.

Press in on the middle of the right side and shut the door until the rubber bumper is inside the glove compartment frame opening:

How to close the right side of the glove compartment
Start with the right side

Hold the right side in this position:

The right side with the stop wedged against the opening
The right side with the stop wedged against the opening

Now repeat the steps on the left side:

Shutting the left side of the glove compartment
Press in on the side and close the door

Once the left side gets wedged you can just shut the door:

Hyundai Accent-Left Side of Glove Compartment Started
Once you have this, then you just shut the door

Now you will have plenty of air coming out of those vents.  Good job!

Successful with this repair?  Do you have a tip to add?  Please leave a comment!

I wonder how many people are driving around with plugged Hyundai Accent cabin air filters?  If you were able to change yours will you please drop a note in the comments?  If you have a tip or question please leave that too!

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