In this guide, you will learn how to replace the cabin air filter on BMW (also known as BMW microfilter ) and how to reset the service reminder interval.
Every time you replace BMW cabin air filter on your BMW you need to reset the air filter interval via your instrument cluster. Generally, you should replace BMW cabin air filter every year or every 12,000 miles. Whichever comes first.
A dirty BMW cabin air filter can cause poor a/c performance and unpleasant smells in the cabin.
- Bad air smell inside BMW cabin
- Weak or poor flow from the air vents
- Poor air conditioner performance
- Blower fan fuse keeps blowing
What you will need
Below is a list of tools and parts you will need to change the cabin air filter on most BMWs.
Below you will find instructions on how to change BMW cabin air filter installed in the engine bay.
- Park your BMW on level ground. Set the parking brakes.
- Open the hood.
- In this BMW, the cabin air filter is located by the engine bay. Remove torx screw using T20 bit. Unclip the wire retainer.
- Use 10mm socket (12mm or 13mm in some cases) to twist the metal bolts 90 degrees.
- Remove the cabin air filter plastic housing as shown in the following picture.
- Clean leaves and debris from the housing.
- Remove cabin air filter. Install new BMW cabin air filter in reverse order.
- Repeat procedure for the cabin air filter located on the passenger side.
- Reset BMW microfilter service reminder following these instructions.
How to replace BMW microfilter under the dashboard
- Park your BMW and set the parking brakes.
- Move to the passenger side and access the panel under the dashboard.
- Remove two T20 screws.
- Pull down the panel but do not remove it yet.
- Some models have a light and cigarette outlet mounted on the panel you just removed. Unplug the wires for the cigarette and light if applicable.
- Locate the cabin air filter and remove it by sliding it from the housing. Make sure to look at the side of the filter and note which way the arrow is pointing.
- Install a new BMW cabin filter.
- Reset BMW microfilter service reminder following these instructions
- We recommend changing BMW cabin air filter every one year or every 12,000 miles.
- On BMW vehicles the cabin air filter can be located in any of the following locations:
- Engine bay near the firewall
- Under the dashboard on the passenger side.
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
- Wear eye protection and gloves.
Is cabin air filter and engine air filter the same?
- No. People often confuse the cabin air filter and engine air filter. The cabin air filter keeps particles and leaves from blowing through your air vents when you turn on your A/C or heat. The engine air filter prevents dust particles from entering the engine combustion chamber. Because on some cars cabin air filter is located and replaced via the engine bay, car owners confuse it with the engine air filter.
Does a dirty cabin air filter impact engine performance?
- No. A cabin air filter does not impact engine performance. A dirty engine air filter impacts engine performance which is different than a cabin air filter.
What happens if my cabin air filter is dirty?
- You may start noticing a bad smell coming from the air vent. Air flow through the air vents is restricted. You may notice that the blower fan does not blow very hard even when set on maximum fan speed. If the cabin air filter is full of leaves the air flow may be so restricted that the blower fan fuse keeps on blowing. Blower fan sounds loud like a jet engine.
Why should I change my cabin air filter?
- To keep the A/C and heating system working better and keep the air you breathe inside the car cabin clean.