How to Replace the Cabin Air Filter on a 2003 VW Passat

Written by tonya cunningham
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How to Replace the Cabin Air Filter on a 2003 VW Passat
The cabin air filter on your Passat ensures a steady flow of clean air. (car heater vent image by robert mobley from

If the vents inside your 2003 VW Passat seem like they are not working efficiently, you may want to consider that it may be time for a cabin air-filter replacement. A slightly stale smell or weak air flow could be indicators that the air filter is clogged, as the cabin's filter should be changed yearly. The cabin air-filter traps dirt and other particles that could otherwise harm your air system and create a dangerous breathing environment for you and your passengers. Fortunately, replacing the air filter is a quick and easy maintenance task.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Shop rag
  • Replacement cabin air filter

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  1. 1

    Open the bonnet of your car and stand by the passenger-side wheel well.

  2. 2

    Locate the cabin air filter just in front of your windshield, closest to where you are standing.

  3. 3

    Use your Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the retainer that holds the filter cabin closed.

  4. 4

    Pull the rectangular filter straight up and out of the plastic compartment.

  5. 5

    Wipe the inside of the air-filter container with your shop rag. The rag can be moistened to pick up more stubborn dirt.

  6. 6

    Insert the new filter into the rectangular opening and be sure it is snugly fitted in before putting the lid back on the container.

  7. 7

    Replace the lid and re-screw the retainer to secure the unit. Your cabin air-filter replacement is finished and you can close the bonnet.

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