How to Service a BMW 318: Cabin Filter Replacement

Written by leonardo r. grabkowski
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The BMW 318i was part of the E36 series of the BMW 3 Series. This model was replaced in 1999. Many 318i's have a cabin air filter. This filter is behind the glove box. Accessing it and replacing it takes approximately 10 minutes. The recommended interval for changing the 318i's cabin air filter is 10,000 miles or annually, which ever comes first.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Ratchet or socket wrench
  • Rag (optional)
  • Replacement cabin air filter

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  1. 1

    Turn off the BMW 318's air conditioner switch and its engine. Move to the passenger side seat and open the glove box.

  2. 2

    Pry off the two small screw covers on the bottom edge of the air vent panel. These plastic covers are visible with the glove box door open. Behind the covers, you'll find two Phillips screws. Remove the screws.

  3. 3

    Remove the two Phillips screws from the passenger side air vents. Pull the cover off. Unplug any connections from the rear, if necessary.

  4. 4

    Remove the two Phillips screws from the glove box hinges. Pull the glove box door toward you to remove it.

  5. 5

    Remove the two Phillips screws and the single bolt on the underside of the dash. You'll be able to see this hardware with the glove box door removed.

  6. 6

    Pull off the plastic panel and pry out the clip with a flathead screwdriver. Pull the plastic panel above it down. Now you'll see the cabin air filter door.

  7. 7

    Turn the handle on the cabin air filter door counterclockwise, and then pull the door off. Now you'll see the cabin air filter.

  8. 8

    Slide the cabin air filter out. Check the area for debris and clean it with a rag if necessary. Insert the new cabin air filter.

  9. 9

    Replace the cabin air filter door and turn its handle clockwise. Reassemble the remaining components in the reverse order that you removed them. Make sure you tighten each screw and bolt as needed, as well as plug in any connections you have to unhook.

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