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How to Replace the Subaru XV Crosstrek Cabin Air Filter (2013+)

Change your Crosstrek's cabin air filter in 5 minutes for less than $15.
howchoo   (467)
September 15, 2023
8 minutes


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Why pay the dealership hundreds of dollars to replace your cabin air filter when you can do it in 5 minutes for less than $15? This guide requires no tools. Just pick up a compatible cabin air filter such as this one and get started.

How often should you replace your Crosstrek cabin air filter?

Your Subaru Crosstrek’s cabin air filter should be replaced every 12 months, or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you live in a particularly dusty area or one with a lot of tree debris, it would be a good idea to replace it sooner.

Subaru Crosstrek cabin air filter location

The Subaru a Crosstrek air filter is located behind the glove compartment and requires no tools to change.

Why replace your Crosstrek cabin air filter?

Your cabin air filter should be replaced regularly not only to ensure cleaner air in your car, but to reduce strain on your air conditioning components. A clogged in-cabin air filter increases strain on your A/C blower motor and even your compressor.

Also, you’ll be surprised how fresh your car will smell!

1 – Empty your glovebox

Temporarily remove all the papers and other junk that’s collected in your glove compartment over the years.

🛈 Don’t worry, you can shove it all back in there when you’re done.

2 – Remove the glovebox door

The glove box is held in place using two small stoppers: one on each side.

Gently push both sides inward until the stoppers clear the sides of the glove compartment opening.

3 – Unclip the glovebox retaining arm

Gently push the glovebox retaining arm out of the way to unclip it.

Then, slowly and carefully lower the glovebox door towards the floor. Or, in my case, the glovebox door will just fall off immediately.

4 – Locate the cabin air filter

This photo shows the location of the Crosstrek’s cabin air filter. It might be in the top left in certain model years.

The cabin air filter on the Subaru XV Crosstrek is located behind the glove compartment in the either the upper left or directly center, depending on model year. See the attached image for reference.

5 – Remove the old cabin air filter

To remove the Crosstrek’s cabin air filter, pinch the two fasteners on either side of it and pull it straight out.

🛈 If you have a vacuum handy, it’s a good idea to stick the nozzle in there and suck out any particles that might be in there.

6 – Behold how disgusting the old filter is

If you live under a thousand oak trees, as I do, your filter will be extra gross.

Bask in how truly awful the old filter is and pat yourself on the back for choosing to replace it.

7 – Replace the air filter

This is the filter I used for my 2014 XV Crosstrek and the listing includes a model year checker.

Slide the new cabin air filter into place until both of the side fasteners click.

🛈 The filter has an arrow indicating which side goes up.

8 – Reassemble everything

Carefully push the glovebox retaining arm back into place and close the glovebox.

When you close the glovebox, the two side stoppers will automatically re-seat themselves.

Finally, put all your stuff back into your glove compartment. While you’re at it, maybe toss the trillion papers you’ve accumulated or relocate them into your home.

You’re done!

Turn on your AC and smell the fresh air. You’ll be able to notice a difference immediately!

Next: Disable that awful beep

While you’re still in the car, disable the Crosstrek unlock sound in about 30 seconds of work (your ears will thank you). 🙂


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Bring your car into the future!
howchoo   (467)
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Have you ever wanted to add an entertainment system to your car, only to find that most units are expensive, come with a lackluster feature set, and feature a terrible interface? Well, now you can build your own Raspberry Pi-powered car computer with AutoPi! Monitor your car’s vitals, watch movies, play retro games wiith RetroPie, use open

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