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Chevrolet Sonic Cabin Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to clean or change the HVAC cabin air filter in a 1st generation 2012 to 2014 GM Chevy Sonic with pictures.

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2013 Sonic Glove Box
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Open Glove Box
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Push In Side Walls

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) Chevy Sonic in cleaning or changing the A/C system's cabin air filter element.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles with similar blower motor housings such as the Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Traverse, Tahoe, GMC Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Buick Verano, Regal, LaCrosse, Encore, Enclave and Holden Barina may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement cabin filter elements with their part numbers are as follows: ACDelco CF181, TYC 800149C, K&N VF2040, Hastings AFC1457, Wix 24191, and ATP CF-247 or GA-21.

No tools are required to access the filter. A wet/dry shop vacuum may be useful for cleaning the existing element.

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Remove Side Stops
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Plastic Damper Arm
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Pop Damper Arm Off Peg
The first few steps are to sit in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, open the glove box and empty out the contents.

Then firmly push in the two side walls of the glove box to release the rubber side stops.

Move to the right side of the glove box and gently pull the plastic damper arm off its two pronged mounting peg.

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Lower Glove Box To Floor
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Cabin Filter Access Door
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Press In To Release Clip
Carefully lower the glove box down to the passenger floor mat.

The plastic hinge at the bottom of the glove box may separate from the dashboard, but it can easily be re-attached later.

Once the glove box is out of the way, you'll be able to see the black plastic rectangular cabin air filter access cover and the blower motor housing.

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Release Right Side Clip
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Pry Open Filter Cover
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Old Cabin Filter Exposed
Press in the clips on either side of the filter cover to release them and then swing the hinged cover upwards.

If the cover is stuck in place even after the left and right side clips have been released, you may need to gently pry it open from the bottom edge with a small flathead screwdriver.



 

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Slide Out Old Filter
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Inspect Both Sides
Slide the old cabin air filter straight out of the slot.

Inspect both sides of the old filter. If it looks relatively clean, just tap out the large debris and clean out any fine dust with a vacuum before re-installing it.

If the old filter is dark grey or black and clogged with dirt, insects, twigs, leaves, and hair, it should be replaced with a new element.

I recommend buying the OEM General Motors ACDelco CF181 cabin air filter since it has excellent reviews on Amazon.

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Vacuum Old Filter Clean
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Blower Motor Housing
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Slide In New Air Filter
If the new filter has an "Air Flow" indicator arrow, make sure it is pointing down towards the floor mat.

Slide the new or cleaned filter straight in to the slot.

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"Air Flow" Arrow Down
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Close Filter Access Cover
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Re-Attach Glove Box Hinge

Swing the hinged air filter access door down to close it and firmly push to re-engage the two retaining clips.

Double check that the filter cover is securely in place.

Line up the sockets on the bottom of the glove box with the round bars at the bottom of the opening in the dashboard. Push them together to re-assemble the glove box hinge.

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Re-Insert Side Stops
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Push Damper Arm On Peg
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Close Glove Box
Raise the glove box up towards the dashboard.

Firmly push in on the two side walls and insert the two rubber side stops in to place.

Push the damper arm back on to the mounting peg attached to the right side wall of the glove box.

Replace the contents of your glove box and close it to finish the job.

For more, check out my other Chevy Sonic Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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