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Bugaholic
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So after several members found evidence of mice in the dash where the cabin filter is located, I had to find out what was in mine as well. After all, my NB had been practically sitting for 3 years before I bought it and Lord only knows what it was exposed to. So I documented via [many] pictures the procedure I used to change out the filter (with help from Bentley's). It's a fairly easy procedure for those that want to save a little time and $$ from the dealer. Hopefully this will be of some use to someone.

A note on the replacement filter: I actually attempted to buy the replacement filter from VW dealer in town. When I brought it home, I discovered they gave me the wrong filter. It was too late in the day to take it back as they were closed and I wanted to get the filter changed right then. Did a search around local auto parts stores and found a comparable replacement for about the same price. Where and what I bought is detailed in the pics below. The key is that the factory filter has charcoal (aka carbon) impregnated into the filter. This is to screen out odors. Most parts stores have filters without the charcoal but some do have them. Just ask.

NOTE 1: this procedure was done on a 2006 convertible but should apply to all NB.

NOTE 2: Bentley's is incorrect at Step 2 below (filter housing cover). Bentley's shows only 5 screws to remove when there are 6 that must be removed.
 

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Bugaholic
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Discussion Starter #2
Step 1: Removing the dash panels

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Bugaholic
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Discussion Starter #3
Step 2: Removing the filter housing cover

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Bugaholic
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Step 3: Removing the filter

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Bugaholic
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Discussion Starter #5
Step 4: Installing new filter

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Bugaholic
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Discussion Starter #6
Step 5: Installing the filter housing cover

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Bugaholic
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Step 6: Installing the dash panels (finis)

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WOW! Really nice job! We replaced ours this past Saturday. Wish we would have had these detailed instructions with pics!!! Great job. I am sure the entire org appreciates your efforts.
 

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Worry less, drive more
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That's a great how-to!! The area under the panel looked a little different than mine but basically the same. Thanks!
 

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Super Moderator
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Awesome! I/we will be attempting this tomorrow! :bigthumb:
 

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Well, it's nearly a year later, and I finally did the replacement. :D


I was terrified to tear into the dash, but I had time this week. I had trouble, but I finished. And, no leftover screws! :lol:


If you know me, that was a major feat for me! :eek:


Thank you so much for the blow-by-blow pics. They really helped. :bowdown:
 

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An Air-Cooled Fan, Too!
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Can't get last panel out

Your step by step pictoral how to is very good. However, I've got an '03 Turbo S and I've got it to the point where the topmost right side dash panels are out but I can't get the secondary panel that hides the cabin air filter out. I've removed all the 6 screws but the panel just will not pull out of it's placement. Not sure what's holding it back. I can move it a little and jiggle it, but it just won't come out. Hate to have to go to the dealer at 100 bucks and hour to bail me out, but I'd hate even more to have to put what I've removed back in place again w/o changing the filter as I'm sure it's very dirty.:(
 

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Excellent Write Up.... One additional question

I did not find this write up until AFTER I performed the air filter change out on my wife's "new to her" 2006. I found the actual filter area cover, with the 6 screws, a bit difficult to extract. Though, not a real pain.

However, I found many, many leaves and other debris in there. Thus, spending a good amount of vacuum time prior to the actual filter replacement.

Thus, my question is.... Where is the actual air inlet for the ventilation??? I think I need to find it and add some sort of screen to keep the larger debris out... Any idea friends???
 

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Thus, my question is.... Where is the actual air inlet for the ventilation??? I think I need to find it and add some sort of screen to keep the larger debris out... Any idea friends???
The air inlet is right in front of the filter, through a duct that goes parallel to it. The duct then goes to the plenum/cowl (not sure it's the right word) that's under the windshield wipers. If you open the hood, you'll see that all along that black plastic piece is a series of holes for the air to come in. If you take your wipers off, you can then remove this plastic and vacuum the debris out.

This duct is all well and good in theory. However, there are many additional holes in this area to under the plenum/cowl. Furthermore, there is a passthrough under windshield air vent duct to the driver's side where the computer is. This side has even more holes to the area under the wipers. In fact, mine had a veritable pile of leaves in it.

So while you are changing the cabin air filter, I highly advise at least vacuuming the plenum/cowl holes, getting out as much leaves as you can. And if you want to be extra thorough, take off the mirroring panel on the driver's side (mine was a little more difficult as some of the holes were covered slightly by the dash) and vacuum around the computer.
 

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