Never let your Mazda dealer change the cabin air filter in your CX-5. One of the easiest ways to save money by doing your own automotive maintenance is to change the cabin air filter in your vehicle. Dealers can charge up to $80 for this simple service.
How a dealer can swap out a part in under 3 minutes that costs just $14 and then charge $80 is beyond our comprehension. Sure, we understand that a dealer has overhead, but that labor rate equates to $1,040 per hour by our math even if we double the cost of the filter.
You can purchase a Mazda CX-5 cabin air filter on Amazon yourself and have it delivered the next day with no shipping costs if you are a Prime member. Amazon will also ask you to input your vehicle's make, model, model year, and trim to ensure that you select the correct part. You can also read reviews from fellow owners praising the part's effectiveness.
Unlike engine maintenance, tire maintenance or other repairs that may stop the vehicle from running, there is nothing you can do to mess up a cabin air filter swap that would preclude you from driving the vehicle. It is a no-risk activity. If you have any trouble (and you won't), you can simply drive to a shop.
How To Change A Cabin Air Filter
To Change a cabin air filter in almost every modern vehicle, follow these simple steps:
1) Empty your glove box of its contents. This is a great time to clean that out and make sure you know where your registration is and that it is not expired.
2) Open the glove box and let it hang. Look for the little arm that slows its progress along the right side bottom. See the green arrow. Move that to the right to disconnect it.
3) Pinch both sides of your glove box near the top. See blue arrow. If the box is cold it may be reluctant. The box will then be allowed to open wider and drop down exposing the cabin air filter element area behind it. See red arrow.
4) Pull out the old cabin air filter element from its little tab and set it aside. Put the new one in and push till it clicks in place.
5) Put the box back by again pinching the sides.
6) Re-attach the little arm at the bottom right of the box
7) Put a note in your maintenance folder with the date and miles that you changed the filter.
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John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin