Question about 2003 Volkswagen Passat

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Front Cowling, under the hood

I need to change out the battery and VW made everything like a puzzle. I have been told that the cabin air filter is under that panel and need to change it. The dealer wants an arm, leg and rights to my first born to do the job which should not be out of my ability to do. The cover is plastic and I don't want to just grab somewhere and rip it out. Can you help
Bill Burton

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  • ingekowals Jan 19, 2009

    I cannot get the plastic panel off in order to clear the battery. The plus side of the battery does not clear the plastic panel.

    We took the wipers off already

    Who can help



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Bill I'm not sure if you've already replaced your battery but it's a relatively easy job. To remove the plastic cover you first must remove the weather strip that runs along the inner edge of the plastic, that just peels right off ( the installation is just as easy as the removal), the plastic cover should now be able to be worked out from underneath the hood. Once that's out you will see your cabin air filter to the right and the batter in the center of the car. If it's an OEM battery you will see a vent hose connected to it on the right side of the battery, ensure you remove both the hose and the small fiter that's inserted in the battery. Remove the battery leads and keep them out of the way as much as possible. Once that's done you will have to locate the retaining bolt and plate found at the front corners of the battery, once removed the battery is free for removal. It's a heavy battery and it's also a tight fit, being that it's on the center line of the car it will be a little tough on your back. So if you have a bad back, I would not recomend doing it yourself.
Yorky63051 got an awesome deal on the battery change, being that an aftermarket replacement battery cost $90, $120 including labor and parts is and awesome deal. By the way you don't need to removed the wiper arms or blades

Posted on Oct 17, 2008

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I had my battery changed at the dealer. $120 includes the battery. I do know all that plastic pannel has to come off, including the wiper blades complete.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008


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Before you remove the cowling, carefully pull back the rubber gasket and windshield washer fluid tubing at the base of the cowling. You can now safely remove the cowling, and you will see the cabin air filter below.
Remove the old cabin air filter and replace it with a new filter.
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Where is the cabin air filter located at and how do i get to it.

It will either be behind your glove box, or will be located under your hood by the firewall.

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  1. Open the glove compartment and remove all the items from inside of it.
  2. Remove the glove compartment assembly retainer screws with a Phillips head screwdriver. Refer to the repair manual for your specific year and model series BMW for the exact location of the screws or carefully look around the perimeter of the interior glove box assembly to locate the screws.
  3. Locate the lower trim panel retaining screws behind the glove box assembly. Remove the screws with a Phillips head screwdriver and then remove the panel.
  4. Remove the foot-well air duct.
  5. Loosen the retaining screws of the control module box to all you to lower it down.
  6. Turn the cabin air filter panel retaining knob counterclockwise to open the panel. Pull the filter removal tab outward to remove the filter.
  7. Use a shop vac to clean out any noticeable debris from the cabin air filter housing interior.
  8. Insert the new filter and reverse the order to reassemble the foot-well air duct, the trim panel and the glove compartment assembly.
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  10. Open the hood and locate the cabin air filter housing. The housing is located near the cowling on the top section of the firewall. Some models place the housing in the middle of the cowling, on both sides--left and right--of the cowling or on the passenger side cowling. Removal of the cowling and placing the windshield wipers in the upward position may also be required on certain models. Some 7-Series BMWs place the filter housings on both the left and right side undercarriage of the hood.
  11. Release the cabin air filter duct clamp. This can either be released by unclipping the air filter duct by pressing a retaining lock with your fingers or using a flathead screwdriver to pry off a retaining rod.
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  13. Remove the cabin air filter from the air duct. Vacuum the air duct with a shop vac.
  14. Insert the new cabin air filter(s) and reassemble.

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Be careful when pulling it out, as it may have leaves and acorns or fur all over it. Simply slide in the new filter and you're done.

You'll be surprised at how much better it'll smell, and how much harder your A/C and heat will blow without the constriction of a dirty filter.

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Good luck!

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