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Hi, it is a regtangular shaped box located behind the glove box. You gently remove the stoppers on both sides of the box and allow it to hang freely on its hinges . Then you will see the filter assembly. The filter elememt rests sideways within a frame that you slide out by gently pressing on the clips at either end....
If it's the air filter for your air conditioner, it's located behind the glove box on the passenger side. No tools necessary....just pinch each side of the box until it hinges completely down so that you can see behind it. Unhook the latch for the cabin filter door, pull it out, replace the old filter, and replace all parts. Done!
If you're talking about the engine air filter, under the hood look for the big black box connected to the tube that connects to the engine. You'll see four (4) screws, one on each corner of the box holding it in place. Remove all four screws and lift the hood of the air filter container up so you can get to the filter. Replace the filter (the shape of the filter will determine how it will fit, you can't mess this one up), put the hood back on the box, and replace all four screws tightly. Done!
I highly recommend doing this yourself as the dealership and most garages will run you over $100 with labor and parts...at Wal-mart both filters cost <$30 depending on your vehicle.
It will either be behind your glove box, or will be located under your hood by the firewall.
Behind the Glove Compartment
Open the glove compartment and remove all the items from inside of it.
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
the lower trim panel retaining screws behind the glove box assembly.
Remove the screws with a Phillips head screwdriver and then remove the
Remove the foot-well air duct.
Loosen the retaining screws of the control module box to all you to lower it down.
the cabin air filter panel retaining knob counterclockwise to open the
panel. Pull the filter removal tab outward to remove the filter.
Use a shop vac to clean out any noticeable debris from the cabin air filter housing interior.
the new filter and reverse the order to reassemble the foot-well air
duct, the trim panel and the glove compartment assembly.
Under the Hood
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.
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.
Lift the cover upward--or downward on hood-installed 7-Series BMWs--to reveal the cabin air filter.
Remove the cabin air filter from the air duct. Vacuum the air duct with a shop vac.
Insert the new cabin air filter(s) and reassemble.
The easiest way is to undo the clups around the air filter casing( some are located underneath) this is the only way to replace the filter, you may need to get under the car to remove the bottom clips.