Model Y Owner's DIY Guide to Replacing the Cabin Filter

Part 1: Introduction

According to the official maintenance checklist, the Model Y cabin air filter must be replaced every 24 months. Why the cabin air filter? The Model Y also has a HEPA air filter installed in the vehicle's front trunk. The cabin air filter serves as a secondary filter. I've been driving my car for almost 12 months and 14,000 miles now. I will try to replace it.

Part 2: Preparation

First, you need to purchase a replacement cabin air filter. The cabin air filter for Model 3 and Model Y is universal. Therefore, when buying a filter, you only need to look for the one that fits Model 3. I used Marnana's filter for my car.


It is important to note that the cabin air filter for both Model 3 and Model Y consists of two pieces, one for the top and one for the bottom. Some filters on the market are packaged as a single piece, while others, like ours, come in a two-piece package. Therefore, it is essential to identify which type of filter you have.

Next, you need to prepare the tools. The tools required for this task are relatively simple, including a T20 Torx screwdriver, a 6mm socket wrench, a ratchet handle, and a plastic pry bar, all of which are readily available.

Before starting the task, I referred to the DIY process of Model 3 car owners online to get an idea of the primary process. However, I learned through practice that there are still some differences between Model Y and Model 3.

Part 3: Getting Hands-On

You need to remove two shields to replace the indoor air conditioning filter. One is located below the glove compartment on the passenger side, and the other is on the left side of the center console below the dashboard.
First, observe the shield below the glove compartment. Three screws are holding it in place. The two on the left are plastic pins secured by compression, while the one on the right is made of metal and connected by a thread.

Start by removing the two plastic pins on the left using a plastic pry bar. Insert the forked end of the pry bar under the screw cap and gently pry it outwards to lift the plastic pin. Then, pull it out. If the base of the plastic pin does not come off with it, pull it off with your hand. Use a T20 star screwdriver to remove the metal screw on the right. So far, everything is going smoothly.

After removing the screws, you will find that the shield is still firmly in place. Although the back of the security is loose, the front below the glove compartment pivot is excellent. Three notches here are challenging to loosen, even with a plastic pry bar. Based on experience, there are probably snap fasteners securing it in place. Continue to use the pry bar to loosen the snap fasteners gently. Removing the shield took about 10 minutes of gentle and persistent effort. Compared to the Model 3, removing the shield below the glove compartment of the Model Y is the biggest challenge. It would help if you were
brave, gentle, and persistent.

After removing the shield, you will see a dense row of snap fasteners. Three are responsible for securing the position, and the others are for fastening.

After removing the shield, you need to unplug the wires for the speaker and the small light above it. Use a screwdriver to press in the plug, as shown in the diagram, and then pull out the plug. Now the shield is completely separated.

You can see a car-mounted wireless terminal with an IMEI number hidden behind it. It should be used to achieve the car's 4G network connection.

Removing the velvet dashboard on the left is relatively simple. This panel is made of soft plastic and can be gently pulled outward from the opening at the top by hand. The buckle will come off quickly without much difficulty. The approximate location of the clip can be seen in the picture below. This panel is very flexible, but the sizeable middle clip is more solid. So after removing the hook in the central position shown in the figure, gently pull the panel backward, and the air conditioning filter position will be exposed without obliterating it.

A shining screw fixes the panel outside the air conditioning filter. You can remove the screw with a 6mm socket or a T20 star screwdriver head. Note that the space here is small, and the air outlet on the right side blocks it. It would help if you found the correct position to start. The panel is fixed by a buckle below. After removing the screw of the meeting, lift the board up and outward, and you can take it down.

Finally, the air conditioning filter is visible. First, pull out the top by holding the small tail of the filter. Note that another filter is below, so you must pull the small tail upward and outwa

Surprisingly, the filter used for 12 months and 14,000 miles doesn't look dirty. The intake side (gray) has no foreign objects, and only a little adsorbed dust can be seen after opening it. The supply side (yellow) is even cleaner. This is probably because the outside HEPA filter provided primary filtering.

We have again confirmed by comparing the new and old filters that the cabin air conditioning filters of Model Y and Model 3 are identical.

When installing the new filter, pay attention to the direction. The arrow on the side of the filter indicates the airflow direction and should point to the inside of the car. Our filter can be identified by the honeycomb structure, which faces the inside of the cabin. If it is the original factory filter, pay attention to the yellow side facing the inside of the car.
After installing the filter, put the filter panel, side panel, and glove box lower panel back according to the disassembly process. When installing the lower panel of the glove box, please pay attention to the limit card at the back, align the corresponding position on the board, and then align the front buckle and gently press it back to its original place with your fist. Finally, tighten the three

With this, the DIY replacement of the Model Y indoor air filter is complete.

Part 4 Summary

Due to its dual filtration system, Model Y owners only have to worry about the lifespan of the indoor air conditioning filter if they drive on construction sites or dirt roads every day. Using it for 18 months or 20,000 miles is fine. During my 12-month test period, I frequently went on bumpy dirt roads, and based on the condition of the removed filter, it could easily last for 18 months.

The most laborious and time-consuming part of dismantling is removing the baffle under the glove box. The row of buckles is particularly annoying, especially during the first dismantling. You must be bold and meticulous, apply gentle force, and persevere. This is very different from the Model 3.

Tesla is no longer just a simple means of transportation but also a big toy. Simple modifications or DIY maintenance can help you understand it better, teach you new skills, and save you some money. Let's do it together for owners who love to tinker with their cars!
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