Pollen Filter Replacement for Honda Insight
Here are the detailed directions to replace your inside air filter / pollen filter
You only need the simplest of tools. Two bolts are 10mm, but I couldn't find my 10mm flat wrench handy, so I used an adjustable flat wrench. Life will be easier if you have a 10mm flat wrench or very small 10mm socket with a short depth. The screwdriver is a medium head phillips. The wire cutters are just to cut some very soft plastic. I have even used small bolt cutters, before for this job which were way too much overkill. Even these tiny wire cutters do just fine. The plastic to cut is very soft. It is designed to be removed with cut marks in it already by Honda.
You start by taking out the glove box. You need to remove two phillips head screws under the glove box at the right and left sides. After you take the screws out, you can lift out the glove box. You will laster remove the center console housing.
Next you need to remove the center console piece. This is held first by the top screw and the bottom screw headed bolt and clips. After you have removed the bolt and screw, then with strength carefully pry the center console piece out from the dash. It flexes somewhat, and you may think you will break it, but if you are careful you will not. Work one one portion to get the clips popped off, then move gradually to the other clips.
Here the console piece is pulled out. You can see the wires for the lighter, which you don't want to pull off. You can see some of the many clips which hold it in place. Check to make sure that the wires did not pull out and that the clips are all still on their mounts. If a clip popped off, find it and replace it.
Now you can see both ends of the plastic strut which is directly in front of the metal strut you will have to remove to access the filter box. This plastic piece accomplishes nothing. It is very soft plastic and non-structural. The Honda service manual explains how to cut it out, which is what is described here. Honda even puts notches in the piece to show you where to cut and to make it easier. Why they didn't cut it at the factory is a mystery. Notice the filter box behind the struts.
The plastic is very soft, and even these little tiny wire cutters easily cut it away.
Here the piece has been fully cut through on the right side.
Now cut the left side, using the cutting notches as a guide.
Now both sides have been cut and you can remove the plastic piece as a souvenir. You now have access to two bolts which hold the metal strut in place. These are 10mm bolts, so a 10mm flat wrench is ideal. They are in close quarters. You can can also use a small adustable wrench, but a 10mm flat wrench would be a lot better.
Here is the bolt on the right. You can quite easily pull away the right plastic dash material to get decent access to this bolt. The floppy disc does not come standard with most cars. It only comes in select used vehicles.
The left bolt is a lot harder to access, and this is where you will want your 10mm flat wrench.
If you don't have enough acess for your tool, you can loosen or remove these screws to get this dash area to move out a bit. You will need to remove your radio mounting screws as well.
Now that you have the bolts out, you can slide the metal strut out of the way to get access to the filter box. There is a clip on the bottom of the box front lid.
Pull down on the clip to get the lid off the box. Note the notches which orient the filter, so you do not have to remember which way it inserts later.
Remove the filter box lid. Take the wires carefully out of their clips, remove the filter holder by pulling it out towards you.
If you notice a lot of bugs and stuff falling into the empty chamber as you remove the filter in the filter holder, you may want to give a quick clean to that area. Now you have the pleated filter in the plastic filter holder. Don't damage the plastic holder, as you need it to hold the new filter. Note that the end pleats of the filter fit into the pleat holder at each end of the filter holder box.
Here is a close up of the filter holder pleat slot.
The original Honda filter fit perfectly and had the end pleats at each end tucked into the pleat holder. The replacements filters I have are not perfect. Once I got it to fit perfectly, on this occasion I did not. You may find that you need to squash the pleats or stretch them a bit to get them to fit into the pleat holder of the filter holder box. I always make sure one end is securely inserted, then I work on the other end to get it fit as best as I can. You don't want a gap here, or air will go around the filter.
Here is a close up of the problem I had with getting it to fit perfectly. You can see that the rigit wall of this filter is exactly the right size for the filter holder box, but the pleats end just before the end of the rigid filter wall, so they don't fit into the pleat holder properly. However, even in this case, there isn't any open air gap. A different filter from the sam manufacturer didn't have this problem. It depends upon a rather small variance in where the pleats end at the ends of the rigid filter wall.
You can see that this one was in need of a change. I always notice the big bugs, seeds, and stuff on the bottom right order (as in the photo) whenever I change the filters.
That's it. Just do things in reverse to re-assemble.