Just got done replacing the cabin filter with a little help from one of the threads on here. Thought I would post a more detailed "how to". Its easy, relatively quick, so don't pay someone to do it.
Torx T25 screwdriver
needle nose pliers
flat head screw driver (optional to help pry "c" clamps)
The cabin air filter is located in the passenger footwell right above your left foot if you were sitting in the passenger seat. To access it, just remove the cabin trim right below the glove box:
1. remove (3) Torx T25 screws right along the bottom of the glove box hinge area
2. Carefully pull the trim down from the front. Don't pull all the way because you need to disconnect 2 wires first before fully removing it.
3. Use needle nose pliers or if you have dextrous fingers, carefully remove the footwell light connector on the right, then the left hand side is a sensor of some sort. Remove that too.
4. Once both wires are removed, carefully move the cabin trim down further and lift it out. It will be tucked behind the forward footwell carpet.
5. Once out, you will notice a white sliding plastic connector on the bottom of the cabin filter. The filter sits vertically with the squared off plastic at the bottom and it is roughly at a 45 degree angle to the center console.
6. Slide the plastic piece toward you until it releases.
7. Now you have to remove 2 small "C" clamps on each end of the filter before you slide it out. These 2 small metal clamps might need a little coaxing so carefully use a flat head screwdriver to loosen them. Be careful not to bend them, just pop them off. Also, careful with the rear clamp so that it doesn't pop off and go down behind the carpet.
8. Now you can easily slide the filter out. Just pull it straight down.
9. Remove the sliding plastic white piece and put it on the new filter.
Ok Time to reverse the process and finish up!
10. Slide the new filter in and slide the plastic white connector to secure the filter.
11. Replace the "C" clamps.
12. Now the filter is secured, put the cabin trim back in. Tuck it behind the carpet, and push it up.
13. Reconnect the footwell light and sensor wires. Close the door once to test the light.
14. Push the trim back up and screw in the (3) torx screws.
And you are done! Turn the car on, run the A/C to test.
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It is a pain in the *** to change. You need to really push hard in an upward direction on it to get it to seat while locking the clip. If you have any whistle noise in your cabin it will be a lose cabin filter. MB has had this dumb design for at least 10 years. My '04 E500 was the same.
El Cid: This is nothing compared to changing a headlight bulb on an Infiniti... which involves removing the entire front bumper cover, grille, wheel well cover, a few mechanical components, the entire headlight assembly. THEN you can change the bulb and try to put everything back together. It's about a 2.5 hr job.
I don't know that changing the E-Class air filter is all that bad. Step-wise it's no more complicated than changing the air filter in my Infiniti, which is located in the glove box, but requires removing the glove box, cassette deck, a few wiring harnesses, etc. What makes this job a pain on the E-Class is the location. Trying to work on anything in the footwell generally sucks. Still simpler than changing it on my M45 though.
Buy the improved Mann design filter with the foam seating element instead of the compression flap. Your whistle will be gone. I can't stand driving a luxury car with noises like that.
The one I got was cuk 29 005 by Mann filter, is there a different one? Could you give me the part number so I know which one to get next time? I've learned to deal with it but know what you mean, it's annoying and really shouldn't be there. I'll probably change it again before warm a/c weather comes back. The moldy smell is also a bit embarrassing.
The cabin filter is on the B schedule, so every 20K miles. I usually do it on that schedule which for me is bi-annually. It is the only filter now, so if you want to change it more regularly due to a harsh environment (dust) I would do it. In the past there were two filters, side by side at the glove box and then an additional one at the intake in the engine bay, so maybe the protection was better.
I did the replacement on mine at 30K after 10 months. It was pretty painless, except for putting the small clips back on. The parts guy told me most don't even bother with putting them back on but as **** as I am, I did anyway.