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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stopped in to see a friend at the Buick dealer's part department and see if I could find out anything about the cabin air filter, or lack of it, on certain years. I've posted some information previously about there being two different pieces which look like they could hold a filter.

Up until about October of 2010, (from what he could tell on his parts lists) lambdas were built without access to a filter through the glove box. When this changed I don't know for sure, because some earlier vehicles (2007-2008) did have a mesh type filter box in place. If you don't have a removable filter holder, looking behind the glove box you will see a one piece plastic cover which actually does cover the access to where a filter would be. Although it looks like it is screwed in, it is not.

If you have a later built 2011, you may have a removable filter holder. Behind the glove box you will see something very similar to the fixed one piece cover, but yours will have two tabs on top, and two tabs on bottom. Yours will pull out by pressing these tabs, and you should have a filter. I'm not sure if you have mesh under the filter, or if the tray just holds the paper filter. Now earlier models which have the removable holder just had the mesh screen. One of the members here placed a paper filter on the mesh, and it fit.

So what do you do if you want a cabin filter but just have the fixed piece? Well, according to a GM TSB (10-01-37-002) you can add one by cutting out the center of the fixed cover and sliding a filter cover into the cutout. The TSB calls for filter cover 25837964 and filter 20958479 (or CF179C). I've found the filter cover lists for $39.44 and selling for around $26.53 on the web. The filter lists for $43.96 and I've found for $25.94.

Well, I was thinking after seeing the parts diagram of the 2011 which have the filter holder already, perhaps that piece is different than the one the TSB says to use. I found that piece is called a filter holder 20968419, and it lists for $17.54 and sells for $11.80 on the web. It looks like it would work the same as the more expensive piece does that the TSB is calling for. Always wanting to save a few dollars, I went ahead and ordered the second piece instead of the one called for in the TSB. There is a limited supply of them in the GM system right now, but the dealer I ordered it from on the web should get it in about 4-5 days.

There are numerous postings showing pictures of everything I've mentioned here, and I've posted where I think the fixed cover has to be cut out to get the filter holder to work. I am planning on using an xact-o knife to cut out the piece, instead of any power (dremel) type tool to prevent debris getting into the air duct system. I will post pictures once I get the parts and the project started.

Since this applies to all lambdas, I am going to post this on the other boards also because I've seen that not everyone checks all the boards.
 

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Good info, I'd be interested to see pics of the mod. I may want to add it to our 2011 (built 7/10) because it doesn't have a cabin filter.
 

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ohhh nice project.
Curious to see the results.
 

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Please be sure to have pictures in your write up. This is something that I would be interested in adding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I received my cabin air filter parts this morning around 10:30 AM and have it installed now by 12:15PM! :blob:

There were a few hurdles along the way, and I thought for a few moments that the part I ordered might not work :banghead: (recall that I ordered the part I thought would work, not the one the TSB noted). However, in the end everything fit as it should (almost ;D).

I will add pictures, but don't know how to get too fancy by putting a description under each picture of what is going on. Any question, please PM or ask here on the board so anyone else that's interested can benefit.

OK, so the piece to be cut out is behind the glove box door. Open the glove box door and on each side you will see a black retainer. You need to get the door out of your way in order to work on the cabin air filter. These just twist about 1/2 turn and then pull out. Now you can lower the door enough and have room to work. Note on the right side of the door as it comes down, there is a white gear enclosed in a plastic shield. On the door there is a black plastic "rack" which will pull out of the white gear.

I thought I would be able to use a knife or Xacto type knife to cut the plastic, but it is a hard plastic about 1/8" thick. I ended up using a hack-saw blade and just followed the slight indentation you can see in the picture. You must be very careful and follow the 4 round curves in each corner in order to fit your new filter holder. I used a 7/16" drill bit to open each corner, and then cut with the hack-saw. Be careful with the two bottom holes when drilling, because behind each is a plastic "ramp" which allows the holder to slide in and then up. The "ramp" is only behind the two lower corners because it angles up and away from the top two corners. There is a thick vertical piece of plastic in the middle, but you will slice right through that.

I removed the cut out piece and it actually came apart in the middle. The thick vertical piece is actually a slot and holds the two pieces together. I had a little plastic on each side between the holes I had drilled, and the filter holder would not fit until I used an Xacto knife and trimmed the pieces off. If you follow the lines as if you were in Kindergarten again while cutting out the filler piece, you will have no problems! :thumb:

With the piece cut out, you can see the "ramp" fully, and that you are right on above the blower motor fan. I was able to vacuum and use a wet rag to remove as much of the debris out that I saw. I now put the filter into the holder (noting that there is an air flow direction arrow on the filter which should be pointing DOWN to the bottom of the holder) and tried inserting it. I put the filter in by itself, and it fit fine. I measured and everything looked like it should go in with room to spare. I trimmed two high points on the back side of the holder, and nothing worked!

Looking closely, I saw that the screw holder at the bottom was hitting the holder and not allowing it to seat fully. I had to push, pull up, and wiggle the holder to get past the screw holder. Now the four clips which hold the piece in place had to be set. I had to push each corner near one tab to get it to hold in place. The two top tabs set pretty well, but I had to fight the two bottom taps to grab. Although just the two top tabs would probable have worked OK because the piece felt pretty secure, I wanted to get the bottoms set also. A little maneuvering, and I got them set also!

When putting the glove box back in place, tilt it up with the black plastic "rack" inserted into the plastic gear holder and white gear. There is a slot on top of the holder, and you can move the holder to line up the "rack" until it feeds in. This gear is what allows the glove box to lower slowly when opening, so you might have to push a little to get the "rack" started over the gear. Now hold the glove box about 1/2 way up, and insert each black "plug" back in place and turn them until they look into place. You will see that the ends of them are angled. These fit into the guide for the glove box door, and prevent it from falling to the floor when you open it.

Sorry if this is so long, but I wanted to explain everything I ran into if anyone else does this. I also think that if you are not all that mechanically inclined, you can do this mod by following these instructions.

Good luck and breathe easier!!!!!! :cheers:
 

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excellent!!!
 

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total cost?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Last pictures. The one picture in one of the posts shows the ragged edges on each end which prevented the holder from sliding in. Those are what I used an Xacto knife to trim neatly to allow the holder to slide in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
total cost?

The part numbers I used are in the first post. The parts I used came to $37.74 (holder-$11.80 filter-25.94). I could have used an after market filter, but stuck with the GM carbon impregnated filter.

By the way, one of these days you'll have to make a post about how to add good pictures and descriptions with each picture. Right now, I'm still spinning at 33 1/3 RPMs in a MP3 world!
 

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Thanks for the pictures, it looks like I have some money to spend.
 

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seems like ill be doing this soon too.
 

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nice job looks great i will say im glad my 2011 had it from the get go.
 

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The cabin filter 20958479 ($25.94) and filter holder called COVER 20968419 ($11.80) came in yesterday.
Had some time this morning and decided to install the cabin filter and COVER following the instructions provided by ls973800.
Used of a very sharp utility knife (much beefier than an Xacto knife), I was able to cutout the plastic access cover cleanly without drilling or using the hacksaw blade as a primary tool. The center verticle piece was kinda think, this is where I used a hacksaw blade...Just a couple of strokes to minimize the plastic dust. Once the access cover was cutout, it was just a matter of placing the filter in the filter holder called the COVER and sliding it in the access hole. :blob:

It took me less that 45 minutes from start to finish. :rock:

ls973800 - Thank you for the wonderful write up and pictures!!! It was very helpful during my installation. :banana:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, Cruzer! Enjoy your freshly filtered air! :thumb:
 

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Could you tell me what sight you ordered the filter cover from as I have Goggled the part number but nothing has come up
Thank You
want to install one in my 2010 Traverse
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Either cover will work, one is less expensive than the other for some reason. I used the least expensive one, and someone else here used the more expensive one. Results were both the same. This is where I ordered from using the part numbers I've listed below. I did have to send him an email saying that the part number was not showing for the Traverse, but that I wanted it and would waiver any return of "incorrect" parts. They also included free shipping which worked out a little cheaper than elsewhere.

http://www.partswebsite.com/gmpartscenter/?type=parts&start=1&tabdes=1



So what do you do if you want a cabin filter but just have the fixed piece? Well, according to a GM TSB (10-01-37-002) you can add one by cutting out the center of the fixed cover and sliding a filter cover into the cutout. The TSB calls for filter cover 25837964 and filter 20958479 (or CF179C). I've found the filter cover lists for $39.44 and selling for around $26.53 on the web. The filter lists for $43.96 and I've found for $25.94.

Well, I was thinking after seeing the parts diagram of the 2011 which have the filter holder already, perhaps that piece is different than the one the TSB says to use. I found that piece is called a filter holder 20968419, and it lists for $17.54 and sells for $11.80 on the web. It looks like it would work the same as the more expensive piece does that the TSB is calling for. Always wanting to save a few dollars, I went ahead and ordered the second piece instead of the one called for in the TSB. There is a limited supply of them in the GM system right now, but the dealer I ordered it from on the web should get it in about 4-5 days.
 

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Thank You for your quick reply parts are ordered appreciate help bought the cheaper tray no sense wasting money this item should have been included in vehicle but GM saved some money on overall cost :banghead: :

Thanks Again :thumb:
Rich
 
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