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      05-09-2015, 08:29 PM   #1
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DIY Cabin Air Filter Change 2011 BMW X3 (F25) 35xi

Hello again everyone. I have another simple DIY I just accomplished.

DIY Cabin Air Filter Change 2011 BMW X3 (F25) 35xi

Parts and tools:
Genuine BMW part $40.24
64 31 9 312 318

Or alternate Mahle filter $35
Or alternate Meyle filter $35



Open the hood and walk to the passenger side .

Gain access to the cabin air filer under the cowling by removing the 8" rubber liner and partially removing the 5 foot rubber liner.

Now you can pinch the cowling access panel to remove. Lift up and take note how the windshield wiper spray nozzle hoses are routed.

Now you can see the filter cover. Lift up at the front and pull towards the front. The rear are not locking tabs but instead "guide pins" so take a peek back there for later.

Assuming you have the new filter, you will see the odd design of the two filters taped together . The taped portion should be toward the front. It does make for a difficult install.

Remove the old filter by giving no care what so ever and just pull out or squeeze together and lift up. The bottom filter sits in place under a front tab, so don't be surprised if you scrape your hand pulling it out.

The tricky part here is not damaging the new one. I found that it was installed like a ">" so I tried to put both filters in and get the bottom back under the inside front tab. I pushed the top filter toward the windshield and was able to use my fingers to get the bottom one seated with some massaging.

The top one just settles in place with no issue.

Put the covers back on in reverse order , WW nozzle hoses, rubber liners, and close the hood. You are done.
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      05-10-2015, 01:09 AM   #2
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Thanks - very instructive. I have X4, but it should be the same.

We have 3 yrs free service in Sweden - at what mileage are you supposed to change filters - yours did not look too bad.
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      05-10-2015, 09:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjalle
Thanks - very instructive. I have X4, but it should be the same.

We have 3 yrs free service in Sweden - at what mileage are you supposed to change filters - yours did not look too bad.
I'm not sure how long it's been in there. My vehicle sent the dealer a notice I needed a new cabin filter, an oil change, and brake flush. I guess maybe two years old. I may have had it changed when I last had my wipers changed. I notice between my two cars that most the intervals are either 1 or 2 years.
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      05-10-2015, 12:48 PM   #4
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Thanks.
About brake flush: there is a long stretch of very steep downhill in the Austrian Alps - about 10 km (6 miles). "All" car manufacturers test their brakes there.
If doing a "tourist descent"= slow driving, there is a risk for brake fluid starting to boil=loss of brakes. The risk will increase with age= water in the fluid.
If you do not plan to go down that road, you do not have to change brake fluid.
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      05-11-2015, 05:04 AM   #5
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Well done here - a really good post.

As to how long - well it depends on so many factors that it is hard to say. The methodology used now is call Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) and attempts to calculate the replacement times of components based on failure. So if you know it is failing after x then you replace at x-10%.

So with brake fluid it is generally around 5 years for the worst case so they suggest 3 years as a safe time. If you change it yourself then every 3-4 years would seem fine too.

With filters it is much more condition related (dusty, hot or city driving?) so is more likely to be an inspection based (say every 6-9 months) and change based on that. Obviously once you have done one you can predict the cycle more accurately.

If someone was to run a reporting service for such items it would soon become a useful resource for everyone??
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      05-12-2015, 12:15 PM   #6
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Nice post! Would not be the same without the pictures..... Will come in handy....
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      05-12-2015, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjalle View Post
Thanks - very instructive. I have X4, but it should be the same.

We have 3 yrs free service in Sweden - at what mileage are you supposed to change filters - yours did not look too bad.
Not sure about the X3 since I just picked mine up but my 2013 135i would only get a free filter every 35k or so. I replaced mine at 20k and suffice to say it was filthy. Guess a lot depends on where you drive but my butt dyno noticed a difference after the swap!
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      05-13-2015, 12:36 PM   #8
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According to service inspection1 and 2:
The cabin air filter ( micro filter ) is under inspection 1 @ 30,000.

Then the engine intake filter ( air cleaner element) is under inspection 2 @ 60,000 and again the cabin air filter ( micro filter).

Inspection 1 isn't again until 90,000.

Also to answer the brake fluid question, BMW inspection 2 says to replace it every two years ( time interval begins from vehicles production date) .

Now we have " condition based service " known as CBS but our X3 owners manual points from one page to another and never answers it specifically. So I looked up the data from before the CBS.
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      05-14-2015, 02:41 PM   #9
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//Mposter, I really like your DIYs. I hope you'll keep them coming. They're so clear and well illustrated. You should do this professionally.
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      05-14-2015, 02:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post
According to service inspection1 and 2:
The cabin air filter ( micro filter ) is under inspection 1 @ 30,000.

Then the engine intake filter ( air cleaner element) is under inspection 2 @ 60,000 and again the cabin air filter ( micro filter).

Inspection 1 isn't again until 90,000.

Also to answer the brake fluid question, BMW inspection 2 says to replace it every two years ( time interval begins from vehicles production date) .

Now we have " condition based service " known as CBS but our X3 owners manual points from one page to another and never answers it specifically. So I looked up the data from before the CBS.
our 4 year warranty is ending soon. the car is gonna be around 45,000km, hopefully they change our engine intake filter even though it's not 60,000km. that one is even easier than cabin filter.
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      08-29-2015, 05:36 PM   #11
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I changed my cabin air filter last week. It's a fairly quick job with the instructions above. Now the AC starts making "popping" noise when switching on/off AC Max. It sounds like some flap is striking open/close.
I checked the air intake duct with flashlight when my buddy was toggling AC MAX. It seems the noise is from a yellow plastic flap flipping up/down.
Do you experience the same? Is there any quick fix?
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      08-30-2015, 10:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jxterma
I changed my cabin air filter last week. It's a fairly quick job with the instructions above. Now the AC starts making "popping" noise when switching on/off AC Max. It sounds like some flap is striking open/close.
I checked the air intake duct with flashlight when my buddy was toggling AC MAX. It seems the noise is from a yellow plastic flap flipping up/down.
Do you experience the same? Is there any quick fix?
I think the flap you are talking about is the one you should be able to see when there is no air filter in there. The Max AC will pull inside air only, so obviously it would close off outside air.
Do you suppose the bottom filter isn't seated correctly and it falls back down after it closes? Or do you think it is just the flap itself may have lost its foam lining to quiet the mating ?
Personally I haven't run into that specific issue.
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      09-01-2015, 05:49 PM   #13
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The foam lining around the air intake opening seems to be all in place. The flap has rubber lining along the edge where it closes. I suppose that works together with foam to seal the opening and reduce noise. However, the flap snaps close instead of gradually closing when MAX is on (not sure if this is normal)and it is making a loud pop sound. Once the flap is closed, it is quite tight and is hard to manually push open. I observed all these with filters removed. The loud wind blow with AC MAX sometimes covers the noise, but most of the time it's fairly noticeable, like a whack on the dash 2 seconds after wind starts to blow.
Now I'm paranoid. It seems everything I replaced on this car so far gives me some sort of problems.
Just to be sure. How would the bottom filter sit exactly? Front end below the front tap and rear end below the three little protruding plastic arms?
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      09-01-2015, 08:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jxterma
The foam lining around the air intake opening seems to be all in place. The flap has rubber lining along the edge where it closes. I suppose that works together with foam to seal the opening and reduce noise. However, the flap snaps close instead of gradually closing when MAX is on (not sure if this is normal)and it is making a loud pop sound. Once the flap is closed, it is quite tight and is hard to manually push open. I observed all these with filters removed. The loud wind blow with AC MAX sometimes covers the noise, but most of the time it's fairly noticeable, like a whack on the dash 2 seconds after wind starts to blow.
Now I'm paranoid. It seems everything I replaced on this car so far gives me some sort of problems.
Just to be sure. How would the bottom filter sit exactly? Front end below the front tap and rear end below the three little protruding plastic arms?
Truthfully I only remember the front tab highlighted in yellow. I would have to remove it again to take a look.
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      09-01-2015, 11:51 PM   #15
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Thanks for taking time replying. I found the problem. The left rotating arm of the inner flap is cracked and broken. Unfortunately replacing the flap would mean replacing the whole actuator unit which around $110 (quote from local bmw shops). I will see if I can replace the part myself.
Hope everyone else' is still holding up. Not sure how this piece can wear easily as I only use AC MAX or re-circulation a few times a year, although the part is plastic.
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      08-23-2016, 12:37 PM   #16
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Here is a video on how to change air filter in BMW X3 F25 xDrive35i.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPH7UCBhA5Y
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