Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hyundai Santa Fe Cabin Air Filter

Installing a cabin air filter for the Hyundai Santa Fe.

I have a Hyundai Santa Fe (2002). During the fall season, somehow dry leaves falling off the trees would find their way into the AC blower of my car. This would lead to an irritating ticking noise whenever the blower was on - which made the leaves and seeds fly around hitting around the insides of the blower. To clean it out the auto mechanic used to charge me about $45 each time.

So when the last time leaves got into the blower area, I decided to go after them myself. When I took apart the panels on the passenger side of the car, I found that there was an empty slot where all the leaves had accumulated - the slot is located between the blower motor and the A.C evaporator. After looking around on the web a little - I found that the slot had a purpose - at least in other cars that Hyundai made (like the Sonata) - it takes a cabin air filter. For some unknown reason Hyundai decided that the Santa Fe's (at least the ones sold in the U.S) don't need the cabin air filter. Luckily this is easy to fix. All you need to do is order the cabin air filter for the Sonata and it fits perfectly into the slot.

Also, Hyundai has a service bulletin that goes into just this topic of installing the cabin air filter.

Part information:

Cabin air filter can be installed only for Santa Fe's built 2001 or newer.

Santa Fe's 2001 to 2003: OEM part number - 97619-38100 - (1 piece particulate/paper type filter) (2003 models can be fitted with 97619-3D000)

Santa Fe's 2004 to current: OEM part number - 97619-3D000 - (Beginning on March 29, 2003, a new 2 piece cabin air filter was phased in as a running change to improve serviceability)

The typical service interval is 12,000 miles or 1 year, whichever occurs first.

A major benefit of the filter (if installed) is that it reduces the possibility that mold and mildew may accumulate on the evaporator. Particulate debris becomes trapped in the replaceable filter and is removed from the system during routine maintenance. Unwanted odors may also be remedied by replacing the air filter.

Here are the steps:

PC061113 PC061114

Part 97619-38100 bought from (For more info look at the end of this post of how to search for this part on RockAuto's website)

An important point to note about the above pictures is the handle that occurs in the middle and the peg that is at the bottom if the filter. The handle is the front side of the filter and the peg represents the bottom.

Tools needed:


  • Philips screw-driver
  • Wrench - 10mm
  • flashlight- to look around the dark nooks

The panels and glove box are held in place by

  • 5 philips head screws
  • 2 10mm nuts

The cabin air filter slot is accessed by removing the glove box and glove box housing.

1. Removing the glove compartment box:


Open the glove compartment and remove the tape that holds the retention cord in place - found on the right side of the box. (Stick the tape some safe place as you will need it later).


From the inside of the box, thread the plastic piece through the hole. This will release the glove box from the retention cable and the box. The next image showing the peg on the right side wall of the glove box. A similar peg exists on the left side wall. By pressing the wall in wards - you will be able to swing open the glove box. (Empty your glove box before you perform this step - otherwise you will have a mess to clean up).


Swing open the cabin box so that it rests on the floor.

2. Removing the side panel:

Next to remove the side panel, unscrew the philips screw that is at the bottom of the panel.



After the side panel has been removed.

3. Dismantling the glove box:

Remove the 2 nuts that hold the glove box in place. After removing the nuts just pull the glove box forward and it should come loose.


4. Removing the glove compartment panel.


Remove the 4 philips screws indicated in the above image. You should be able to pull the panel forward and this will give you access to the blower and evaporator compartment which is behind this panel.


Another view of the glove compartment panel.

5. Getting access to the cabin air filter compartment.:

The cabin air filter compartment is located right behind the panel that you just took off.


To remove the door, look just under the door, there is a latch like mechanism that you need to pull down and then towards you, which will open the door.


The above mechanism shows the latch mechanism found at the bottom of the door.

Once you have opened the door, take your flash-light and look around - you just might find some treasure. If not, this might be a good chance to clean out the dust that has built up in this compartment (a vacuum or a wet tissue will do the job).

6. Installing the cabin air filter:

Once you have opened the cabin air filter door you will get access to the air filter slot.

If you have a filter already installed - remove it gently, otherwise you might spill the dust accumulated on it into the compartment and double your work.


The cabin air filter compartment is the slot in the middle.

Insert the cabin air filter and push it all the way back. (Remember to keep the peg on the air filter towards the bottom of the compartment, otherwise the door will not close properly).


7. That's it - you are done. Now reverse the above set of steps to put everything back together.

Remember to tighten the nuts and screws, otherwise the panels and the box might rattle when you drive.

Some things to remember:

1. I am not an auto expert - so some of the terms and steps might be wrongly described. Use common sense.

2. These steps were generated on my 2002 Santa Fe. The steps will be slightly different on other models. Also on later models - the air filter is 2 pieces and not 1 like the one used in my car. Also there might be glove box light wiring that you might have to disconnect - note the color of the wires and as to how they are connected.

3. The final word is that I am not responsible for you blindly following the steps. This is just a GUIDE.


Purchasing the Cabin Air Filter from

If you go to the RockAuto website, there is a link to search for parts. Follow the link and insert the part number and hit search. This will bring up "OEM Part # 9761938100A {one piece #9761938100}", this part works perfectly for the 2001 and 2002 Santa Fe cars and at less than $14, it is the cheapest I have found.  If you need the cabin filter for 2003 or newer, you can instead use RockAuto's catalog. (Search for your car and year and then drill down the tree via Heat & Air Conditioning -> Cabin Air Filter). The after market filters cost less than $20 and RockAuto charges approximately $6 for shipping. After my positive experience with them - I highly recommend RockAuto for your car parts.

Update: Here is a discount code for shopping at RockAuto (gives you additional 5% off - valid until Feb 18, 2008): 868821767880

More Information:

The HMA service website is an excellent site to get more information and help with this installation as well as any other issues you might have with your Hyundai cars. The site requires that you register. Its definitely worth it. Highly recommended.


Anonymous said...

where can i purchase this common sense?

Anonymous said...

Chuck Norris doesn't need a guide. He just roundhouse-kicks common sense in the face until it gives up.

Anonymous said...

Thank for the info. I will replace mine that does come in my model and save 100 bucks service bill from a mechanic. By the way, anoymous probably will pay the mechanic the 100 buck since he is spending all his time watching Chuck Norris movies. Talk about a brain drain.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I paid the dealer 50 dollars for mine the last time. Part only. Looking forward to saving some money next chance. Thanks again for the detailed discription.

Smith said...

good post