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2015 OB Limited 2.5i PZEV MR, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, Nav, Eyesight - Tungsten Metallic
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Discussion Starter #1
OK - this could be considered anal. I replaced my cabin air filter today. When I took the cover off the OEM filter I could see an arrow and the word "UP" printed on the side. But when I removed the filter I determined that the air flows down as all the debris from the outside - pine needles, small pieces of sticks, etc. - was on the top side. The WIX replacement filter has just an arrow and when I've replaced filters on other cars in the past I seem to recall that the arrow indicates the direction of air flow. The direction of the end pleats on the WIX filter also match the direction of the OEM when the arrow is pointing down. It may not make any difference but then why would they put arrows on the filter if it doesn't?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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lol

could just be 'semantics' such that, they KNOW the airflow direction but assume the user only knows up from down, particularly with a new filter, so they TELL you with the word and an arrow.

if an aftermarket unit is offered with just the arrow, I could see a reasonable person not being sure as, like you, I'm accustomed to furnace filters, etc. marking the airflow direction, not up/down or left/right - just airflow.

interesting question.
 

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2015 OB Limited 2.5i PZEV MR, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, Nav, Eyesight - Tungsten Metallic
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Discussion Starter #3
lol

could just be 'semantics' such that, they KNOW the airflow direction but assume the user only knows up from down, particularly with a new filter, so they TELL you with the word and an arrow.

if an aftermarket unit is offered with just the arrow, I could see a reasonable person not being sure as, like you, I'm accustomed to furnace filters, etc. marking the airflow direction, not up/down or left/right - just airflow.

interesting question.
When I first put the WIX filter in I had the arrow going up to match the OEM but then after thinking about it for a few minutes I went back, compared the pleats and then reinstalled with the arrow pointing down.

Like you said - I'm 99.5% sure the arrow indicates airflow direction but it's just that Subaru does it another way and WIX could have been clearer if they had the word "airflow" next to the arrow or at least included directions stating that in/on the box.
 

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2012 3.6R OB Limited - Moonroof - Ice Silver
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I just installed a wix as well and, like you, aligned the arrow with the direction of air flow. I really doubt it matters either way as these appear to be very unsophisticated single layer filters.

BTW, are people really paying dealers $79.99 to install a $12 filter that takes all of a minute and a half to DIY?? I order these in bulk from Amazon and replace them every 12K miles.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Glad I'm not the only one that has gone through this thought process..

I'm with the consensus that the arrow on wix indicates airflow, and it's pointing down on my filter.

But I'll admit, it added a couple minutes to my install time lol
 

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2011 Outback 3.6R Limited
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409 Posts
Just installed one on my lunch break pointing up. Guess I'll be flipping it around before I leave.
 

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2015 OB Limited 2.5i PZEV MR, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, Nav, Eyesight - Tungsten Metallic
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Discussion Starter #7
Here's what my local dealer wants - ON SPECIAL!

If changing the cabin filter costs $75.95 then flushing the coolant must be even quicker and easier if they only charge $49.95.

Edit - I got my WIX cabin filter for just a bit over $14 - including shipping and no tax - on-line from rockauto.com.

 

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188 Posts
I ordered 2 Fram CA9997 engine filters and 2 Wix for cabin for about $45 from Amaz...
Anyone had CA9997 installed? I read some reviews complaining that it doesn’t fit correctly.
On Wix filter arrow pointing down, correct ?
 

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A video of how to change the cabin air filter.

Here is another video from filterheads.com that says to point the arrow down in the direction of airflow for their filters:

Also, I have better luck getting the two sides of the glove box released if I grab the back of the glove box and pull forward firmly (don't jerk it). This deflects (pulls) the sides inward enough to release them and seems much easier to manage.
 

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2020 Touring Onyx XT; 2014 Tribeca
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OMG I really WISH mine was that easy to replace. Can't wait for the financial officer to give the green light on a new outback. I have to compleatly remove the globe box and side trims from the center console all the way to the door in the LGT. luckly the FXT doesn't have cabin filter.

That is also why they charge $76 in that special, for older models like my LGT.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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Here's what my local dealer wants - ON SPECIAL!


WTF!! :gasp: $75.00 for a cabin air filter change. What does he think people are...complete idiots. It took me all of 2 minutes..or less to change mine. That is one h3ll of a labor rate.

Go to youtube, watch the video. Easy peasy...done.

That's highway robbery.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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not unusual I think for places to have a minimum charge - maybe 1/2 hour, or similar. It covers all that paperwork and overhead etc.

Most plumbers are gonna want $80 just to drive to your house.
 

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'03 Outback H6-3.0 Black Granite Pearl, base model with cold weather package and cloth seats.
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WTF!! :gasp: $75.00 for a cabin air filter change. What does he think people are...complete idiots. It took me all 2 minutes..or less to change mine. That is one h3ll of a labor rate.

That's highway robbery.
Mine takes about 45 mins to change, including vacuuming out the filter chambers. A lot of stuff to take out to get to it. Many screws, a connector, etc.

Newer models are much easier and quicker. The coupon doesn't specify which years this does/doesn't apply to.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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not unusual I think for places to have a minimum charge - maybe 1/2 hour, or similar. It covers all that paperwork and overhead etc.

Most plumbers are gonna want $80 just to drive to your house.
Maybe I should have him change it, while he is waiting for parts. Though I should probably give that job to the HVAC guy.
 

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2012 3.6R OB Limited - Moonroof - Ice Silver
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not unusual I think for places to have a minimum charge - maybe 1/2 hour, or similar. It covers all that paperwork and overhead etc.

Most plumbers are gonna want $80 just to drive to your house.
Here's the problem though...we drive to their house. And we know they are only spending maximum 10 minutes to replace the cabin filter. Not only that, rarely do people take their cars in only to have the cabin filter changed. They are usually there for a major 30 60 service, or at least an oil change, tire rotation/balance.

It is nearly pure profit for the dealership. This is a simple case of the dealership preying on uneducated car owners who think it is either a really expensive filter or a very complicated process. Time and materials required for an oil change are far more than that of a cabin filter change, yet the cabin filter change is at least twice as expensive as an oil change.

Something doesn't compute.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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Here's the problem though...we drive to their house. And we know they are only spending maximum 10 minutes to replace the cabin filter. Not only that, rarely do people take their cars in only to have the cabin filter changed. They are usually there for a major 30 60 service, or at least an oil change, tire rotation/balance.

It is nearly pure profit for the dealership. This is a simple case of the dealership preying on uneducated car owners who think it is either a really expensive filter or a very complicated process. Time and materials required for an oil change are far more than that of a cabin filter change, yet the cabin filter change is at least twice as expensive as an oil change.

Something doesn't compute.
fair points - touche'
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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Funny. I just picked up a cabin filter from WallyWorld yesterday. Normally I just shake or vacuum the filter out. My car has been driven hard through a lot of dirt and dust, so it is loaded deep in the fibers and can't be vacuumed out.

Bought the Fram 10825? for about $18 with Baking Soda in it and I noticed the same thing - the arrow indicates airflow and goes in the opposite direction (down) of the Subie filter (up). It made me scratch my head for a second and check the filter a couple times.


The Fram has two fewer pleats than the stocker, so I guess that is equivalent less media and surface area to grab particulate.

$18 seemed steep, but cheap compared to $40-$70. What are those things electrically charged HEPA filters that clean themselves? I guess if they are adding a half hour labor charge to install the thing (30 seconds)- it comes to $75. Filter should be less than the airbox filter, but it ain't.
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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i think the lexus RX350 and the rest of its cousin (CAmry, Avalon, Highlander...etc) uses the same cabin filter as the gen4 OB. I know, this has nothing to do anything we are talking abt. I got my cabin filter fir $12 (I think) at auto zone!
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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In our 2005 OBW....

In our OBW, I purchased a Wix to replace the cabin filter, and when I got it apart as well as humanly-possible, over the course of about 45 minutes, with my wife helping as a second-set of hands, I noticed that the OEM "filter" was just the filter frame to close the opening, no filter material in it at all!

Then, when I realized just how difficult removing that empty frame would be, plus trying to bend the new filter into all manner of configurations just to get it into place, it suddenly dawned on me to just take the Wix back for a refund.

As much as I would have liked the cabin filter, in my mind (and my wife's mind), we both agreed that it was not worth possibly breaking something in order to get it in, and if I couldn't get it in properly I might as well not even have it in there in the first place!

Now, I have a question, which is, am I the only one who has a Subaru with an EMPTY frame as an OEM Cabin Filter? Could I possibly have missed seeing the filtering material (in other words, could mine really have a filter that I missed)?:confused:
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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I believe the filters were an option in early Gen 3 OBs. They offer a kit that cuts a hole behind your glove box and adds a flap to make the installation easier. When they mid cycle refresh in '08 they added a door from the factory and I believe they started making the filter mandatory then. Or maybe the previous owner of your car did what you did and said "screw it, cars have gone 50yrs without filters".

It is MUCH easier to change the filter in my '11 OB than it was in my '08 Legacy, but my '08 had an access door.

edit:
Heres a link about the retrofit kit, with part numbers and everything ;)

http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/05-lgt-ltd-cabin-filter-retrofit-51340.html
 
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