2007-2012 Nissan Altima Cabin Air Filter Cleaning or Replacement Guide With Pictures

If the air coming out of your A/C vents doesn't smell so fresh anymore or doesn't blow as hard, you probably need to clean or replace the
HVAC system's cabin air filter element.
Getting to the filter is a little more involved than our Toyota Corolla where you just have to drop the glove box, but the whole process only takes about 15-30 minutes. You'll need a Phillips head screwdriver and a small flathead screwdriver.
Here's the guide - http://www.paulstravelpictures.com/Nissan-Altima-Cabin-Air-Filter-Cleaning-Replacement-Guide /
I'd recommend getting the Purolator brand replacement filter since I was able to verify the correct part number for the 07-12 Altima on both Amazon and Advance Auto Parts.
If the old filter isn't too dirty save yourself some money and just tap out the bugs/leaves/dirt and blow out the dust with a shop vacuum.
-Paul
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Wow, talk about doing it the hard way.
There is no need to remove the glove box or any of the other trim panels you listed.
A micro filter change should take no longer than 5 minutes, start to finish.

http://www.paulstravelpictures.com/Nissan-Altima-Cabin-Air-Filter-Cleaning-Replacement-Guide /
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Rather than being critical how about explaining the easy way to do it.
wrote:

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Two things: 1. Don't take off the kick panel. Its not necessary and it is very difficult to make sure all the clips, etc. that hold it on re-engage properly when you try to put put it back on. If they don't, you start having irritating rattles. 2. These filters are very inexpensive. If you are going to all the trouble of getting the old one out, I see no value in trying to clean it. Put in a new one.
You should be able to change it without even taking out the glove box, but with the box out, you can at least see it. So I would take out the box the first time you do it just so you can find the thing.
It was a big surprise when I got the Altima how deeply buried the filter is after coming from the Honda CR-V where you simply pop out the glove box guides, let the box drop open and the filter is right there behind it.
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