Tech Tips

Replacing Your Corvette C7’s Cabin Air Filter

by Ken Uliano

As some of you may know, Barb and I have gotten another Corvette. This one is a DSOM C7 convertible. Our other Corvette is a very “user friendly” C5. By that I mean, if you wanted to, you could still tinker with it and do your own limited maintenance, if you were so inclined. Not so with the C7. But I’m a tinkerer… (Is that even a word?)… I like to see how stuff works. So, in my initial investigations with our new acquisition, I found out there were a limited amount of maintenance items I could break… err ahhh… work on. One of them being the cabin air filter.

I’m guessing if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “I’ve got a cabin air filter??? What’s a cabin air filter??? Our C5 doesn’t have a cabin air filter!!! And why do I need to change it?”. So, I looked into it. Here’s what I found…
If you don’t regularly change your cabin air filter, the filter may become clogged with dirt and debris and the efficiency of the filter and your car’s HVAC system will be compromised. The air volume into your passenger compartment will be continually reduced which will lead to the issue of foul odors inside your car. (Not to mention a perfect nesting place for those small unwanted winter invaders that we call mice.)

So, how will I know if I have to replace the filter? Here are just a few of the symptoms or clues as to the fact that it’s past time for filter replacement.
  • The vehicle’s heating or cooling system starts making excessive noise.
  • You can hear a whistling sound coming from the cabin air intake ducts.
  • Airflow is weak, even when the heat or air conditioner is on high.
  • There is a musty odor coming through the air in your vehicle.

So – Where is it???? and How do I replace it???? (You guys ask such good questions… BTW, do you know what the definition of a good question is? Well, it’s any question that makes it look like I know what I’m talking about.) …But I digress.

I’ll now use too many words and too few pictures to explain exactly what I did… but there are SOOO many great YouTube videos demonstrating the procedure and here’s a link to just one of ‘em:
How To Change 2014-2019 C7 Corvette Cabin Air Filter – Stingray Grand Sport Z06 ZR1 – YouTube

Now back to me… Here’s where it is!

Open the hood and look on the passenger side. Hidden behind the dipstick and the oil fill cap you will see this:

C7 cabin air filter 1

And when you move the tubes out of your way, you will see this:

C7 cabin air filter 2

Lift the 3 wire retainers and remove the panel. The Cabin Air Filter lies behind it, sitting on a shelf:

C7 cabin air filter 3

It’s a tight fit, so pull on it to slide it out like this:

C7 cabin air filter 4

Here are a couple of part numbers of very good replacement filters for your C7 Corvette:
  • AC Delco GM Original Equipment Cabin Air Filter – P/N CF197
  • FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda – P/N CF11181

The replacement filter may have an ARROW which will indicate airflow direction but truthfully, it makes very little difference. Now just reverse the process, and you’re good for another year. Well, there ya have it! Let me know If I can help in any way.

And for those of you that want to get all Martha Stewartish… You might think of applying a few drops of your favorite scented oil just before sliding it back in position. Here are a few suggestions:

Balsam Fir: has a soothing and cleansing effect, so you can create an energizing, uplifting environment while getting rid of harmful bacteria, and kinda Christmas-y.

Basil: Floral, crisp scent, can be characterized as airy, vibrant, and uplifting.

Bergamot: It has a sunny, pleasant aroma that’s refreshing and rounded. It’s a wonderful choice if you suffer from anxiety when driving, and it will boost your mental alertness.

Frankincense (Cuz it’s Christmas and 1 of the 3 wise men gave it as a gift): People generally describe frankincense as balsamic, earthy, piney, woody and sweet. It can calm your mind and soul. It has wonderful effects on the memory too, so it may help you remember which turn-off to take when you’re on your way somewhere new. Not to be confused with Myrrh!

But maybe stay away from Lavender: Lavender essential oil is a proven, gentle way to fall into a relaxing sleep. But, It has been known to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, and blah… blah… blah… blah …blah effects. SO… it’s got THAT going for it.



Helpful Hints From Bob Wadyka

Here are some links to interesting YouTube videos about C5 Corvettes. Just some nice basic stuff to know. How to change oil. Replacing parking light and side marker bulbs.



Helpful Hints From Roy Master

Thanks to Bob Wadyka for reminding me to write this helpful hint for C4’s. The left turn signal quit working on my ’87 Vette last week so I figured a bulb was burned out.

I started with the left-rear bulbs with the following process:
• Removed the license plate.
• Removed the left back-up light.
• Reached in through the license plate frame with a small ratchet to remove the two screws holding the right taillight assembly. (Of course, there are two lights on the left – it’s a Corvette.)

• If you do this procedure, tie a string around the wrench because you will likely drop the wrench behind the bumper.
• Have band-aids ready because the space is very tight and there are rough edges.
• After removing the right taillight assembly, you can go through that hole to remove the bulb in the left taillight assembly.

Hey, I did it! I replaced both bulbs. However, @#$%$#@, the turn signals still didn’t work. Okay, now I had to replace the left-front bulb. This looked easy until I found that the bulb socket was stuck from age and there was only a very small space to get my fingers in. I don’t remember ever replacing the front bulbs in the 20+ years that I owned the car.

I removed the horn and then I managed to get my fingers in to remove the bulb socket. Hurray, the turn signals worked!

After replacing the rear bulbs, I read that I could have turned on the emergency flashers to find out which bulb was burned out. Evidently, the bulbs work independently when using the emergency flashers.


Click for Previous Tech Tips