Model 3

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tools for replacing air filter

what type, size of screw driver, and what other panel removing tools do I need for replacing the air filters?

Comments

  • https://www.tesla.com/support/do-it-yourself-model-3#replace-air-filter

    Flat head screw driver and Torx 20
  • > @twcekud_98288231 said: > what type, size of screw driver, and what other panel removing tools do I need for replacing the air filters?"

    I purchased the air filter kit from TapTes.com and included all the tools necessary. While the videos make it look easy, when I took mine apart, I could not get it back together and had to have Tesla fix it. The clips on one of the panels had never been put in, lying on the floor, so no way to know where they went. Additionally the electric clips you have to disconnect would not go back and I didn't want to force it and break them.

    Original filters were in backwards and the removal tabs were not there to pull out but you can get them out in case you run into that.
  • I replaced mine once, I found it straightforward but highly annoying. The hatch is very far forward (much more than videos made it appear) in the compartment, I found myself lying on my back, upper body in the car, legs outside. Cell phone on my chest as a flashlight pointed upwards otherwise there was no visibility.
    The Torx screw is very high up and a bit tricky. I would highly suggest getting a flexible wrench cable extender, something like this: https://www.amazon.com/ABN-Flexible-Extension-Ratchet-4-Piece/dp/B074ZNS1ZC.

    Having that flexible extender made the Torx removal and replacement MUCH easier than it would have otherwise been!
  • “The clips on one of the panels had never been put in, lying on the floor, so no way to know where they went”

    They are all the same and completely obvious. You have no business doing things yourself...

    “ the electric clips you have to disconnect would not go back”

    That’s hilarious, how do you function day to day?
  • Ha. OK, I take apart (and put back together) electronics for a living. I found the whole business simplistic, in the extreme. Yeah, you have to lie down backwards with your head up; so what?
    The Torx screwdriver, yes. It shouldn't be one of those dinky guys, just a good old standard-sized screwdriver, about 6" long. No flexy stuff required. The flat head is to pop plastic rivets, so a standard, 1/4" blade.
    Put a light in: Pop the retainers holding the bottom plastic, use your fingers to take off the couple of electrical connectors. Pop off the panel on the side of the tunnel, using a cloth, maybe, and the flat-head screwdriver.
    With all the plastic removed, remove the screw (I think) clamping down a cable and move it out of the way. It's not immediately obvious, but a little inspection reveals the Torx screw holding the cover of the air filter shut. Stick the Torx screwdriver right in: Turns out that, with the panel removed, the screwdriver goes right in with clearance. As if (wait for it...) it was DESIGNED to have a screwdriver to take out the screw!
    Cover comes off, little paper tab sticks out, pull out one filter, then pull out the other. Put new ones back in, put the cover back on, put the Torx screw in, tighten down the wire clamp again, snap the tunnel panel back in, attach the wires to the two spots where they go, put the plastic panel under the glovebox back on, snap on the retainers, and go on your way.
    Half an hour if you don't know what you're doing, ten or fifteen minutes, max, if you do. No special tools really required.
    Oh yeah: Don't lose the plastic snaps. They're black and can disappear to places.
  • I tend to do thing myself because I'm cheap. I tend not to make things worse by the time I'm done. But does this really need to be so difficult?
  • No, they could have designed the entire car around making the filters easy to change. But then something else could suffer and we'd complain about that.

    Ever change the spark plugs on a Subaru STI?
  • > @lbowroom said:
    > No, they could have designed the entire car around making the filters easy to change. But then something else could suffer and we'd complain about that.
    >
    > Ever change the spark plugs on a Subaru STI?

    1968 Hemi Dart...only 80 made. A good friend of mine had one. The engine was a race-spec 426 Hemi (7.0 L). They had 2X4-barrel Holley carburetors atop an aluminum cross-ram intake manifold rated at 425 hp.

    You had to take the bolts out of the motor mounts and jack up the engine about 6 inches to change the spark plugs.
  • I have a Lotus Elise and you have to take off the rear wheel and liner to get to open the box that contains the filter. Then trying to line up the box after putting in the filter in is nearly impossible to do it yourself unless your arms are 5 feet long so one can reach up through the wheel well and the other can go in from the top of the engine bay at the same time.
  • Heck.. The other car is a Toyota Prius. In order to change the air filter, one has to pop the glove box bottom hinge pins loose, then remove the air shock absorber that keeps the glove box from slamming open, then lift the whole business out.
    Then one grabs a screwdriver, removes the screw deep inside that holds the air filter cover, and then attempt to get the air filters to slide out, one at a time.
    The reverse process is just as good or bad, but it's kind of negative fun getting the air piston back into position.
    I'd say _slightly_ better than the Tesla, but not by much.
  • I had a Prius years ago, I’d have sworn on my model that the air filter replacement was tool free and took all of 3 minutes. Maybe they changed methods on different model years.
  • edited January 20
    > @mem10123 said: > I had a Prius years ago, I’d have sworn on my model that the air filter replacement was tool free and took all of 3 minutes. Maybe they changed methods on different model years."

    Same on the Subaru, easy to change.

    The crazy spot Tesla has put the air filters requiring disassembly the passenger side of the car makes you wonder about other engineering in the car.

    Makes a nice service business.
  • One can only laugh at the fish and his ridiculous propaganda.
  • > @Tronguy said:
    > Ha. OK, I take apart (and put back together) electronics for a living. I found the whole business simplistic, in the extreme. Yeah, you have to lie down backwards with your head up; so what?
    > The Torx screwdriver, yes. It shouldn't be one of those dinky guys, just a good old standard-sized screwdriver, about 6" long. No flexy stuff required. The flat head is to pop plastic rivets, so a standard, 1/4" blade.
    > Put a light in: Pop the retainers holding the bottom plastic, use your fingers to take off the couple of electrical connectors. Pop off the panel on the side of the tunnel, using a cloth, maybe, and the flat-head screwdriver.
    > With all the plastic removed, remove the screw (I think) clamping down a cable and move it out of the way. It's not immediately obvious, but a little inspection reveals the Torx screw holding the cover of the air filter shut. Stick the Torx screwdriver right in: Turns out that, with the panel removed, the screwdriver goes right in with clearance. As if (wait for it...) it was DESIGNED to have a screwdriver to take out the screw!
    > Cover comes off, little paper tab sticks out, pull out one filter, then pull out the other. Put new ones back in, put the cover back on, put the Torx screw in, tighten down the wire clamp again, snap the tunnel panel back in, attach the wires to the two spots where they go, put the plastic panel under the glovebox back on, snap on the retainers, and go on your way.
    > Half an hour if you don't know what you're doing, ten or fifteen minutes, max, if you do. No special tools really required.
    > Oh yeah: Don't lose the plastic snaps. They're black and can disappear to places.

    I guess I was below the standard it took me about 40 Minutes. In my defense I did it on hot day outside and after removing old Filters, proceeded to take them to trash can then went back inside for nice cool glass of Tea before returning to putting new filters back in, and putting it back together. Now once difference instead of flat head to pop the rivets out, I used the Nylon Pry tool that came with the HEPA kit I got.
  • I found it easy enough including the position of the tork screw. One thing I did have trouble with was the emergency speaker connector. It’s should just slide off easily. There really isn’t even a nib to release. The first time I ignored the directions and just left the emergency speaker connected. The second time I got plenty of light and finding no catch I went for it and broke it. Tesla replaced n/c and the new one slides apart easily. I would suggest if your emergency speaker connector doesn’t come apart easily just let the panel dangle. The other thing to be careful of is white clip receivers on the center console panel. I removed the female portion from the center console frame and preloaded them on the panel studs. If you leave them in the frame they can be pushed into the console cavity. Tech noted they are not easily retrieved if you do lose one.
  • I used a "Mini Finger Ratchet" link below and a 1" T20 bit. Worked out pretty well.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0066PHP42/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • Fish is not the appropriate tool for changing the filters. Don't get me wrong, he is a tool, just not the right tool.
  • > @"Techy James" said: Oh yeah: Don't lose the plastic snaps. They're black and can disappear to places."

    Interesting the snaps were white on mine and all, except two, neatly lying on the floor, never installed. Taking apart the car, unscrewing things, removing multiple panels and wiring connections, to put in air filter is laughingly bad design.
  • > @FISHEV said:
    > Interesting the snaps were white on mine and all, except two, neatly lying on the floor, never installed. Taking apart the car, unscrewing things, removing multiple panels and wiring connections, to put in air filter is laughingly bad design.

    This is hilarious you are commenting to me on a quoted from another user. Now mine was black, but I set them in a bowl as I removed them, but that is me being careful to not loose anything. As for the design, I have had several different cars, and I have never had a car where the Cabin Filter was easy access. I actually like the design, because you also can easily spray the Condenser with an A/C Condenser cleaner at the same time. As noted the process was fairly easy and even with a break to get out of hot sun it still took around 40 minutes, remove the break we are talking less than 30 minutes total time.
  • > @"Techy James" said: I have had several different cars, and I have never had a car where the Cabin Filter was easy access."

    Sucks to be you but many make it very easy to change cabin air filter.
  • FISHY is here today, busily disrupting the forums. Public Service Announcement:
    FISHEV is a known troll of several years standing and several user
    names who pushes an anti Tesla narrative. Please
    take his opinions with a grain of salt, avoid any advice he may
    suggest, and do not let him implant any Fear, Uncertainty, or Doubt
    about Tesla or your car into your own opinion.
    It's unlikely that FISHY has a Tesla, or that FISHY is an actual natural human being. There's strong suspicions that the entity is run by a shill farm. Recent changes in spelling, grammar, and word choice make it seem that the entity's been farmed out, possibly to a different country.
  • Not sure where Fish is coming from but are the white clips I was referring to are the ones on the side panel of the center console not the ones on the glovebox. Those are black.
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