Cabin Air Filter for Jeep JK 2013
Do it yourself cabin air filter for the Jeep JK 2013. Works best when the blower motor actually moves the air
Cabin Air Filter
We never paid any attention to the cabin air filter in our previous cars. Maybe there was one there and it got changed during the regular service intervals, or not. We got aware of the filter after the Jeep was in for a service. They confirmed with us before they changed the filter, and that was ok. The cost for the filter and labour was something where we could save some money, at least twice a year. And this is how this project started.
The 'Before' and 'After' is reason enough to actually change the filter. Yes, we know, the filter is for the birds when the windows are open and the doors removed. But think about winter with the salt dust in the air, spring with the pollen and all the other times when we drive on dusty forest service roads. We don't always have the windows down, too many biting and blood sucking insects.
A new filter from MOPAR is $12 (Part # 68233626AA) and works ok. For the BOSCH 6009C HEPA, you pay about $36 or more. For the same $36 we get two of the top rated 3M Filters. We get 8 Jeep filters out of one 3M Filtrete 16 x 25 x 1. These filters have a wire mesh on both sides, watch your fingers.
We used the original MOPAR filter as a mold and built a frame around it. We should have reduced the size by maybe 1/8 inch, some of our models are a very thight fit.
The dirty filter on top was one of the initial prototypes where we used a cheaper furnace filter. We put this one in before our trip to Whistler in 2020. The dirt you are looking at is from less than 15,000 km accumulated during September and October. The new 3M filter will stay in the unit until March, just before the pollen season starts. It actually works, we had one in this spring and I did notice the difference in the Jeep.
Insturctions for the DIY Jeep JK cabin air filter
1. Get a 3M Ultra Allergen Filter for about $20 or less.
2. Use the original filter to make a wood frame
3. Cut 8 squares from the 3M filter, or 6 without problems
4. Cut a thin cardboard to stips to make the filter frame. Make them as long as possible
5. Put some wax (or baking) paper insinde, so the glue (filter) won't stick to the wood frame
6. Line the inside of the frame with the cardboard strips
7. Put the 3M filter square inside the wood frame
8. Glue all the sides. Use plenty of glue to seal any open gaps
9. Replace filter in Jeep with this $3 filter for the next years, we change them for every new season
But this is not whole story. Where there is an air filter, there must be a fan.
Replacing the blower motor
It was February 2019 and it was cold. We spent the weekend in Sudbury and the temperature during the day was -10C. When we got up to return home, the engine started fine, but not the blower motor. Some awful squeeking noise and no air movement. There was plenty of hot air from the motor, but it never made it into the cabin. Further south when we reached a more moderate climat like -5C, the motor started working again.
We didn't replace the motor immediately, it was working ok again. In fall of 2019 we ordered a new blower motor from a 3rd party and agreed to a non MOPAR version. All was fine until we found out that the plug was not the same. Out with the new and in with the old. We returned the motor and got the MOPAR version. More expensive, but no hassle to replace.
The steps to replace the blower motor are simple. Disconnect both cables, one for the light, one for the motor. Three screws hold the motor in place. Change the light and control unit from the old motor to the new. Up goes the new motor, tighten the three screws and voilą, it is humming again. Click the image to get a closer look at the unit.
There are plenty of good how-to videos that covers this topic in more details. But none of them pointed out the problem with the connector plug that may not fit. Anyway, we hope you don't have to ever replace the blower motor, but if you do, make sure you get the one with the correct connector adapter.