Okay, as you may or may not know, the '96-'00 Civic came with a cabin air filter... Just not in the US. Don't ask me why, but though our USDM Civics with air conditioning have all the equipment to have a cabin air filter, we do not have the actual cabin air filter assembly, nor is it listed in the USDM EPC for our cars.
But, this is how you can make your '98-'00 Civic have a cabin air filter. '96-'97 models do not have the same assembly and cannot do this mod so easily!
The following photos are of a USDM 1998 Honda Civic EX coupe. Other years and trims might have slight differences.
Phillips Tip Screwdriver
10mm Ratcheting Wrench/Socket
8mm Ratcheting Wrench/Socket
Needle nose Pliers
Cabin Air Filter Parts*:
- '97-'01 CR-V / '00-'06 Insight Cabin Air Filter
--- US Honda Part No.: 80291-ST3-E01 - List: $21.98
--- EDM Honda Part No. (Civic): 80291-ST3-505 - List: $21.98
--- Bosch Part No.: P3753 - List: $19.99
- '97-'01 CR-V / '00-'06 Insight / '96-'00 EDM Civic Cabin Air Filter Frame
--- Honda Part No.: 80292-ST3-E01 - List: $13.74
* I'd recommend you purchase these parts all separately instead of as a full filter assembly. The list for the full assembly is $55.93, while the parts separately which make up the assembly cost a total of $39.25 for some reason.
*NOTE* You can skip some of the panel removal if you happen to have a ratcheting 8mm wrench.
First, you're going to have to pull off your driver's side knee bolster panel. There's a screw above the coin pocket towards the door, and one on either corner of the bottom of the panel. There will also be one in the top corner next to the center of the dash. Once all those screws are removed you can pull the panel off. There will be a few metal clips along the top of the panel.
Then drop the glovebox by pushing the sides in to let it clear the frame it fits into. You can just let it hang there if you wish, or you can remove it by removing the screws at the bottom of the box.
Now get to work on the screws and bolts holding the 12 volt panel on above the cup holders. There will be a screw or bolt in each of the four corners (the lower glove box side corner will have a 10mm bolt) and then two screws right above the 12 volt plug. In the photo the 12 volt panel has been replaced with an ashtray and lighter, but the hardware is still in the same locations.
All of that just to get to one 8mm bolt (which is behind the center part of the dash, shown in the first color photo below).
Remove the screw at the top of the trim piece on the right side of the glovebox. There are three metal clips holding this piece on, so it might take some muscle to take the panel off.
If you haven't already, remove the 8mm/Phillips tip bolt in the lower left side of the glovebox frame. Then remove the 10mm bolt, plus the 8mm bolt near it which was just behind the 12 volt panel.
Remove the two 8mm bolts and the 10mm bolt from the lower right side of the glovebox frame too.
Make sure you're holding onto the metal bar and glovebox (if you have not removed it from the bar) so that no damage is done when you remove the last bolt on the bar.
You will see a tall black rectangular piece with a handle sticking out. This is the evaporator lid. Use needle nose pliers to pinch the white clip holding the wire harness on. The clip on the right might be easier to unclip if you use a flathead bit to press the edges of the clip in because of the lack of space. Then remove the screw that is holding the metal bracket on right in front of the evaporator lid.
Lift the edge of the top of the lid up and then do the same on the the bottom.
There it is. That's where the cabin air filter sits. It might be obvious that now would be a good time to clean that out. To the left you can see the metal evaporator. I used a bottle brush to remove the debris from the mesh and then carefully vacuumed it all up.
Put the filter into the frame, making sure that the air flow directions match.
The '97-'01 CR-V / '00-'06 Insight cabin air filter assembly will fit in here perfectly.
Once you install the filter, assembly is the opposite of disassembly.