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My Volt is being serviced right now and I want to get the cabin air filter replaced since I smell a smell when its recirculating and they said they usually replace it at 22,000 miles anyway (have 23,000+)


$55.95 to replace it


Is that something you normally pay for or should it be no charge
 

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Filters are not covered, but you may need to investigate what is causing the odor. Filter replacement may not solve this problem.
 

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Buy your own filter and replace it yourself. I've done that since the beginning with my 2011.
 

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The cabin filter in the gen 1 is VERY easy to replace yourself. No tools required! The gen 2 on the other hand is a nightmare from what I've read. It requires a socket wrench and an extender to reach the bolts that secure the hatch cover that holds the filter hostage. If you have the tools and the patience, you can do it yourself, otherwise it might be less hassle to let the dealer do it. Entirely up to you though.
 

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Filters are not covered, but you may need to investigate what is causing the odor. Filter replacement may not solve this problem.

Got it. Just wanted to make sure.


I've had my Volt since Jan 2016 and it still smells brand new inside. Just recently though when the AC is on and recirculating there's a weird filter-e smell. Basically that smell when you have the re-circulation off, it smells like that, but with it on.


So hopefully replacing the filter does the trick
 

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The cabin filter in the gen 1 is VERY easy to replace yourself. No tools required! The gen 2 on the other hand is a nightmare from what I've read. It requires a socket wrench and an extender to reach the bolts that secure the hatch cover that holds the filter hostage. If you have the tools and the patience, you can do it yourself, otherwise it might be less hassle to let the dealer do it. Entirely up to you though.
Got it. Just wanted to make sure.


I've had my Volt since Jan 2016 and it still smells brand new inside. Just recently though when the AC is on and recirculating there's a weird filter-e smell. Basically that smell when you have the re-circulation off, it smells like that, but with it on.


So hopefully replacing the filter does the trick
I've replaced my Gen 2's filter. It honestly wasn't that difficult; took maybe 20 minutes. You are correct in saying that you need a socket extender, but my dad had plenty of tools and once I got all the bolts off, it was a matter of pulling the glove compartment out, swapping filters (replacement cost me $17), and snapping the glove compartment back in. Could have been easier, but it wasn't intensive work in the slightest. The glove compartment is lightweight.

For some reason, I still have an odor in mine even after replacing the filter. It's only occasionally, and it only started happening after my car sat in my dealer's shop for 2.5 weeks waiting for a HV Battery Section 3 replacement to come in. It can only be described as a musty organic smell, almost like meat that's gone bad, but nowhere near as pungent.

So, your mileage may vary with a filter replacement. Mine is so infrequent, I'm not really planning on trying to get it fixed unless it gets worse.
 

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I believe that smell is common to air conditioning systems that cycle on and off regularly during summer. My '16 smells musty when I power up in the morning (A/C off) after driving in the previous day's heat. Running the A/C seems to fix it, but I am looking into an air freshener solution....and hoping there are no dead rodents hiding within.
 

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....and hoping there are no dead rodents hiding within.
Yeah, that's what I'm worried about too. I have one of those Febreeze car clip-on air fresheners in my car which eliminates the odor completely.
 

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It may help to have the after blow function turned on, your local dealership can do this in just a few minutes and if you are still under bumper to bumper warranty, it should be done at no charge. The after blow function will help keep the evaporator core dry by turning on the blower motor about 10 minutes after the car is powered off. The blower motor will cycle on and off for about 1 hour, about a minute at a time. By keeping the evaporator core dry, it will reduce the musty smell. Both Gen 1 and 2 have this built in to the car, just needs to be commanded on with a scan tool.
 

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This might help
Avoiding the HVAC "Funk" - The Lysol treatment.

I updated my method in post #15 using Ozium. I quickly changed over to the "traditional" scent which is like lemon pledge.

For Gen 1
How to replace the cabin filter (video)

The cabin filter
Stock type: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015JUMR60/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I2V3MFP0PDKG38&colid=19SOQVZYJB9US
Would you happen to know where the air intake is on the Gen 2? I could use the recirc-on method located in the quoted block in that post you linked, but it'd be good to know either way.

It may help to have the after blow function turned on, your local dealership can do this in just a few minutes and if you are still under bumper to bumper warranty, it should be done at no charge. The after blow function will help keep the evaporator core dry by turning on the blower motor about 10 minutes after the car is powered off. The blower motor will cycle on and off for about 1 hour, about a minute at a time. By keeping the evaporator core dry, it will reduce the musty smell. Both Gen 1 and 2 have this built in to the car, just needs to be commanded on with a scan tool.
Will any scan-tool do, or does it have to be the proprietary GM one? I have Torque and have successfully managed to send non-polling commands to my Highlander Hybrid with it (commanded HV battery fans 100%), so if I got the code to turn this on, I could in theory do it myself...
 

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Would you happen to know where the air intake is on the Gen 2? I could use the recirc-on method located in the quoted block in that post you linked, but it'd be good to know either way.


 

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The cabin filter in the gen 1 is VERY easy to replace yourself. No tools required! The gen 2 on the other hand is a nightmare from what I've read. It requires a socket wrench and an extender to reach the bolts that secure the hatch cover that holds the filter hostage.
Rather than a socket wrench with extender, it's easier to use a socket driver:



If you have a socket wrench set, it probably comes with a driver. A socket set is really useful for anyone who does any sort of repairs around the house or on cars. Buy one for $30 and you save the $30 the dealer will charge you to replace the cabin air filter every year. (Doing so yourself, by the way, is not at all a nightmare - there are step-by-step instructions on this forum, and it's quite easy.)
 

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Filters are included in some service packages. My ELR, for example, has a 50k-mile service package that includes cabin filter specifically and all other filters and oil changes (plus other things).
 

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I think you can probably get the filter aftermarket for cheaper too. It's not a hard thing to replace if you have the tools handy.

I always had odor issues if I didn't turn on the HVAC. Even with just outside air or recirc on and HVAC off for defogging the windows, there was always a slight odor. I usually turned on the HVAC and then set the desired temperature to as close to the outside temperature to avoid HVAC actually trying to heat or cool the cabin air. This way, I still got defogging but without a major hit to EV range.
 
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