During the autumn months don't you all get fed up with having the dead crispy leaves blowing through the fresh air vents into your nice clean car, which you have just spent hours over the weekend cleaning? Do you also suffer from hay fever in the spring and summer months, and have to drive around with itchy eyes and a runny nose, when there is never a hanky handy is there, except for the inaccessible one in your pocket under the seatbelt! This article will deal with the fitting of the fresh air filter to the Golf/Jetta 2. V.A.G. used to market a dome shaped filter until last year for the Golf. This was a replacable item with a life of about 12 months, but at a quite substantial cost, in the order of £40. That was not all though, as the filter housing was also required for the first fitting, at about £10.
Well there is now another solution in the form of fresh air cabin filter from Knecht, which I am glad to say is at a substantial saving over the V.A.G. item. The Knecht item comes in two varieties, one which is a complete kit comprising the filter element and the plastic housing, and the second is just the filter element on its own. To fit the filter kit is a simple operation, requiring about 15 minutes, with the aid of a pair of pliers and a vacuum cleaner!
1) Open the bonnet, if you are one of those people who leaves the garage to do everything then you will find the release catch to the right of the drivers' leg when sitting down, but read the rest of this article first as it might be too much for you anyway!
The fresh air entry point into the car is under the plastic housing covering the scuttle at the back of the engine bay, on the right hand side when standing in front of the car.
2) Remove the rubber weather-strip on the engine side of the cover, which goes all the way across the car and put it in a safe place.
3) With the pair of pliers carefully remove the metal clips which hold the back edge of the plastic housing onto the metal rain channel, but beware as the clips can spring away to be lost forever.
4) Carefully pull up the front edge of the plastic housing, which might still have some metal clips on it, without using too much force as the plastic is quite brittle. The whole housing should now be loose and take it out of the car, and put it to one side.
The leaf trap should now be visible on the right of the scuttle. There will probably be quite a number of leaves and rotting gunge in the scuttle area. Use the vacuum cleaner, or a nearby hand, to remove these items.
5) The leaf trap can now be removed, by pushing down on the middle of it with one hand, while at the same time use your free hand to move the catch on the right hand lower edge of the trap towards the side of the car. This might be tricky as the catch is quite stiff. The leaf trap can now be removed from the car, and store it somewhere safe for re-installation when you want to remove the filter housing.
Move the aerial lead to one side when you go to put the filter housing in. The lead will go across the top of the filter when that has been installed.
6) Remove the new filter kit from the box. You need to remove the catch from the leaf trap and transfer it on to the filter housing. Place the filter housing into the scuttle in the same manner as the leaf trap, the side with twin cut-outs go on the left, and push the clip firmly in.
7) Now place the filter element into the installed housing. It can only go in one way and the release clips go at the back of the housing, it would have been a better design if they were at the front.
8) Refit to plastic scuttle housing in the reverse order of removal. It might now stick up a bit more than it did at the filter end. Don't worry about this as there is some spare room available when the bonnet shuts. Before the rubber weather-strip is installed, try the windscreen wipers out, as they might now click as the mechanism rubs on the plastic scuttle housing. If this is the case move the plastic housing a bit and try it again. Reinstall the weather strip.
Before you close the bonnet remember to remove all items from the engine bay.
If you, like myself, managed to split the plastic scuttle housing during your filter fitting fear not because a new one should readily be available from your local V.A.G. dealer. The new item is also much more durable than the original item, as it is made of a much thicker and tougher plastic. The small housing over the E.C.U. is also available, and this too is made of the new material.
The part numbers for these two items are:
E.C.U. cover = 192905399A Cover
Scuttle cover = 192819415C Deflector
Best to phone up the dealer and check the parts prices, as these will be out of date now.
A replacement element is also available for the Golf 3 + Vento with factory fit fresh air filter.