F10 cabin filter airflow direction and does it really matter? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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F10 / F11 (2011 - 2016)
The sixth generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) was produced from 2011 - 2016 with LCI updates arriving in 2014. In the US BMW offered a hatchback 5 Series Gran Truismo (F07) and the rest of the world also go a Station Wagon/Touring version F11.

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  #1  
Old 12-09-2017, 06:15 AM
Breach Breach is offline
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F10 cabin filter airflow direction and does it really matter?

So finally what is the airflow VAC direction in the F10? I am asking because

- According to YouTube videos and ISTA/D it's towards the interior of the vehicle
- According to the Mann manual and my previous filter (which I've installed so I may have put it wrong) it's towards the engine bay.

(By direction I mean the direction in which the arrow is pointing)

Anyway, does it really matter for these vehicles? There are filters which have a support mesh on one side, but these filters look the same to me on both sides?

Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:09 AM
Simon-Munich Simon-Munich is offline
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Towards the interior of the vehicle. The Man document is wrong. It is known
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:14 AM
Almar48a Almar48a is offline
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Good luck changing that filter. It was a 4 hour nightmare for me. But I'm also a big person. Wound up messing up my knees from it. damn beamers!
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:27 AM
Breach Breach is offline
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Thanks guys. Then I've done a proper job.

4 hours?! Yes, I hate changing this filter, it's a god-awful design, requiring circus-grade calisthenics. Especially with one of the housing screws. But it took me something like 20 mins? 4 hours, gee...
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:16 AM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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Like Simon said the manual is wrong. However, if you installed the wrong way nothing bad will happen. No idea how it took 4 hours. I think I did mine in 30 minutes. Best to get a pillow and lay on your back through the door.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:19 AM
Almar48a Almar48a is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breach View Post
Thanks guys. Then I've done a proper job.

4 hours?! Yes, I hate changing this filter, it's a god-awful design, requiring circus-grade calisthenics. Especially with one of the housing screws. But it took me something like 20 mins? 4 hours, gee...
yeah it was hard for me to manuver around plus there were only 2 videos on youtube showing how to do this, so that 4 hours included me watching videos and searching online for info, sitting and thinking about life, crying... And I did all that just to see that the old filters were not even that dirty...next time i'll pay someone to do it.

Last edited by Almar48a; 12-09-2017 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 12-09-2017, 06:11 PM
NGABMWF10 NGABMWF10 is offline
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For what it's worth my old filter was installed backwards from the dealer. I don't know how long it was like that since I bought the car as a CPO. I haven't noticed a difference since I changed it.

I recently installed a Mahle OE replacement and found each side of the filter is different based on the color (one side darker than the other). I also found the BMW filter was also made by Mahle but seemed to be the same on both side based on color. Not a scientific analysis but does imply some filters can be different.

I recently uploaded a video of my cabin filter replacement on YouTube - look up the channel "NGA AutoTV" and you'll find my video on this.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:43 AM
Breach Breach is offline
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FYI, I've checked with Mann and they confirm - airflow arrows should point towards the interior:

"Good morning

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you on this.

You are correct that the airflow of the vehicle is opposite to the direction of travel.

Unfortunately, there was a slight mistake on the previous manual sent out with the cabin filter FP 2533-2 which has now been amended. Please find attached the new manual, this will match the BMW installation guide.

Apologies for any confusion caused and please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any more information."
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:35 AM
Rick-F Rick-F is offline
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F10 cabin filter airflow direction and does it really matter?

Not really.. These are not high efficiency particulate filters; air flow direction will not make a noticeable difference in the efficiency, air flow or life of the filter. I worked in the engineering department of a large filter manufacturer for nine years-- a primary function was the direct supervision of filter and filter media testing. Some cabin filters will have carbon/charcoal impregnated layer on one side, which will make the two side look different. The charcoal or activated carbon is more of a sales tool than anything else.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:39 AM
Breach Breach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick-F View Post
F10 cabin filter airflow direction and does it really matter?

Not really.. These are not high efficiency particulate filters; air flow direction will not make a noticeable difference in the efficiency, air flow or life of the filter. I worked in the engineering department of a large filter manufacturer for nine years-- a primary function was the direct supervision of filter and filter media testing. Some cabin filters will have carbon/charcoal impregnated layer on one side, which will make the two side look different. The charcoal or activated carbon is more of a sales tool than anything else.
Thanks, that's useful. So the claim that activated carbon coated filters remove odor is more of a gimmick you're saying..?
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