P38 Pollen Filter Replacement
Pollen Filter Benefits
Drivers of other 4X4s and particularly older Land Rover models often make fun of the pollen filters used in the Range Rover 4.0/4.6 to eliminate dust and other particles from the air coming onto the vehicle. I enjoy their jabs, for I know that in my experience these filters are worth their weight in gold on off road trips. This is especially the case when in convoy with other vehicles on dry dirt or gravel roads -- I can drive right behind any other vehicle and not breathe a speck of dust.
Replacing these filters is part of the routine maintenance schedule. It might be easily ignored by many owners who do their own maintenance, but the filters do get clogged and the replacements are inexpensive -- only about $10 each from the dealer. Furthermore, the replacement operation is very easy.
Officially, replacement is recommended at 30,000 mile intervals, but an ex-dealer mechanic, Chris Schaeffer, told me they should really be replaced much more often (every 10,000 or even more frequently if you get a lot of dust). Replacing them keeps the strain off the air conditioning blower motors and avoids having the relay terminals burning out in the engine compartment fusebox. If this does happen to you, see the fusebox repair page. The photo below shows how dirty they can get even in normal street use, because they have such fine filtering properties. It is salutory to realize that all that dirt they trap is what you would otherwise be breathing in. The photo above at right (courtesy of Ron Beckett) shows a very clogged pollen filter from a Range Rover whose owner didn't even know about them until Ron told him. (He'd been having his RR serviced by a local non-LR mechanic -- this is typical of the type of experiences owners can get when they are saving money by not going to a dealer or trained Land Rover mechanic!).
Above: Comparison of old and new
microfilters after normal street use
Replacement Operation Details
Kevin Kelly performed this service recently on his new 1998 4.6HSE, and kindly provided the following details and the illustrative photos on this page. He reports that this is one of the easiest of maintenance tasks (he has found it takes over an hour on some BMWs).
The microfilters (Part number BTR8037 -- about $15 each from the dealer or aftermarket sources) are carefully located at the upper left and right hand sides of the firewall (see photo). They are just below the windshield but behind the rubber seal for the hood (bonnet), and are accessed by opening the hood .
To replace the filter elements, all you have to do is take out two
head screws, remove the cover. pull out the old filter and then slide
new filter back in and replace the cover. Be careful to get the new
filter in correctly and the cover on properly -- otherwise a
surprisingly large amount of water can get into the vehicle when
it rains! See the photo of the
with the cover off and a photo of the new and old filter.
Above: Picture showing location of left hand microfilter
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Page revised February 9, 2012