We’ve noticed recently that the interior of our 2001 Chevy Tahoe has been smelling pretty musty. We cleaned all the carpets, but to no avail. I was then reminded that the last time this smell appeared, it was time to change the air filter that protects the HVAC system in the cabin. It’s a pretty simple job, and one that should be identical on all 1999-2006 GMC/Chevy Sierra pickups and all 2000-2006 Tahoes, Suburbans, Yukons, and Denalies.
There are two identical filters in the compartment. Remove the first by pulling it downward out of the filter slot. The second filter is forward of this one, so you’ll have to slide it rearward (toward the opening) before you can slide it down & out. In my case, a small handful of leaves & debris had worked their way down into this compartment and gotten trapped by the filter. I used a stick with a wad of tape on the end to clean all the debris out of the filter slot.
This is the second time I’ve replaced these filters in 12 years. They’d gotten pretty dirty, so I was probably overdue for this job. I imagine the recommended replacement interval depends a lot on the conditions in which you drive. If you spend a lot of time on gravel roads, this might be a semi-annual maintenance job.