Please see my HCV modification thread below. I did this few years ago and it has been really easy to replace when it goes bad. I don't have the car anymore but thought this mod will help you someway. Also, since this mod, it has only gone bad once due to a minor crack on the plastic and I changed it in 10 minutes using a line clamp set tool (see below) to clamp the hoses.
You could take the wipers and the cover off and try that way. Also, another option is to access through the passenger side cabin filter. There is a side cover that is secured by two bolts, once you remove that there is a little hole to get to the HCV. This is only if you don't want to remove the upper intake to get to it.
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