Why you should replace your cabin air filter
What is a cabin air filter? A lot of people don’t know what a cabin air filter is, let alone when to replace it. When a car comes to our shop, we try to check the cabin air filter on every car that is equipped with one, no matter what the problem is. Cabin air filters started appearing on cars in the late 1980s and more and more models are coming equipped with them now. Cabin air filters are installed in the vehicle’s climate control system and filter the air before it enters the blower motor. These filters remove much of the pollen, dust, and other contaminates in the air. They help to keep us healthy and our lungs clear by ensuring the air coming into our cars is clean.
The reason we check these filters is because the air that is blown throughout the vents can be significantly reduced by a partially or fully blocked cabin air filter. We have had cars come in with the complaint of the heater or air conditioning is not working very well. We have found some very dirty cabin air filters causing poor air flow and reducing the amount of heat and/or cold air that is allowed into the car. Many times, when newer cars have air conditioning or heating issues, the true problem is in the cabin air filter, a part that can be easily forgotten. A dirty cabin air filter means dirty air coming into the cabin, which is obviously bad for the driver and passengers. It’s also bad for the air conditioner, because its motor will have to work harder to cool the air, leading to many more problems. It’s commonly recommended for a change every 15,000 to 25,000 miles.
Most cabin air filters are located behind or below the glove box. Some are very easy to replace, and some can take 45 minutes to replace. The cost of the filter is about $20 and we do not charge labor for the easy-to-replace type.