Your vehicle uses an assortment of filters to keep your engine running smoothly. One type of filter you may have overlooked is the cabin air filter. This filter actually plays a very important role in helping to filter pollutants from your passenger cabin so you can breathe better. Its sole purpose is to ensure that your air you breathe while you drive is clean. So, what does a cabin air filter do, and how often should you have it replaced? Read on to find out more.
The Cabin Air Filter’s Job
In essence, the main purpose of a cabin air filter is to keep the air inside your vehicle clean and free from pollutants. You’ll find these filters in most cars made after 2000. The filter is usually found behind your glove compartment or directly under the hood or dashboard. When you use your car’s HVAC system, this filter helps to clean all the air that comes into your car. It filters out dust, pollen, smog, and even mold spores. The filter can even catch other nasty things like droppings from animals and leaves. If you have allergies, having a clean cabin air filter is a must. It also helps ensure that your car’s A/C system runs smoothly and prevents the motor from burning out.
How Often Should You Replace It?
There is no real rule when it comes to replacing your cabin air filter. If you don’t drive very often, you probably won’t need to have it replaced for quite a while. On the other hand, if you drive in busy traffic, a large city, or even areas where there’s a lot of dust, you’ll likely need to change it more frequently. A good rule of thumb is to replace the cabin air filter every 15 to 25,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual may have a recommendation for how often you should get it replaced.
The process of changing your air filter is easy but removing it could be a challenge depending on where it’s located. Some vehicles use clips and pins that are a challenge to take off and could break if you don’t know how to use them. When in doubt, bring your vehicle to a professional mechanic who can perform a cabin air filter changeout for a reasonable cost.