The Shadowy Cabin Air Filter

by | May 11, 2018 | Auto


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It takes a lot of work to keep your car in working condition. Whether you are the kind of car owner who keeps an updated list of maintenance, what needs to be done, and when to do it or the type of car owner who struggles to remember when to get the oil changed, there is one task that may slip under your radar. Unlike the engine air filter and the oil filter, the cabin air filter often goes completely unnoticed.

A Less Familiar Filter

Auto experts will tell you, however, that these filters play an important role in the well-being of your car and the people inside the car. Cabin filters reduce the number of pollutants in the vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t even know that this filter exists. One reason for this is that these filters aren’t installed in all vehicles. It’s only been since 2000 that they have become common on most vehicles.

Keeping Things Clean

The primary function of the cabin air filter is to keep the air inside the vehicle clean. The filter, tucked behind the glove compartment or stashed under the hood, filters the air that moves through the heating and cooling system. This prevents dust, pollen, spores, smog, and other pollutants from getting into the cabin. In some cases, it may keep out nasty bits such as mouse droppings and dirt. If you suffer from allergies or respiratory problems, the filter can help you enjoy easier breathing. That may be very important if you spend a lot of time in your car.

Protecting the Motor

Of course, it can’t do its job properly if you don’t replace the filter regularly. In addition to improving the quality of air inside your vehicle, the cabin air filter can also help prevent expensive repairs. As the filter gets dirty, the A/C unit has to work harder. This may lead to increased strain on the blower motor. Of course, it costs a lot less to replace the filter than to repair or replace the motor.

Knowing When to Change the Filter

How often should you replace the filter? Manufacturers recommend getting it changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or so. If you drive in an area where there’s a lot of traffic and poor air quality, you should get the filter changed more often. If you rarely drive and you live in an area where the air is clean and there isn’t much dust, you may be able to go longer between replacement filters. A good rule of thumb is once a year, but it’s best to check your owner’s manual.

If it’s been a while since you had your filter changed, there’s no time like the present. Protect the blower motor and improve the air quality inside your vehicle. Visit for more information.

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