What is a Cabin Air Filter and When Should I Change it?

Cabin Air Filter
The filter on the right has gone a very long time without service.

The Cabin Air Filter, as the name implies, is an located inside the vehicle. Typically underneath the dashboard, inside the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) box.

In most vehicles, you’ll find it behind the glove box sealed under a panel.

The is responsible for filtering the outside air as it enters the HVAC system inside your car. It helps remove harmful pollutants, including pollen and dust, from the air you breathe within the car.

The best ones remove 99.97% of allergens and other harmful contaminants like VOCs, as well as trapping unpleasant odors!

In addition to making the air in your car better for you, it makes the air better for your car’s HVAC system as well! This traps dust and debris so other components like your blower motor, heater core, and core stay clean and the air is able to flow through them efficiently.

What Happens When A Gets Dirty?

Since your traps dust, pollen, and other debris, it gets dirty over time. As it collects dirt, air has a harder time passing through the filter which will decrease the airflow through your A/C vents. It will also put additional stress on your blower motor, since it has to work harder to move air through your HVAC system.

When the filter is saturated with dust and debris, air will begin to find it’s way around the filter rather than through it. That air will carry contaminants to your heater and core, which will begin to clog those as well. Dust buildup on those components can also promote corrosion and lead to failure/leaks.

Should I It?

Your should be changed about every 15,000 to 30,000 miles and checked periodically in between. If there’s visible dirt on the filter, it’s a good idea to go ahead and change it regardless of mileage.

Related posts