Cabin Air Filter
A cabin air filter is a maintenance item that is used to keep dust, dirt and other particles from entering the cabin of a vehicle through its climate control system. Made of paper or a special foam filter surrounded by a plastic frame, a cabin air filter protects the interior of a vehicle from different pollutants, including smoke, dirt, spores, bacteria, allergens, exhaust gases and even insects and fallen leaves that can restrict airflow into the passenger compartment.
While every modern vehicle today comes equipped with a cabin air filter, it hasn’t been standard equipment at all times. In the early 1990s, it was offered as an additional option for luxury cars. However, soon after it became common for mass-market vehicles. Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine a vehicle without a cabin air filter.
A clogged, damaged or worn-out cabin air filter cannot affect your vehicle performance. Although, it can turn your driving into an unpleasant experience. For sure, you would not like to breathe unclean air that is full of different particles. That’s why the following warning signs of a bad cabin air filter should come in handy for you:
- Abnormal odors inside the cabin
- Poor airflow through the dashboard’s vents
- Whistling noises from the vents
- It takes longer to warm up foggy door window glasses
- You suspect from allergy symptoms when driving
Replacing a cabin air filter
While driving with a clogged or damaged cabin air filter can affect your driving comfort, the real danger that a bad filter can cause is inability of your air conditioning system to clear window glasses quickly. This can reduce your driving safety and lead to an accident if you drive with frozen windows.
Your cabin air filter is a maintenance item, which must be replaced from time to time. The recommended time intervals could be found in your owner’s manual. In some cases, it is recommended to replace the cabin air filter more frequently if you live in a dusty climate or drive in polluted conditions.
A cabin air filter is a cost-effective part, which is why we do not recommend you to neglect warning signs of a bad filter. You should replace it once a problem appears. The replacement procedure will involve removing the old filter and installing a new one. In many cases this simple operation can prolong the service life of your air conditioning system and make it perform at its best.
Replacing a cabin air filter is usually a simple and quick process. As a rule, you just need to remove a couple of screws or bolts to access the filter. Depending on the vehicle, it can be located under the hood or behind the glove compartment door for ease of installation.
If you are not familiar with the replacement process, you could check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended replacement instructions. Otherwise, you can leave this job to a professional to make sure everything is done properly. Whether you replace the filter yourself or hire a professional, we recommend you to use only factory replacements or high-quality aftermarket parts.