A driver got a surprise the other day when he took his vehicle to a service facility for an oil change. He knew his owner’s manual schedules an oil and oil filter change every 5,000 miles/8,000 km, but when the Service Advisor suggested his cabin air filter should be replaced, he thought they were just trying to sell him something he didn’t really need. After all, how bad can a cabin air filter be?
The Service Advisor offered to show him the old one before he made his decision, and what the driver saw shocked him. Instead of a nice, intact filter, the old one was full of dirt, leaves, and other unidentifiable ick!
You’ll find cabin air filters in most newer vehicles, but many drivers don’t even know they have one. They filter out things like dust and other particulates like pollen before the air goes into the passenger compartment. This can be very helpful to those with allergies and sensitivities to airborne pollutants.
Your vehicle manufacturer will recommend how often a cabin air filter should be changed. Of course, if you drive in areas that are dusty or polluted, you may want to change it more frequently. A couple of signs your cabin air filter is dirty? Not as much air comes out your vents when you turn on your ventilation system fan, and the air smells musty. You may also notice more dust in your passenger compartment.
While we’re at it, let’s mention one other filter. Vehicles with air-conditioned seats also have filters under the seats that filter the air that blows through the seat bottom and back. Seat filters get dirty too and need to be replaced.