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How often should you change your cabin filter?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQ, Service, Tips and Tricks on Monday, May 21st, 2018 at 7:21 pm
Stinky vent in a car

It’s nice to save money when you can, this is especially the case when it comes to your vehicle. Unfortunately, one of the most common ways that drivers try to cut corners is by not replacing the air filter as often as it should be. So how often should it be changed? Most manufacturers recommend changing the air filter every 15,000-25,000 miles or once a year. When in doubt, check your vehicle’s manual.

Does the cabin air filter affect the AC?Man changing car cabin filter

One of the most common indications of a bad air filter is a moldy or musty smell when the heat or air conditioning is on. This is because the primary purpose of an air filter is to prevent dust, mold and other pollutants from entering the cabin. A dirty filter can not only reduce produce a poor smell in the cabin, but it can also reduce the power output from the engine. This is because the AC blower motor can’t work as effectively because it’s clogged. In addition, you may also notice an increase in window fogging and reduced airflow from the AC vents. These are all signs that your filter needs to be replaced ASAP.

Read More: 3 common myths about oil changes

Can I replace a cabin air filter myself?

You can! It’s relatively simple depending on the vehicle. Most air filters are behind the glovebox, which usually means you have to remove it in order to get to the filter. This can be time-consuming and there are often many delicate clips to remove. Luxury vehicles can be even more challenging to change on your own and some air filters can only be purchased from an OEM certified dealership. At the end of the day, the benefit of changing the air filter on your own depends on the make and model vehicle you have.

Read More: 5 signs it’s time to replace your car’s tires

Do you have a question about automotive service or about replacing your vehicle’s air filter that we didn’t answer here? Our team is here to help. Contact us today!

7 Responses to “How often should you change your cabin filter?”

  1. Bobby Nixon says:

    I am glad to know that cabin air filter should be replaced after an interval of about 25,000 miles. An air filter protects the passengers from different types of hazardous contaminants like dust particles, pollen and other types of harmful foreign bodies. However, it’s ability to do so reduces with time. Replacement of air filter is really essential for the protection of the passengers from the negative impacts of foreign bodies.

  2. Amy Zahirski says:

    A cabin air filter generally cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. It catches dust, pollen and other airborne particles. However in due course of time, it ‘s ability to do so is reduced. A dirty filter produces a moldy or musty smell when the air conditioning is on. It can also reduce the power output from the engine. These signs indicate that cabin air filter needs to be replaced. Manufacturers recommend to change the filter every 15,000-25,000 miles. We can change it on our own. But it is better to replace the cabin air filter at a certified auto service center. For this please contact:

  3. Jenn McGinnis says:

    Cabin air filters can affect the power output of your engine? What are you talking about Amy? Your cabin air filter has nothing to do with engines nor is it associated with the engine air filter. Quit hawking lies. Also, if you thinking spending $50 for labor and $50 for parts so someone can spend 15 min. to do something most people are capable doing is a good idea…. then you do you.

  4. Long Haul says:

    Can cabin air filters block neurotoxins such as MMT and other gasoline additives some like to use to improve their fuel efficiency/performance? According to the EPA, MMT exposure can be dangerous at high exposure levels, especially for hyper commuters who spend 4hr or more in their vehicles per day. Also, do you have much information on HECA (High Efficiency Cabin Air) filters that reduce the very small particulates from vehicle exhaust when the AC is on the “outside air” setting as well as reduce CO2 levels when on in cabin air recycle modes? Do you know if HECA filters are standard in all new model year vehicles? (And if fuel economy is to decrease in the US due to relaxed regulations, that means there could be a potential increase in exhaust emissions, further putting hyper commuters in danger.)

  5. Mark S says:

    Cabin air filters don’t filter engine air. A dirty cabin filter will have zero impact on your engines efficiency, excep thtat you MIGHT have to run the blower a tad higher with a old cabin filter, which in turn puts a very slight load on the alternator. Cabin filters don’t filter out everything…they aren’t HEPA filters…so they won’t prevent these things from getting in the cabin. Pollen, dust ,etc are NOT hazardous substances. cabin filters don’t filter out significant levels of VOC’s even if they are carbon impregnated, so again, don’t rely on your cabin filter to protect you from harmful vapors. What cabin filters DO, is filter out the bulk of major nuisance dust and SOME odors. They don’t need to be replaced religiously, but it is always good to follow manufacturers recommendations. Yes, they can be replaced by the average DIY’er, but they are sometimes hard to get to and require removing panels, glove boxes, etc, which might be beyond the abilities of the average person.

  6. Rakibul says:

    the cabin air filter cleans the air for human and Engine Air Filter Clean The Air For Engine … both are important … and should need to replace proper time as a mechanics we suggest clean the both in proper time and proper ways also replace in proper time … 15000 to 30000 mile we replace them both !!

  7. Joann Jedlinski says:

    I changed the cabin filter just as the video said and now when the ac is on it is making a loud roaring noise. What might have happened?

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