Although it might not seem as important as your car’s oil filter or fuel filter, the cabin air filter still performs a vital function and is definitely not something you should ignore. The cabin air filter is designed to clean the air that enters the car’s interior via the HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning). When the air filter is clean and functioning properly, it traps pollen, dust and other debris from entering the cabin. This can be especially important for people who regularly suffer from allergies or respiratory issues, but the truth is that everyone should change their cabin air filter occasionally even if they don’t suffer from any of these aforementioned issues.
By changing your cabin air filter, you can help to eliminate these common allergens and thus improve the quality of the air in your car. However, if you neglect to change the filter, you may begin to notice persistent bad odors due to the dirty filter. Alternatively, a dirty filter can also reduce the amount of air that can flow through your HVAC system. In this case, you might notice that the fan produces a lot of noise and only a small amount of airflow when you turn it up to high.
How Often Should the Cabin Air Filter Be Changed?
Each manufacturer has its own recommendations on how often the cabin air filter should be replaced, which is why it is important to consult your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. In most cases, you should generally replace your filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or once a year. However, if you regularly drive in a high-traffic urban area or live in a drier climate with lots of dust, it is recommended to change the cabin air filter more frequently.
When you take your vehicle to a Rockwall auto repair shop for regular maintenance, it is always a good idea to have them check your cabin air filter to see how dirty it is. Whenever this happens, you might want to ask to take a look at the dirty filter to understand exactly how much dirt, insects, dust and debris it actually filters out. After seeing just how dirty the cabin air filter can become, you will probably be far more diligent about changing it out in the future.