What’s A Cabin Air Filter?
The cabin air filter found on most late-model vehicles is a device composed of fibrous materials which catch airborne material such as dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria. The filter cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation, and car air conditioning system.
The cabin air filter is typically a folded-paper filter placed in the outside-air intake, for the vehicle’s passenger compartment. Some of these filters are rectangular and similar in shape to the combustion air filter. Others are uniquely shaped to fit the available space of particular vehicles’ outside-air intakes.
Locating the Cabin Air Filter
Many cabin air filters are located behind the glove box and are easily accessible by freeing the glove box from its fasteners. Others are located under the dashboard and may not be easy to reach, or under the hood where fresh air enters the climate control system.
Not having any luck in finding the cabin air filter? Check either of the locations below.
- Above the blower in the back section of the outside air intake, a location well protected from moisture.
- Between the blower and the rest of the HVAC case.
In rare circumstances, if the owner’s manual doesn’t pinpoint the exact location of the cabin air filter, check behind the glovebox or look under the dash on both driver and passengers side. If you notice a removable rectangular plastic cover then you’ve found your filter.
Cabin Air Filter Replacement
When it comes to replacing your cabin air filter your vehicle’s manufacturer time period can vary. Recommendations can be anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 km or longer, but how often you change your filter can also depend on factors such as driving frequency and climate.
Depending on your environment, for example; you live in a highly populated urban area, there is a high possibility you will need to replace the air filter annually.
Other signs you need a new filter, are:
- Reduced air flow through your climate control system
- Persistent bad odors
- Breathing Problems
- Reduced Power Output from the Engine
- Window Fogging
Even if you don’t have these warnings, you should have the filter checked at least once a year.
Cabin Air Filter Cost
Depending on the type of car you drive, brand quality and the auto ac repair shop you go to, cabin air filters can range from $15 – $65 excluding labor cost.