When Should You Replace Your Cabin Air Filter?

Cabin air filters are an important part of your car's HVAC system, trapping contaminants and preventing them from entering the interior of your vehicle. Most cabin air filters need to be replaced between 15,000 and 30,000 miles, but this can vary depending on how much you drive and where. If you drive in heavily polluted areas or on dirt roads, it is recommended to change the cabin air filter every 5,000 miles. Allergy sufferers may want to consider changing it more often to ensure air quality and reduce their allergy symptoms.

If you're servicing your vehicle at a repair shop or dealer, the technician might recommend a cabin air filter replacement. Before entering the passenger compartment, outside air is directed through this filter to trap contaminants inside the filter and prevent them from entering the interior of your vehicle. The cabin air filter is a small pleated filter made of multi-fiber paper cotton or other engineering material. You'll be surprised to see a filter covered in soot, dirt, leaves, twigs, and other dirt, confirming that replacement service is important.

A dirty filter can't do its job properly and filter out contaminants, so it's important to replace your car's filter frequently. If you experience any of these signs on your car, consider replacing the filter to see if that solves the problem. If you plan to replace it yourself, consider buying a replacement filter from an auto parts store or on a website to save money. In addition, the decrease in air quality that comes from a cabin air filter that is late to be replaced allows condensation to form on the windshield. If you are driving in heavy traffic in an urban area with poor air quality, you may need to replace your cabin air filter once a year or even more often.

A dirty or clogged cabin air filter will not filter out those contaminants, causing problems for people suffering from allergies or having difficulty breathing. If you notice that your car has an unpleasant odor or that airflow has decreased, consider replacing the cabin filter to give the system and yourself a breath of fresh air. If you don't change the cabin air filter, the filter will become more clogged with dirt and debris and the efficiency of your car's filter and HVAC system will be compromised.