Vehicle Warranty Blog

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Cabin Air FilterHaving pure air in your car that’s free of allergens and contaminants is all thanks to your vehicle’s cabin air filter. However, much like your home’s HVAC filter, your car’s will need regular replacements as well.

The exact frequency depends on the air quality where you drive, the specific filters you have, and what kind of car you drive, but in general, swapping out your filter should happen every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Below is everything you can expect from the replacement process.

How Cabin Air Filters Work

Depending on the type of filter you have, it will either be made of multifiber cotton or some proprietary engineered material. It may also rely on activated carbon to eliminate foul odors.

In any case, the filter works by catching small particles that may carry disease or allergens while letting fresh air flow through. Once the filter has reached the end of its operational life, it will be so clogged with particles that air will not be able to pass through, thus requiring a replacement.

Where Is the Filter?

Most cars place their cabin air filters behind the glove compartment, though they may also be found under the dashboard or hood. If you’re in doubt, consult your owner's manual.

Steps to Replace the Filter

Popping in a new filter and disposing of the old one is a relatively simple process that involves the following steps:

Protect Yourself

First and foremost, put on some gloves and goggles. The old filter may be pretty grungy, and you can expect dirt and dust to reenter the air as you remove it.

Remove the Old Filter

Opening up the filter’s compartment typically requires pushing in on some tabs to remove the glovebox, but your vehicle might have screws holding the lid in place. Grab a screwdriver if you need one.

Once you remove the old filter, try not to disturb it or shake it as best you can, and keep in mind how it was placed in the slot. Put it in a bag for clean removal. If the surrounding area is dirty or dusty, clean it up with a vacuum first. Then, inspect the compartment for any gaskets to ensure they’re still intact and replace them if necessary.

Put in the New Filter

Install your new cabin air filter in the same direction as the old one. There should be arrows on the side of the filter to indicate which way the air should flow.

Close Up the Compartment

Replace the lid and any screws you removed. If your car’s infotainment system prompts you via a warning message to reset a replacement filter, do so now.

Replacing the Filter Is Inexpensive but Essential

Replacement cabin air filters should only cost between $50 and $100, with some being as cheap as $25. It’s a small price to pay for improved air quality. Just make sure to select the right filter for your vehicle and make a note of when you last changed it so you know how long it lasts until its next replacement.

Summary: Your car’s cabin air filter filters out dust, dirt, and plenty of allergens. To continually ensure fresh air in your car, it’s essential that you know how to replace the filter when the time comes.

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