The list of vehicle maintenance tasks that the average car owner needs to complete is lengthy, and replacing the cabin air filter often falls pretty far down the list. While engine air filters and oil filters are seen as vital to car performance, many people don’t prioritize the air that they breathe in while driving in the same way. Your cabin air filter helps to make your driving experience pleasant and prevents you from inhaling fumes.
What Does Your Cabin Air Filter Do?
The cabin air filters keep the air inside of the car where you sit clean and filtered. The cabin filter is often located near the glove compartment, or underneath the dashboard or hood. The air filter removes dust, pollen, particles, mold spores and debris from the air coming into your car through the air conditioning system. The filters can also prevent leaves, road debris and rodent droppings from entering your car through the vent system. If you suffer from spring allergies, the last thing you want is an easy way for them to get inside of your car! Your cabin air filter can improve your air quality, reduce the strain on your air conditioning system and improve your allergy symptoms.
The Signs You Have a Dirty Cabin Air Filter
One of the most common signs of a dirty cabin air filter is a lingering musty or moldy smell in the car when the air conditioning or heat is turned on. Because the air filter is designed to prevent dust, if you are smelling dust, there is a problem. You also might notice your windows fogging more easily due to a reduction in airflow from the car vents. If it seems like you are constantly needing to kick on the air conditioning or heat to remove dog on your windows and windshield, don’t be afraid to have your cabin air filter checked out.
Are your air conditioner and heater keeping you cold or warm? If performance slowly declines, the air filter could be the culprit. If you notice a small volume of air flow when sitting in the car, it could also be the fault of the filter if you have the air turned all the way up. When the filter is already clogged, air cannot easily enter the cabin to keep you comfortable on your journey. At your preventative maintenance visit, make sure that your filter is in good condition.
When Should You Replace Your Cabin Air Filter?
In general, you should consider replacing your cabin air filter every 15,000 to 20,000 miles if you don’t have other air quality concerns or live in an area with poor air quality. While some people can go longer before swapping theirs out, allergy sufferers who spend a great deal of time in the car will want to change them before pollen counts are high. You should trust a professional mechanic to change your air filter, because the location can be tricky and you don’t want to accidentally damage something else in the process of replacing your filter!
What If You’re Still Sneezing This Allergy Season?
- Vacuum your carpeting, floor mats and seats
- Clean up any spills immediately to prevent any mold from growing
- Wipe down your dashboard, console, door panels and steering wheel to keep dust and pollen away, especially if your drive with your windows open
- Check the weather stripping on your windows and doors
Get a New Air Filter at Thunderbird Automotive
Thunderbird Automotive is a leader in auto repair and maintenance in Phoenix, AZ thanks to our awesome customer service, broad range of repair services and expertise. To learn more about our services and get your vehicle checked out, please contact us at (602) 938-3631.