Should I Change The Cabin Air Filter in my Car?
Many people who drive spend a lot of time inside their car. Just like you are concerned about the air quality in your home or atmosphere, you should also consider the air quality inside your car !
The cabin air filter is a feature that is found on most newer vehicles and functions to cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. It primarily catches dust, pollen and other airborne material that can make riding in a car unpleasant. It is particularly important to replace the cabin air filter if you have allergies or other respiratory problems like asthma.
When Should you change it and how often ? Recommendations on when it should be replaced vary by manufacturer — some say every other oil change, others longer. However, how often can depend on how much you drive and where. Obviously if you commute far every day or spend a lot of time in your car, it should be done more often! Its best and recommended to check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual……that will tell you the manufacturer’s recommendation for your specific make and model car ! But common sense dictates that if you drive in heavy traffic or in a major city that has poor air quality, you could need to replace the filter annually or even more often. However, that also could be true in a desert climate where there is a lot of dust.
Some signs or symptoms that you need a new cabin air filter are reduced air flow through your HVAC system, such as when you crank up the fan too high and you get more noise than results. Another is persistent bad odors or musty smell in your vehicle! Even if you don’t have these warnings, you should have the filter replaced at least once a year, after all you should be concerned about the air you breathe in asuch a tight space as a car !
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 HVAC system. The cost of most cabin air filters are around $25-45 + hst. Labour would be extra according to how difficult it is to access your cabin air filter on your particular car.
When you replace your cabin air filter, ask your mechanic to see the current one. Depending on how long the filter has been in service, you might be shocked at what you see: leaves, twigs, insects, soot and grime that literally cover the entire surface that comes in contact with incoming air. This sight may cause you to pay more attention to this little filter and change it more often…………..after all if you think about it, we change the furnace filter in our homes just before winter , so why not make your cabin air filter change an annual thing also and keep the peace of mind that the air quality in your car is being quality controlled by a clean cabin air filter ! There is no price to good health and being good to your lungs with clean air is a good start to long lasting illness prevention !