What Is a Cabin Air Filter?cabin air filter

Just like a house with a furnace filter. The cabin air filter in vehicles is a fibrous filter. It blocks dust, pollution, and bacteria coming in through the heating and air conditioning system. Sometimes you may even find twigs and leaves in there too as the filter is effectively blocking everything from the air outside coming into the cabin of your vehicle. Some cabin air filters are available with carbon and other chemicals to enhance the filtering qualities further.

When Does It Need Replaced?

Usually it’s recommended to have the cabin air filter replaced at every other service interval. At or around 15,000 miles or check the owners manual as it may be different for your specific vehicle. Another factor may be where you live, some areas are more prone to pollution. Not usually a problem in WY, it probably all blows away in the wind. However, there is a lot of dust and sand so this may be a factor in changing your cabin air filter sooner than the service schedule says. If it recommended by a technician to replace it, you can always ask to see the dirty one and you might be surprised by what you might find. If you suffer from allergies, respiratory problems or smoke in your vehicle, you may also want to change the cabin air filter more often. Another good indicator that it may need replaced is a foul smelling cabin.

Can I Replace It Myself?

Photo: Lauren BauresThat depends on how mechanically inclined you are and what type of vehicle you have. Some trucks do not have cabin air filters, however, most cars do. The placement of the filter can be in the engine bay close to the firewall or behind the glove-box, but in some cases it is behind the dash and lot more difficult to get to. The easiest answer to that is to check the owners manual and find out where it is in your car and whether you can get to it easily or not.





Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to:


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