Cabin Air Filters Do What?
A vehicle can have many types of filters, some for oils and fluids and others for air flow, knowing what is for what and when you should change the filters can be a bit of a hassle. First of all, it is OK if you have no idea how many filters or what types of filters your vehicle has and secondly, you do not have to be an expert on all of these filters. But what is important is educating yourself! And it does not have to be difficult, frustrating, or boring task to learn about automotive preventative maintenance.
A few days ago we encountered a customer who came in for an oil change and we asked if they would like us to check their cabin air filter for them. With a stunned and confused face they answered, do I have one of those? So we said we can find out for you and will check the filter if you do! To both of our dismays, this is what we found…
Yep, this was the outcome of the unknown cabin air filter! As you can see it is heavily clogged with dirt and other debris, as well as a little rodent was trying to make a home out of it. Now this is an extreme case and not all of your cabin air filters would look like this if you have not checked it in a long time.
The duty of a cabin air filter is to collect dust, pollen or debris before it enters into your vehicle’s passenger compartment through the HVAC system, which is the heater and A/C unit. If your cabin air filter is dirty it may affect the performance of the a/c or heater, it may undermine the flow of air and give off an odor due to the dust and pollen. It is recommend to replace the cabin air filter every 12,000 – 15,000 miles, checking to see if the filter is dirty in these intervals is your best option. Depending on the vehicle the cabin air filter can be an easy or difficult task to replace. Also, some makes and models do not have a cabin air filter at all. This information can be found in your Owner’s Manual. I know some of us do not read this book from cover to cover but it would be in your benefit to read through it and make some notes.
The main importance of this is education. Learning about your own vehicle and being aware of what filters and services that need to be done to help keep t healthy! The last thing you need is someone taking advantage of you and selling a product or service that does not even relay to your vehicle. If you know that your vehicle has a cabin air filter and have the time take it to check it out! Or if it is tricky one that may take some tools to take out ask your mechanic to inspect it for you. Either way, Knowledge is Power!