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How Often Do I Need to Replace My Cabin Air Filter?

Part of keeping up with your vehicle maintenance is ensuring the air you’re breathing inside your car is clean. Your cabin air filter plays a significant role. Do you need to replace your cabin air filter? Here’s what you need to know.

What’s a Cabin Air Filter?

Most modern vehicles manufactured since 2000 have a cabin air filter. This piece of equipment is designed to filter the air coming through your vehicle’s HVAC system, which can carry a number of toxins and pollutants. A clean air cabin filter can help prevent smog, dust, debris, rodent droppings, pollen, and mold spores from entering the air you breathe in your vehicle.

This is especially important since most people drive their vehicles with the windows rolled up, using the heating and air conditioning system instead. This closed-circuit approach can potentially be harmful if your cabin air filter is dirty.

Why Do I Have to Replace the Filter?

Many people wonder if they can simply clean their vehicle’s cabin air filter instead of replacing it. Many DIY videos and instructables exist to show vehicle owners how to clean their air filters using a hose on low pressure, a shop vac, or both. However, this practice may still leave many toxins and debris behind. Typically, an air filter can only be cleaned a few times before needing to be replaced anyway. Since cabin air filters are relatively inexpensive, it’s usually a better option to simply have them replaced by an auto mechanic each time, usually during an oil change. 

How Do I Know When to Replace the Filter?
There are several ways to tell if you need a new cabin air filter. The most common indicator is a strange or unpleasant smell that comes from the air vents in your vehicle when you turn the heating or air conditioner on. Often, the air may smell moldy or mildewy. Other signs that your filter needs replacing is a loud sound that comes from the vents when the heat or air is on, or reduced airflow when you have your fans turned on high. This may mean that your air filter is dirty enough to prevent air from being able to flow through the filter material.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Cabin Air Filter?

The cost of a cabin air filter varies somewhat depending on the year, make, and model of the vehicle in question. Affordability typically isn’t an issue with air filters since they’re generally economical, but you may run into issues finding a mechanic that keeps your type of air filters on hand if you have an older or less common vehicle. Most mechanics will be able to order what you need, though.

Need a Cabin Air Filter? Call Cams Automotive Services

Whether you need a cabin air filter replacement or just general maintenance on your vehicle, Cams Automotive Services is a repair shop that’s here to help. Call us today at 504-461-9838 to learn more.