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Cabin Air Filters

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Cabin Air Filters

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What is a cabin air filter and where is it located?

The majority of cars and trucks on the road today are equipped with cabin air filtration systems. Automotive cabin air filters are what filter out dirt, dust, pollen and other particles from the outside air that enters into the passenger compartment of your vehicle through the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system. Also know as fresh air filters, these filters are typically constructed of a paper or fiber filtration element. Some applications use a carbon activated element which also helps reduce unpleasant odors and fumes. 

While some applications use a single cabin air filter, others may use a pair or multiple filters. The exact location of your cabin air filter depends on the make and model, but it is usually located inside the HVAC case or housing and is accessible from under the hood through the cowl duct, or behind the dash. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for the specific location for your application.

How do I know my cabin air filter needs to be replaced?

Most manufacturer’s recommend replacing your cabin air filter every 10,000-25,000 miles. Over time, cabin filters become clogged with dirt and other particles resulting in a decrease of air flow through the venting system and a reduction of the effectiveness of the car or truck’s A/C and heating performance. This can also cause excessive strain on the blower motor, which can shorten its life span significantly. A cabin filter that is too dirty is also bound to lose its ability to block out airborne contaminants from entering the interior of the vehicle with the outside air, thus potentially exposing passengers to higher levels of dust, dirt, and allergens than what is found in the air outside of your car or truck. Therefore, it is important to routinely inspect and replace these filters in order to maintain good and efficient air quality inside your vehicle’s cabin, as well as reduce the chances of premature blower motor failure.

Can I replace a cabin air filter myself?

The cabin air filter is easy to replace in most vehicles. The steps usually require the removal of either the glove compartment or a cowl panel that's under the hood on the outside of the vehicle. You may have to remove a few bolts or screws to access the panel. Once that's completed, the filter should just pull right out.

When inserting the new air filter make sure the arrows are facing down to improve air flow. Then simply reverse the rest of the procedure.

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