Everything You Need to Know About Cabin Air Filters

Blasting the AC once you climb in your vehicle is the only way to beat the desert heat. But if that air in your vehicle’s cabin is full of allergens or other debris, you’re going to have a tough time breathing and having an enjoyable ride down the road—that’s where your cabin air filters come into play.

Continue reading to learn answers to common questions about cabin filters and air filter replacements.

How do cabin filters work?

Cabin air filters are small, pleated filters made of multi-paper cotton. Before outside air enters your passenger compartment, it’s directed through the filter, which traps any contaminants in the air. These filters trap everything from dust and exhaust gases to bugs and leaves. As long as your filter is fresh, you’ll breathe easy while your AC or heat is on.

How often should cabin filters be changed?

Just like your engine or oil filters, you need to change your cabin air filters every once in a while to ensure they’re doing their job. While your car doesn’t have a dashboard light for air filters, a good rule of thumb is to change your cabin air filter once a year or every 12,000 miles.

However, you may need to change your filter more frequently if you do a ton of driving down dirt roads or are susceptible to allergens. If you notice reduced air inside your cabin or diminished AC performance, you should consider replacing your air filter.

Other signs that it’s time for a change include a whistling noise coming from your vents or a musty odor when the AC or heat is on.

What happens if you don’t change your cabin filter?

Unlike an oil filter change, neglecting to change your cabin air filter won’t lead to a vehicle breakdown. That said, keeping that dirty, old filter leads to poor AC airflow and results in nasty odors in your car’s cabin. So for the most comfortable ride, be sure to change your filter as recommended by your manufacturer.

Can you change your cabin air filter yourself?

If you’re a DIY-er and have some time to spare, it’s possible to replace your cabin filter without the help of a pro. Most air filters are located behind the vehicles’ glove box, so you’ll need to start by removing the glove box and all of its components to reach the filter.

Once you’ve accessed the filter, simply remove the old one, and replace it with the same model. Keep in mind that this task can be more challenging for luxury vehicles because the air filters are often more difficult to access.

Hire our team to change your air filters

While it’s certainly possible to change your cabin air filter by yourself, we don’t recommend it. Instead, come to Qwest Automotive Service for all of your air filter replacements. We’ll ensure you get the right filter for your vehicle and that the filter is installed correctly.

Contact our team today to learn more about our AC maintenance services or to get a quote.