Cabin air filters are the hidden, forgotten, unloved car part. You can’t see them so you don’t really think about them. They are usually hidden in the area under your dashboard or close to your engine compartment.
They clean the air inside your car. Is this an important job? I think it is. Have you ever noticed a musty, old smell inside your car? It may be that your cabin air filter needs to be checked. In the summer the air conditioning unit is on and drawing all that sneeze causing air into your car. Allergens float around inside your car like little uninvited hitch hikers. In the winter, the heat and defroster are on and they both utilize the air coming from the outside which goes through the cabin air filter.
I mistakenly thought summer was the hardest time of year for your cabin air filter. I was reading an article on the importance of timely replacement of your filter and learned that winter is tough on them. Soot levels from the engine are increased as the weather cools off. The cabin air filter helps to clean the air coming into the vehicle. One of our technicians explained that the filters are located in such an inconvenient place because they have to be at the point of air intake. This makes it hard to visually inspect them. There is usually some disassembly required to get to the filter.
I see many examples of dirty cabin air filters. I’ve seen some that are completely black with leaves and branches stuck in them. You would have gotten your money’s worth but if you actually saw the cabin air filter in its environment, you’d wonder if you really wanted that stuff floating around in your car.
It is recommended that you have your clean air filter inspected every 15,000-20,000 miles. Remember, you can always ask to see the used filter after it has been removed from the vehicle.
I’ve suggested that an essential oil infused cabin air filter would be terrific but no one seems to be jumping on that idea. Maybe a holiday scent for this month?