What is a cabin air filter?
A.) a filter for a house in the middle of the woods?
B.) a fresh, piney scent?
C.) a filter for the passenger compartment of your car?
Clever you, it’s "C".
air filter cleans the outside air before it comes into the passenger
compartment. It filters out dust, pollen, spores, bacteria,
pollutants, sparrows, exhaust gas and odors.
These high tech filters can block particles larger than 3 microns. By
contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.
Now not all vehicles in the St. Louis area have cabin filters. They
are fairly new on the scene in Missouri. About forty percent of new
vehicles come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every
Cabin air filters can make for a very nice driving environment for St.
Louis car owners. Your car can be a haven during Missouri allergy
season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin.
However, like all filters, your cabin air filter eventually gets
clogged. When this happens, your heating and air conditioning flow can
become restricted. The filter can even get kind of smelly.
Check your owner’s manual for recommended replacement intervals.
Often, the owner’s manual forgets about the cabin air filter, so ask
your service technician for a recommendation. It’s usually every year
or 12,000 miles/ 19,000 kilometers. Change it sooner if you drive in
dusty conditions or if you start to notice an odor from your
So keep your cabin air filter clean. It may not help with your
brother-in-law in the backseat, but it will make your driving
experience more enjoyable.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Cabin Air Filter
Poor air flow and an unusual odor can indicate
it's time to replace the cabin air filter.
cabin air filter is the filter responsible for filtering the air that
is fed into your car or light truck's heating and air conditioning
systems. The filter traps dust, pollen, and other foreign particles,
preventing them from entering the vehicle and polluting the cabin.
Since they work in essentially the same fashion as a regular engine
air filter, cabin air filters get dirty and should be replaced when
they become excessively contaminated, or at the regular service
interval recommended by the manufacturer. Usually a dirty cabin air
filter will produce a few symptoms that can notify the driver that
attention may be required.
Poor air flow
The most common symptom associated with a bad cabin air filter is
poor air flow from the vehicle’s interior vents. An excessively
contaminated cabin air filter will not be able to filter the incoming
air as effectively as a clean filter would. As a result, this will
cause restricted air flow for the AC system. Additionally, this will
cause the vents to blow with noticeably less force, reducing the
overall cooling capacity of the AC system, and will also place an
additional strain on the AC blower motor.
Unusual odor from the vents
Another symptom of a bad or failing cabin air filter is an unusual
odor coming from the vehicle’s interior vents. An excessively
contaminated filter may produce a dusty, dirty, or musty smell. The
smell may become more pronounced when the air is turned on, and may
make the cabin uncomfortable for the passengers.
A cabin filter is a simple component that should be replaced when
necessary to keep the AC system working as efficiently as possible,
and to keep the cabin as comfortable as possible for the passengers.
If you suspect that your cabin filter may be dirty, have the vehicle
examined by one of our professional technicians, to determine if your
car is due for a cabin air filter replacement.
Simple Answers from Sparks Tire & Auto:
Cabin Air Filter
Simple Answers Service Intervals
My car has a bad odor when I run the heater or air conditioner. My
friend said I might need a new cabin air filter – what's that?
Tire & Auto Answer:
A cabin air filter is a special filter that cleans the air that comes
into the St. Charles drivers' passenger compartments – or cabin – of
their vehicles. Most new vehicles sold in Missouri now have a cabin
air filter. A cabin air filter catches dust, pollen, spores and other
pollutants before they can get into your cabin. It's kind of like the
filter on your furnace in your St. Charles home, cleaning the air you
breathe inside your vehicle.
As St. Charles drivers can imagine, it eventually gets filled up and
can even start to get smelly. So – you just have it replaced. Now some
are really easy to access and others are tougher to get to. Your
friendly and knowledgeable Sparks Tire & Auto will be able to take
care of it for you.
Your 's owner's manual likely has a recommendation for when to replace
the cabin air filter. If you live and drive in Missouri where there is
a lot of dust, pollen or pollution, the filter will fill up more
quickly. Of course, if you're getting a bad odor, bring it to the
attention of your friendly and knowledgeable Sparks Tire & Auto