How Often to Change Cabin Air Filter?

How Often to Change Cabin Air Filter?

Your cabin air filter plays an important role in purifying the air inside your vehicle. As such, it’s important you change it out regularly to avoid poor air quality. But, how often should you change the cabin air filter?

It’s recommended to change the cabin air filter between 15,000 and 30,000 miles. If you drive through dusty environments, then the cabin filter should be replaced every 10,000 miles. A dirty air cabin filter results in reduced climate control air flow and lingering odors.

The good news is, changing this cabin air filter is a simple DIY job that you can do in a matter of minutes.

However, most people don’t think about changing this component of their vehicle. But replacing it at intervals will help keep pollen, dirt and allergens from entering through your HVAC system.

In this guide, we’ll look into how often to change cabin air filter to ensure the air in your cabin is fresh and clean.

What Does a Cabin Air Filter Do?

The cabin air filter makes sure only fresh, clean air circulates throughout the car. Without it, harmful exhaust fumes and odors can collect and linger inside the cabin of the car.

Getting a little scientific, the cabin filter is a pleated unit, typically made from a paper-based multifiber cotton or an engineered material.

As the outside air hits the front of the moving car, it then finds it’s way into the interior of the car. However, it goes through the cabin filter first. The cabin filter traps any contaminants within the air before reaching the cabin of the car.

Fact is, a dirty cabin air filter reduces its ability to clean the incoming air. It also makes a vehicle’s HVAC system work significantly harder.

When to Change the Filter

You should change your filter every 30,000 miles on average. Some makes of car will need to be changed out more frequently, around 15,000 miles.

In either case, you’ll find that you need to change the air filter once a year or so. 

How do I Know When my Cabin Air Filter Needs Replacing?

Have you ever stopped and wondered to yourself – when do I need to replace my cabin air filter? It’s something that lots of us neglect, but doing so can be really benefit the driving experience and our overall health.

Knowing when to change this filter is important since it plays an integral role in helping keep dirt, dust, and other particle pollutants from entering the cabin of the car.

Not to mention, it helps eliminate odors from recirculating inside the vehicle too.

You’ll know you need to change your cabin’s air filter in the following situations:

  • Bad smells coming from your car’s cabin
  • Dust on your car surfaces
  • Reduced HVAC air flow

Believe it or not, regularly replacing the cabin filter will help reduce wear and tear on your vehicle’s HVAC fans.

Just as a dirty engine air filter makes the vehicles engine work harder, so too will a dirty cabin air filter.

Also, how often to change cabin air filter depends on often you use the AC in your car. The more frequently you use your AC, the sooner you will likely have to change out the cabin air filter.

Check on your filter every now and again to check for damage, clogging, or excess dust.

How Much is Cabin Air Filter Replacement?

On average, expect to pay around $30 and $70 for cabin replacement filter. Good news is, most cars only require one cabin filter.

RepairPal estimates that the labor cost to have the filter swapped out is around $33-$41. However, swapping out a cabin air filter is a simple DIY job for almost anyone.

How to Change Cabin Air Filter

Changing the cabin air filter is a simple task that you can do from home with virtually no tools. All you’ll need is a decent pair of gloves and flashlight.

First, use your owner’s manual to identify where the filter is located. In most cars, it’s behind the glove box, under the hood, or under the dashboard.

The dashboard is generally the most difficult to access and will require some tools. Again, you can consult your owner’s manual for further instruction.

Once you locate the cabin filter location, remove the old filter and replace it with the new cabin filter designed for your vehicle. It’s really as simple as that!

Final Thoughts

This small, but essential component of your vehicle serves a simple, yet important role. Without replacing it, you might notice your allergies start to kick up and a bad smell permeating your car.

Just be sure to check on your cabin air filter every 15,000-30,000 miles, or as recommended by your car owner’s manual.

And remember, if you drive through dusty environments, then the cabin filter will need to replaced sooner.

Happy motoring!

Last Updated on February 7, 2023

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