When you regularly replace the cabin air filter, you can reduce the amount of pollutants that enter your vehicle's interior. This filter is usually located behind the glove compartment and helps remove harmful contaminants, such as pollen and dust, from the air you breathe inside the car. It also prevents insects, leaves and other debris from clogging the system. If you notice an unpleasant odor or decreased airflow, it may be time to replace the cabin filter.
No, that terrible smell coming out of your ventilation grilles is not something you just went through. It comes from not changing the cabin air filter. Dirty or excessively clogged cabin air filters can cause a stench of dust and moisture, especially when the HVAC system is turned on. Changing the cabin air filter at regular intervals will ensure that passengers don't have to roll down windows in the middle of winter to get fresh air.
The cabin air filter is a feature found in most late-model vehicles and traps dust, pollen, and other airborne materials that can make driving in a car unpleasant, especially if you have allergies or other respiratory problems. It also prevents exhaust fumes from entering your car's HVAC system and keeps the air inside the car fresh so that you and your passengers can breathe easy. Recommendations for when to replace a cabin air filter vary by manufacturer, with some saying every 12,000 or 15,000 miles, others more and frequency may depend on how much you drive and where you are driving. If you live in a heavily polluted area or routinely drive on dirt roads that raise a lot of dust, it would be wise to replace it even sooner.
Some signs that you need a new cabin air filter are reduced airflow through the climate control system, such as when you turn up the fan too high and hear more noise than results. As air enters from outside, it filters pollen and dust to prevent allergy sufferers and hay fever from further aggravating. Failure to replace a dirty or clogged filter will affect the efficiency of your car's heating and cooling system. By replacing the cabin air filter, it helps give the engine a rest, giving you the power needed to improve fuel efficiency. Most manufacturers recommend changing the cabin air filter every 12,000 to 30,000 miles, depending on the vehicle and where you are driving.
If you plan to replace it yourself, consider buying a replacement filter from an auto parts store or website to save money.