Car Maintenance

How often to change the cabin air filter

Many car owners probably have no idea that the cabin air filter needs to be changed from time to time. To enlighten them, we will provide answers on how often we should change cabin air filters.

Reasons for changing the cabin air filter

First, let’s explain the benefits of maintaining the cabin filter so that more people take this responsibility seriously:

Increase fuel efficiency

If your cabin air filter deteriorates, the vehicle’s passenger compartment will not be adequately cooled. Because of this, your air conditioner exerts more effort. However, what works the hardest is the motor. If your engine is working harder than necessary just to help with the air conditioning, your fuel efficiency will suffer.

Faster cooling

Do you live in a predominantly hot climate? Is summer a hell of a time for your area due to the scorching heat? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then you certainly know what it feels like to get into a hot car. However, that’s only a small fight when your air conditioner starts blowing out cool air right away. Now what if your filter is clogged with dirt and debris? You suffer longer in a hot car because the air conditioner takes more time to cool down the entire room.

Quiet air conditioning

A clogged cabin air filter will result in an air conditioner working harder than usual just to push cool air. The excessive strain of the air conditioner creates too much noise, making your drive stressful.

reduce allergens

Cabin air filters help reduce the number of allergens entering the vehicle’s cabin. Pollen is something you get easily from the outside world, even more so when it enters a small space. It can build up on your filter and prevent the component from blocking other allergens. If you live in an area with too many oak trees, your cabin air filter is more likely to catch pollen.

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catch debris

Believe it or not, cabin air filters can actually catch twigs, leaves, acorns, and other large debris from the environment. This can happen if you always park your car in places where there are a lot of bushes and trees.

block pollution

We’ve saved the most common one for last. Pollution is actually the number one reason why you should pay attention to cabin air filter maintenance. Filters can block large amounts of smog and dirty exhaust from other vehicles.

Fresh air

A defective cabin filter emits a strange smell. More precisely, the smell can appear musty or dusty. When you start the air conditioner, the smell becomes more noticeable, which could make you and your passengers nauseous.

How often to change the cabin air filter

There are conditions when you have no basis for the frequency of changing your cabin air filter. If you change it too often, you’re wasting money. On the other hand, if you wait longer than you should, your filter may become ineffective when you need it most.

Fortunately, based on the recommendations of experts, we have prepared an assortment for you. The default interval is 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Consider your usual route, where you live and your driving habits to decide whether to go for the minimum or maximum number. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic in a city that’s too dirty every day, don’t hesitate to have your cabin air filter checked once you hit 12,000 miles.

You can also consult your owner’s manual for suggestions on how often you should change your cabin air filter.

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How to change the cabin air filter

Based on the materials needed, changing a cabin air filter is a do-it-yourself job. Here is a quick guide to changing your cabin air filter:


Few materials are needed for this activity. All you need is a rag, a vacuum, a set of screwdrivers, safety goggles and a breathing mask.

A cloth and vacuum cleaner clean the housing compartment. In particular, the vacuum cleaner sucks all the impurities out of the ventilation system. Regarding the screwdrivers, your cabin air filter could have been installed in a complex way. At least when you come across some hardware, you’ll be immediately ready with your screwdrivers.

In the meantime, the goggles and breathing mask are for your own safety. Something could suddenly come out of the case and injure your eyes. The respirator mask makes a lot of sense because you will surely come across a lot of dust while cleaning the cabin air filter location.


To remove the old cabin air filter, the compartment of the component must be unscrewed or unclipped. The filter has three possible locations: under the dashboard, behind the glove box and under the hood.

If you have the old filter completely in your hands, check it first to make sure that it really needs to be replaced. If you see one Gray filter covered with dirt and dirt, you need to replace it.


Installing the new cabin filter is as easy as removing it. You recognized that correctly; we are nearly finished. Simply clean the case compartment and air intake duct before inserting the replacement into its designated slot. To attach the new filter, screw or clip the tray back on.

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Cabin air filter vs. air filter

As a bonus knowledge, there is actually a big difference between a cabin air filter and a plain air filter. “Cabin” is the only word that differentiates these two components at first glance, so it’s interesting to know more differences between them.

Getting straight to the point, an air filter is also known as an “internal combustion engine air filter” because its primary function is centered on the engine. It prevents dirty air from entering the engine. On the other hand, a cabin air filter blocks dirty air to protect everyone in the passenger compartment from pollutants and allergens.


It is recommended that the cabin air filter be serviced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. We need this type of car care because nobody wants to breathe in dirty air in such a small space. Also, we need a clean cabin filter to cool down a hot car quickly.

There is another type of filter that is extremely important for cars. Find out what makes the best car oil filter!

Chloe Rimmer
Tv geek. Content practitioner. Creator. Wannabe beer nerd. Thinker. Passionate explorer. Proud bacon trailblazer. Travel fanatic. Award-winning introvert.

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