What is a cabin air filter?
- A filter for a house in the middle of the woods?
- A fresh, piney scent?
- A filter for the passenger compartment of your car?
Clever you, it’s 3.
Most of us think of the engine’s air filter, but this is entirely different.
A cabin 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. Here in Houston that means that it helps filter out a lot of the pollen and dust that cause seasonal allergies.
Now not all vehicles have cabin filters. They are fairly new on the scene. About forty percent of new vehicles come with cabin air filters, but the number is growing every year.
Cabin air filters can make for a very nice driving environment. Your car can be a haven during allergy season with very little dust and pollen getting into the cabin. However, the 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 ventilation system.
So keep your cabin air filter clean. It may not help with your brother-in-law or entire soccer team in the backseat, but it will make your driving experience more enjoyable.
More questions? Just ask . . . That Car Lady, Lynn Beckwith