When it comes to car maintenance, the cabin air filter is perhaps the most commonly overlooked component in the car, and many people have little understanding of it. Every car contains a number of crucial components that must all be in good working order for the vehicle to be safe and pleasant for all users.

Understanding your cabin air filter

A cabin air filter stops leaves and other dust from entering the system and becoming stuck in the blower motor. If you once had an old car without a cabin air filter, you might have noticed the weird noises it used to make inside your car.

Well, in this article, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

Read more: Everything you need to know about car oil filter

Ok, let’s get to it.


What is a cabin air filter?

A small pleated filter with multiple fibers of paper, cotton, or some other engineered material serves as the cabin air filter. As you breathe outside air inside the car, the cabin air filter filters out harmful pollutants like dust and grime.

Additionally, it keeps dust and other debris from clogging the blower motor. Air is drawn into your car from the outside and directed straight towards you inside. As you may imagine, there are a lot of harmful dust and particles on the roadways, which is why we need a filter to remove them.

Why do you need to change your cabin air filter?

If the cabin filter is not changed, you may have manifestations such as a bad smell, poor airflow through the vents, inside windows that are foggy or icy, allergies, or whistling sounds from the air vents.

Whatever bad smell is in your car’s interior has a good chance of remaining there, which might lower its value and even affect the air conditioner’s internal components if the cabin air filter is not changed. It is therefore always advised to maintain a clean and up-to-date cabin air filter.

What are some symptoms of a bad or failing cabin air filter?

A bad cabin air filter

If your car’s cabin air filter has never been changed before and it’s getting bad, you might experience one or more of these symptoms:

Poor airflow through the vents

The next thing you might notice is a recent decrease in the efficiency of the airflow through the vents. All of the air entering the car is filtered by the cabin air filter, which is why this occurs. Less air will flow through the filter if it has been in use for a long time and becomes clogged. This will result in a decrease in airflow, and it might even stop blowing completely!

Foggy or icy windows

We also need to be aware that our cabin air filter will eventually develop mold inside due to water condensing in it. The filter may collect water more frequently as a result, and the water condensation will therefore be blown into the car’s interior.

As a result, the cabin’s humidity level will rise significantly, which could result in interior windows that are foggy or even icy if you reside in a cold country. It’s time to check the cabin air filter if you’ve noticed much more frosty or foggy windows recently than you did previously.

Unpleasant smell

If your cabin air filter is clogged or overused, the interior of your car will smell awful. The car will collect all the dust that gets lodged in the filter when it is filtering the air from the outside, which will eventually produce an unpleasant smell.

Allergy symptoms

If you have a bad or overused cabin air filter, you may notice that your allergies are getting worse while driving if you are sensitive to certain particles or may even be allergic to them.

As we previously discussed, the cabin air filter will trap any dust and particles from the outside air. They can enter the car and create allergy symptoms even though they are on the other side of the filter.

Increased noise levels of the fan

Your car’s AC system should basically make a gentle noise as air escapes the vents when it is turned on. Your air cabin filter and AC system are in good shape if the fan makes a soft, healthy noise. However, if the fan’s noise level starts to rise, the filter is likely to start failing.

In addition to making it harder for the air to enter and be effectively filtered, big particles that enter the air cabin filter also create a lot of noise as the air passes through. As a result, you would always hear a loud noise when turning on the fan in your car.

Furthermore, when air is trying to flow through the cabin air filter but is being severely hampered by a clogged or failed filter, it will make weird noises. It can make a whistling or screeching noise.

Where is the cabin air filter located in the vehicle?

In most cars, the cabin air filter is located either behind the glove box or behind a cover that may be accessed from the engine bay through the front windshield. Look in the area of the blower motor if you know where it is!

Understanding your cabin air filter

The filter is typically installed behind the glove compartment in many Asian cars, and in certain situations, the glove compartment has to be removed in order to replace the cabin filter. In European cars, it is frequently hidden behind a cover behind the front windshield from the engine bay.

To locate the filter in many car models, you’ll need to remove the glove box. On a piece of paper that comes with the filter, many manufacturers of cabin air filters will provide you with instructions on how to replace the cabin air filter for your particular automobile model.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a cabin air filter?

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of the cabin air filter.

Advantages of a cabin air filter

Disadvantages of the cabin air filter

How much does the cabin air filter cost?

Changing the cabin air filter often only requires a few hours of labor, and it can usually be completed in under 30 minutes. The cost to change a cabin air filter depends on the model of the car and the labor costs, and it ranges from $40 to $100 on average.

Additionally, if you go for a charcoal filter or a regular one, a cabin air filter can range in price from $20 to $50. If you decide to purchase a charcoal cabin air filter instead of a standard one, the cost may vary slightly. People with allergies would benefit more from charcoal filters because they filter the air more thoroughly.

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To sum up, the cabin air filter is a simple yet crucial part of the HVAC system in a car. Its main purpose is to gather and remove airborne particles such as dust, pollen, and contaminants, hence improving the quality of the air within the car.

To guarantee clean and healthy air inside the car, routine maintenance and regular cabin air filter replacement are important. A dirty or clogged filter can cause unpleasant cabin aromas as well as lower air quality and HVAC system efficiency.

Car owners can make driving more enjoyable and pleasant by being aware of the function of the cabin air filter and giving it priority maintenance. In addition to improving traveler comfort, clean, filtered air also supports improved health and general well-being.