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How Often to Replace the Cabin Air Filter

how often to replace a cabin air filter, auto repair shop, Indianapolis

How Often Should You Replace the Cabin Air Filter?

A cabin air filter cleans the air entering the passenger compartment of dust, dirt, exhaust gases, and even particles that cause an allergenic reaction if they enter the respiratory tract. It is one of the simplest and less expensive consumables due to the cheapness of the material. Read how often to replace the cabin air filter to keep the air in your car clean.

How Long Can Cabin Air Filter Last?

change a cabin filter in indianapolis

The performance of the standard filter varies depending on the model. Most manufacturers recommend a replacement every 15,000 to 30,000 miles under normal operating conditions.

A cabin air filter does not have a specific service life, since cars operate at different intensities, and you should change it as needed.

The main contamination factors of the cabin filter are:

  • The southern climate with a high content of sand and dust.
  • Regular driving in a city like Indianapolis with fairly dense traffic.
  • Various pollen, fluff, and insects in the atmosphere.

Types of Cabin Air Filters

Structurally, a cabin air filter consists of a cardboard or plastic base. It contains a filter element made of paper, which retains impurities on its surface. The paper is folded like an accordion, which increases the filtering area. The shape of the products is usually square or rectangular. There are two types of such products:

Anti-dust (Anti-Allergenic) Filter

anti-dust filter

Anti-dust air filters are very similar in appearance and technical characteristics to those for the engine. A typical anti-dust filter has the shape of a rectangle, which includes cellulose or synthetic fibers with pleated paper stacked in rows. Its density is much lower than that of the paper in the air filter. The dust filter collects dust, soot, rubber particles, plant pollen, and heavy volatile mixtures. In the case of chlorine treatment of the fiber, the filter can also counteract some types of bacteria.

Charcoal Filter

charcoal filter
Anti-dust filter Charcoal filter
Pros You can use the fan when driving in a tunnel or in traffic jams.
Do not fog up the windows in the car.
Filters small debris such as pollen, spores, and bacteria.
Affordable price.
You can use a blower fan when driving in a tunnel or traffic jam.
Glasses do not fog up.
Filter all harmful substances by 95%.
Converting ozone to oxygen.
Neutralize unpleasant odors and harmful substances.
Cons Cannot filter harmful toxic substances.
Cannot absorb foreign odors.
Costly enough.

The carbon filter is made of synthetic fiber, which collects small particles (up to 1 micron) due to electrostatic voltage, and also, unlike the usual one, consists of three layers:

  1. The layer, responsible for rough cleaning. Can retain large debris.
  2. The layer with microfiber. Absorbs small particles.
  3. A layer of molded activated carbon.

Harmful substances combined with coal become partially neutralized. The best of all is coconut charcoal, which is the one most commonly used by manufacturers.

Here are the main pros and cons of both types of filters:

How do I Know if I Need to Replace my Cabin Air Filter?

If you don’t change a filter in time, you may feel that the airflow is coming through the vents with less force, and the whole ventilation system doesn’t operate efficiently.

What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Cabin Air Filter?

The following symptoms will most likely appear:

  • Unpleasant smell in the car, especially if you turn on forced airflow;
  • Excessive fogging of glasses;
  • When the airflow is turned on, the air practically does not pass through the air ducts;
  • Airway problems or allergies of the driver and passengers.

All of these points cause discomfort in driving, except for the last one, when you feel a real problem. Bacteria and fungus on the filter surface can cause respiratory illness.

Where Is the Cabin Air Filter?

where is cabin air filter

The designs of air ducts, air intake systems, and vehicle cleaning elements vary. In recent years, the form of most ventilation systems and their units has been standardized. A rectangular frame made of durable polymer material is a versatile option. A typical location is behind the glove box wall on the right side of the console. Some models may have a filter under the windshield, on the left side of the torpedo, in the engine compartment, or at the rear of the engine.

How to Change the Cabin Filter?

To replace a cabin filter yourself, you need minimal skills in car servicing. Do not install components yourself on vehicles with a valid manufacturer’s warranty. With unprofessional intervention, there is a high probability of violation of the installation technology – because of this, the car may lose its warranty. With prices ranging from $40 to $80 for the filter and labor, it is better to reduce the risks and entrust the work to the workshop professionals.

To get everything done flawlessly, visit the Indy Auto Man auto repair shop in Indianapolis . We will select this consumable according to the recommendations of the car manufacturer and install it in your car in no time.