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An engine has numerous filters, with two in particular being the go-to for mechanics to check: the engine air filter and oil filter. One often overlooked one however is the cabin air filter, and though it is overlooked, it is an important part of the engine.
The cabin air filter makes sure the air inside your car is clean. It filters the air that comes in through the car and then pumps out fresh air. Just as importantly, the cabin air filter ensures that the engine doesn’t overheat (dirty air leads to an air conditioner that has to work harder, a harder working A/C necessarily causes the engine to work harder). As such, it is important to remember to replace it!
When to change the filter depends on the automobile and the mechanic. Some say to change it anywhere from every 15,000 to 25,000 miles. Others say that it can wait until 30,000 miles. And still others take the easy route and just say to replace once a year.
More importantly, however, is that many of these mechanics say that the job is about as DIY as DIY can get.
To remove it, we first have to find it. The cabin air filter is located behind the glove box, so you are going to have to remove that first to access it. At times, the glove box can be tricky to remove, so consult the internet to get help on this. On top of this, simply googling the make of your car and “cabin air filter” will give you plenty of results to help you find it.
Once you do find it, simply lift the hatches on the sides of the faceplate that covers the cabin filter compartment. Once the compartment is lifted, simply pull out the old filter (careful that you do not scatter the gunk in your car!). Pro tip here as well: pay attention, when you are pulling out the old filter, which direction the arrows are facing to know which direction to put the other filter in.
You can either clean the old filter or buy a new one. New ones run anywhere from $15 to $25, often depending on how luxurious your wheels are. Do this yourself can save you up to $50 as well, but replacing the cabin air filter regardless can help your air flow stay fresh and strong during the hot summer months!