March 24

When Should I Replace My Car’s Cabin Air Filters?


Your vehicle’s cabin air filter is a crucial part of the car’s airflow system. To protect the health of your vehicle and the cleanliness of the air you breathe, it’s important to maintain the performance of your cabin air filter by replacing it when necessary. But how do you know when to replace it? At Huffines CJDR Lewisville, we want you to have a pleasant driving experience, and that means one where you can breathe easy. Read on to learn more about cabin air filters and to discover when you should replace this important vehicle component.

What Is a Cabin Air Filter?

Cabin Air Vents | Cabin Air Filters

Image via Flickr by shixart1985

Often located behind your glove box, the cabin air filter helps stop pollutants like pollen and dust from entering your car’s cabin. As air moves through the car’s HVAC, or heating and cooling system, the cabin filter traps any unwanted particles before making it into your driving and passenger area. This can help purify the air you breathe, but it can also improve the performance of your vehicle’s air conditioning and heating systems. In especially hot or cold weather conditions, this can keep you comfortable as you drive.

Although all vehicles are different and have different maintenance needs, you should expect to replace your cabin air filters every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. This can differ greatly depending on the environmental conditions you’re driving in. For example, if you frequently drive in polluted areas, you may want to be more vigilant about your filters. This number can also vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model, so the best way to know for sure is to check the owner’s manual. You can also contact Huffines CJDR Lewisville’s service center with any questions.

Even with regular cabin air filter replacement, you can still run into unexpected issues with this important part of your vehicle. It’s best towatchn a few key indicators to see if your cabin filter needs to be replaced. Here are a few signs that your cabin filter is no longer working as it should:

Reduced Air Flow

Possibly the most common sign of cabin air filter trouble is reduced airflow in your vehicle’s heating or cooling systems, which can indicate that your cabin filter is clogged. When particles get stuck in your cabin filter, they can build up over time, eventually creating more stress on the system if the filter isn’t replaced. The blockage will make it harder for air to travel normally, affecting the system’s performance. You’ll definitely notice this decreased airflow performance in the hottest summer months or coldest winter months, so be sure to bring your car in for service as soon as possible.

Unusual Odor

A clean and functioning cabin filter should protect you and your passengers from smelly air. If your filter isn’t working properly or needs replacement, you may notice an unpleasant odor coming from your interior vents. This scent might intensify if you try to increase airflow by turning up the AC or heating system. In general, unexplainable scents may signify taking your vehicle in for a professional inspection. 

Fan Noises

Your vehicle’s air conditioning or heating systems should only make a soft noise as air moves through the vents. If you hear a louder rattling or humming noise coming from your vents as your heating or cooling system operates, something may be wrong with your cabin air filter. A clogged system may be louder when it operates because the air struggles to move through a crowded pathway. 

When something is blocking its way, the air must work harder to get to its destination. If you hear an unexpected noise, it may be your air system working to surpass particles. It may also be the sound of untethered particles moving around your vents from the filter. This noise should only get louder as more particles build up in the filter system. Make sure you also check your spark plugs!

Foggy or Icy Windows

A cabin air filter is responsible for maintaining airflow within your vehicle. One important reason you need air to flow is that it keeps fog from setting on your windows. With nowhere to go, this condensation can stop on a window and even freeze if it’s cold enough. When driving, this foggy condensation or icing can be a serious hazard because it can block your windows and make it harder to see the road. Be sure to seek immediate service if you experience any issues that directly impact your vehicle’s ability to safely operate.

What To Do if You Suspect There’s an Issue With Your Cabin Air Filter

If you notice any of these signs in your vehicle, it may be time to check up on your cabin air filter. When you bring your car in for a standard oil change, your technician will likely check your cabin filter and replace any necessary parts. So, if you are not up to date with your oil change, it may be a good time to schedule one. 

If you are up to date on your oil change but still notice issues with your cabin filter, you may want to discuss your options with one of Huffines CJDR Lewisville’s qualified technicians. In most cases, your cabin filter will remain operational from one regular oil change to the next. Still, excessive use can put undue pressure on your cabin air filter, requiring premature replacement in some circumstances. If you often go off-roading, you may collect above-average amounts of dust in your filter. Or, in other cases, your filter may simply break or rupture, causing limited functionality. Don’t forget to check your car fluids as well!

While you do have options to replace your cabin air filter by hand, it can be helpful to discuss your plans with a certified technician before taking any steps. At Huffines CJDR Lewisville, we want to ensure that your ride is always running as smoothly as possible. Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about your vehicle’s cabin air filter or any other concerns. You can also easily schedule service at your convenience. We can’t wait to meet you and help you breathe freely in your favorite ride.


Car Care, Car Maintenance

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