Cabin air filters are a common topic these days because not all vehicles have them. To clear up any confusion, let's discuss the difference between the engine air filter and the relatively new cabin air filter.
The cabin air filter cleans the air going into the passenger compartment and the engine air filter cleans the air going into the engine. Every vehicle is equipped with an engine air filter but not necessarily with a cabin air filter.
There are many pollutants, spores and dust particles in the air today. The cabin air filter traps most of these before they reach the passenger cabin. When you consider that a cabin air filter can stop a particle as small as three microns in size and a grain of sand is almost 200 microns, it's easy to see that having it filter the air entering your passenger compartment can make your travel experience much more pleasant. A clogged and dirty cabin air filter also restricts air flow through your car’s vents – not what you want when you’re trying to cool off your hot car on a hot, sunny day!
Since cabin air filters are still new on the scene, some people haven’t heard of them—they many not even know they have one! Often, when a customer complains of unpleasant odors in their vehicle, it turns out the cause is a dirty cabin air filter. Unlike many maintenance procedures we perform on our customer’s cars, timely cabin air replacement does nothing your car’s safety, reliability or longevity. It’s sole purpose is to protect your health and comfort while you travel.
An additional and important note for hybrid owners: your car has a special air filter that cleans the air and cools the hybrid battery pack. This filter should be inspected with the cabin air filter to ensure the battery pack doesn’t overheat.
Much like the AC and furnace filters in your home, your cabin air filter should be replaced at specified time intervals independent of your vehicle mileage. Here at Integrity Car Care & Tires, we recommend annual replacement of your cabin air filter as part of our comprehensive overall maintenance strategy. Call Integrity Car Care & Tires today to schedule your appointment.