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How To Change A Cabin Air Filter

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Changing your cabin air filter is an easy way to ensure you and your family breathe cleaner, safer air. Your car’s cabin air filter acts like a face mask to prevent small particles of dust, pollen, car fumes and mould spores to penetrate your car. When it’s left unchanged for long periods, the filter can become clogged and these small particles make their way into your cabin. The best news is changing your cabin air filter isn’t hard, you can even do it yourself!

Reasons to change your car’s cabin air filter

Pollution, pollen, bacteria and all sorts of floating nasties can get into your car, and circulate through your car’s cooling and heating system. Not only does this sound awful, it’s also bad for you and your family.

Respiratory illnesses and allergies are common, and by breathing in pollution and dirty air, your airways can become irritated, making you more susceptible to illness. If you or anyone in your family has allergies, pollen and mould spores can worsen symptoms, leaving them tired and sick, even after allergy season has passed. And it’s all due to your car’s air filter!

If your health isn’t a compelling reason to change your air filter, here are a few more:

Changing your cabin air filter will:

  • Minimise the dust, pollen and bacteria in your car. This is extra important for those with allergies.
  • Decrease the exhaust fumes that penetrate your cabin from other cars
  • Decrease overload on your car air conditioner. When your filter is clogged, your air conditioner has to work extra hard to pump air through the clogged filter.
  • Minimise fogging of your windows to enhance safety

How to change your cabin air filter in 3 easy steps

  • Find your cabin air filter

Most car’s cabin air filters are located behind the glove box, but others are in different locations. It’s best to read your car’s manual to find your filter easily.

Tip: You may need a Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the glove box hinges. Other cars use clips, but have the screwdriver ready in case.

  • Lift out the old filter tray

Much like emptying a vacuum cleaner, a cabin air filter will be clogged with dust and particles, so move it carefully to avoid spilling.

Tip: Observe which way the filter’s ridges and pleats run before you remove it. You’ll want to install the new filter according to the same orientation.

  • Install the new filter tray

Once the old, dusty filter is removed, you can install the new one. Secure the tray in place, then screw the glove box back on.

How to choose the right cabin air filter

Cabin air filters come in all shapes and sizes: Your SUV’s filter will be much bigger than a filter for a little hatchback. If you’re not sure which size to get, ask the experts. Great brands specialising in auto heating and cooling are the perfect people to ask for some extra insight into the process. They can recommend the right filter for you, and even help you install it if you get stuck.

If you haven’t checked or changed your cabin air filter in a few years, now is the time. Don’t let nasty spores, bacteria, fumes and particles penetrate your car’s cabin. Keep you and your family safe with this simple maintenance tip, and the air you breathe will be cleaner and safer.

Brandon Reda (Author)