How Often Should You Change The Cabin Air Filter?

If you have ever taken your car to an auto mechanic shop for an oil change, then you have most likely been asked if you are interested in replacing your old air filters. Unfortunately, most people generally turn the mechanic down, simply because they are not sure what replacing the air filters entails. While replacing your car’s air filter is a maintenance item that can often be overlooked, dirty air filters can have a negative effect on your car’s performance – which is why it is important to know how often you should change your car air filters.

So what are car air filters you ask? Car air filters are important car components that help keep airborne particles from clogging up and damaging your engine and HVAC system. The vast majority of modern cars have two main air filters, one of which is in the cabin air filter and one that is in the engine air filter. 

  1. Engine Air Filter: The engine filter helps protect your engine from intaking dirt, dust, and bugs. A dirty filter can impact your engine’s performance, and  sometimes it can even affect your gas mileage and fuel emissions.
  2. Cabin Air Filter: The cabin filter keeps debris from entering the air flow inside your vehicle so you and your passengers don’t inhale any unwanted funk. Essentially, the cabin air filter ensures that your air conditioning isn’t blowing pollutants and allergens into your car.

Now that you know what the main car air filters are, let’s go over how often to change air filters in cars. Both of the above car air filters need to be changed periodically, however they generally need to be changed at different times. The maintenance schedules can also be different depending on the given make and model of your vehicle. That said, as a general rule of thumb, your engine air filter should be replaced around every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. While your cabin air filter should be replaced every year or so.

However, how often you should change the air filter in a car also depends on the conditions of the environment you are driving in, as well as how hard you are pushing your vehicle. For example, if you are driving your vehicle on dirt roads, heavy traffic in extreme weather, or through an area where there is an active wildfire, your car air filters may need to be replaced sooner than normal. If driving in poor air quality condition, be sure to look at your air filters several times throughout the year. In some cases, you may be able to tell that one of your car air filters needs to be replaced just by looking at it. If you find any black areas on the section where the outside air enters into the vehicle, then it might be time to consider swapping it out. Thankfully, the two air filters we have discussed above are fairly easy to access, making this an easy task. If you are unsure where your car’s air filters are, revisit your vehicle’s owner’s manual for some guidance.

If you have any other questions about how often to change engine air filter and cabin air filter, do not hesitate to reach out to our friendly staff at GT Automotive in South Jordan, Utah. Just give us a call at (801) 302-0912.

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