Changing the cabin air filter isn’t on most Reno drivers car maintenance to-do list. If it is, it’s usually near the bottom of the list. Some Reno drivers may not even be aware their car has a cabin air filter. Be they sub-compacts or top-of-the-line luxury modes, most cars these days are fitted with a cabin air filtration system. So why should drivers in Reno care about their cabin air filter?
Importance of a Cabin Air Filter
Your car’s cabin air filter is usually located in or near your vehicle’s glove box. It may be other places depending on how your car’s HVAC system layout. They tend to be about the size of a sheet of paper and made of various materials. The cabin air filter’s job is to remove a long list of particulates you don’t want to be breathing: diesel exhaust, pollen, dust, smoke, and smog, among others.
Because the all the air entering your car’s heating and air conditioning system must pass through the filter, it can quickly become clogged. Environmental conditions and driving habits influence how quickly it becomes clogged. For Reno drivers, driving on dusty roads and smoke from fires are particular causes of clogging. A clogged cabin air filter reduces the overall effectiveness of your HVAC system as it struggles to pull air through the filter.
Besides better airflow, a clean cabin air filter keeps air fresh and allergen free. This is particularly important during fire season here in Reno because the filter removes the smoke from the air. As time passes, filters often build up leaves and other organic debris which cause bad odors. Odors can also be the result of mold and bacteria growing in the filter. Changing the cabin air filter helps keep the air in your car clean.
If a car is parked outside it becomes an attractive nesting space to rodents like rats and mice. This is especially true during cold Nothern Nevada winters as a car provides a warm and predator-free hiding place. Once in the engine compartment, they wreak all kinds of havoc on wiring, insulation, fluid lines, and the cabin air filter. Assuming they don’t gnaw through the filter to access the interior they will nest in or near it. Rats and mice urinate and defecate near their home, exposing driver and passengers alike to rodent-borne diseases like hantavirus.
How Often Should a Cabin Air Filter Be Changed
Many mechanics recommend the cabin air filter every 15,000 – 30,000 miles or about once a year. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer recommended interval. If you drive on dirt roads or park under trees frequently you may need to change the filter every six months. For some makes and models of cars replacing the filter is a do-it-yourself job, while others are jobs best handled by your mechanic. If you are unsure about if changing the cabin air filter, you can always ask the friendly professionals at Wayne’s Automotive Center. Remember, having a clean air filter lets you breath easier.