Is Your Cabin Air Filter Bad? Here's How to Tell

The cabin filter is an essential component of your car's air conditioner. It traps dust, pollen, and other foreign particles, preventing them from entering the vehicle and contaminating the cabin. But how do you know if your cabin air filter is bad? One of the first and surest signs that a cabin air filter needs to be replaced is reduced airflow in the ventilation grilles. Normally, the cab should receive enough air from the air conditioning system.

This shows that the filter works and does not limit the air flow. When clogged with dirt, the resulting restriction reduces the amount of air reaching the cabin. You may need to turn up the air conditioner higher than usual. Fortunately, there are several symptoms of dirt on the cabin air filter that can alert you to a problem before it reaches a critical point.

Another sign is that you see more than the usual amount of dust and debris inside your car. In extreme cases, the clogged filter can completely obstruct the airflow, either by causing the fan motor to fail or by sucking the filter out of the housing along with all the debris that leaks out. You should change the cabin air filter of your vehicle the moment you notice any of these signs, or it can cause several problems in the car that can also lead to an accident. On average, road fatalities worldwide are approximately 18.2 per 100,000 people.

If you don't want to contribute to that number, it's best to replace the cabin air filter after using it for a couple of years, as it won't work in the best way. Changing the cabin air filter is not just about air quality, but it is also a safety issue and a maintenance requirement of the climate control system. Generally speaking, a cabin air filter should be replaced once or twice a year, depending on driving conditions and the area in which you live, taking into account factors such as dust, moisture, fires, etc. A faulty cabin air filter also cannot capture particles efficiently, and the cabin may get dirty and smell bad.

One of the best aspects of a cabin air filter is that it blocks allergens and contaminants, but if the cabin air filter doesn't work properly, you can have watery eyes, sneeze and cough easily while driving. If you suspect that the cabin filter may be dirty, ask a professional technician to examine the vehicle, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if your car should have its cabin air filter replaced. Alternatively, take your car to a Firestone Complete Auto Care near you to have a professional technician ensure your cabin air filter is fresh and clean.

Erica Sagedahl
Erica Sagedahl

Devoted webaholic. Lifelong reader. Freelance zombie junkie. Hardcore zombie advocate. Infuriatingly humble beer evangelist.

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