How Often to Change a Cabin Air Filter

Clean Air Filter on Dirty Air Filter on Engine Block

Most cabin air filters should be replaced every 15,000 miles, but your vehicle may be different — check your owner’s manual to be sure. Our service department can also help you out with recommended service intervals based on your model and year. Want to know what a cabin air filter even does and why you should replace it whether you’re driving in the desert or in Shiloh? We answer your air filter questions below!

What Do Cabin Air Filters Do?

A cabin air filter cleans the air that enters the cabin of your vehicle. Basically, it works to keep dust, dirt, pollen, and other particles from passes through the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. It’s only a matter of time before you have a clogged cabin air filter, which can impact your vehicle’s interior air quality.

While some passengers may not notice it immediately, anyone with allergies or sensitivities to dust and pollen will likely notice the difference between a cabin air filter that’s clean and one that needs to be replaced.

When Should You Change a Cabin Air Filter?

Here are some common signs that your cabin air filter needs to be replaced:

  1. Decreased air flow when climate control systems are on
  2. Unpleasant odors that linger in the cabin
  3. Increased dust settling on vehicle surfaces

If you’re changing your cabin air filter every 15,000 miles or so, you should avoid most or all of those signs. But if you drive in an area with high pollution or find yourself regularly on a job site with unpaved roads, you might want to change your air filter more frequently.

Mechanic Holding Dirty Air Filter

How To Change a Cabin Air Filter

  1. Your owner’s manual will tell you where the filer is located and how to remove it. It should also give you an idea of how difficult the process will be.
  2. A cabin air filter is typically behind the glove box or under the hood, but if yours is under your vehicle dashboard, it may be more difficult to reach.
  3. Protect yourself by wearing gloves and a mask in case removing the dirty air filter gets messy.
  4. Place the old filter in a garbage bag, and replace it with a genuine OEM part to ensure quality, durability, and fit.

Why use an OEM air filter? If you do a lot of your own auto maintenance, you may feel comfortable using an aftermarket filter, but we discourage them because they often have fit issues. Aftermarket parts are designed for a range of vehicles, which could leave you cutting and fitting an air filter, spending more time on a simple replacement only to save a couple dollars.

How Much Does a Cabin Air Filter Cost?

Depending on your vehicle, a filter replacement can cost anywhere between $30 and $70. If you go to an authorized service center and your vehicle is still under warranty, some costs may be covered, and many dealerships have service packages or specials that bundle routine maintenance like this to make it more affordable.

Rely on Auffenberg Dealer Group for Certified Service and Genuine Parts

For your next oil change, tire rotation, or major repair, turn to Auffenberg Dealer Group near O'Fallon for efficient service by certified technicians. Don’t hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions.


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