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How to Change Your Cabin Air Filter

dirty home air filter

Learning how to change your cabin air filter doesn’t require giving up a full Saturday. You don’t even have to pull out your “work” jeans. In fact, in just a few minutes you may be able to save a few bucks by doing it yourself. You won’t need a mechanic or oil change shop to do it for you anymore.

What Is It and Why Does Changing It Matter?

Changing the air filter in your car benefits you (and maybe even your lungs). Your vehicle pulls air into the heating and air conditioning as well as the ventilation system. The cabin air filter helps to clean the air that you’re breathing in. When it’s in good working order, it helps maintain air quality and reduces pollutants, like pollen and road dirt.

There are several filter styles. Most are accordion-style made with compacted paper. Others have shaped cotton fibers. At any rate, they’re typically a cartridge that’s fairly easy to remove.

It’s not a bad idea to check your cabin air filter at every oil change (usually 3,000 to 5,000 miles unless your car’s manufacturer specifies otherwise). There’s not always a funky smell that signals you need to replace your air filter. It could be completely clogged without you even knowing! Your car owner’s manual should have specific information on when to change it, but it’s usually about every 15,000 (give or take).

How Do You Change It?

A quick YouTube search on your specific car model with the words “cabin air filter” should pull up a video that explains where to locate your filter. You can also consult your owner’s manual.

We checked out a few cars of people on the Plymouth Rock team to see what’s what. In more than a few cases, the cabin air filter was behind the glove box. You had to pinch in the sides to lower the glove box and expose the filter. This was super easy to access. A few other cars had the filter tucked under the dash. This was harder to reach. You will also find cars out there with cabin air filters under the hood.

Purchase the same type and style of air filter for your vehicle. Generally, you can find replacements online for as little at $10 and up to $60 or so. Once you locate the old one, you should be able to easily pull it out and slide the new one into place.

If you’re not sure about changing your cabin air filter or aren’t comfortable with this task, consult a professional and always put safety first.