Taking weekend road trips in the spring sunshine is just one of the many activities that families enjoy this time of year. However, making sure that your car is road trip ready is important any time of year. While most of us think of things like tire pressure, oil change, and windshield wipers, the cabin air filter rarely gets a second thought. But, this air filter is very important to the health and well-being of you and your passengers any time you get into the car. If you travel for several hours with anyone who has a respiratory illness or chronic seasonal allergies, their symptoms could be made worse by a dirty cabin air filter that is not doing its job.
The cabin air filter plays an important role in make sure that pollutants that are floating around in the air of your car are trapped. While it is out of sight out of mind, it is doing a very real job and can get easily dirty and clogged. Just like with the air conditioner in your home, if the air filter in your car cabin is dirty then less pollutants and allergens are being trapped and are instead floating around inside of your car. This can lead to the air conditioner sucking in the dirty air that the cabin air filter is no longer able to clean. If the air conditioner gets dirty and clogged – the motor can burn up.
The cabin air filter should be replaced every 15,000 to 25,000 miles, which typically works out to be once per year. The air filter lives inside of the glove box of your car or truck and is sometimes checked by the technician when you have an oil change. In order to access the air filter, the glove box needs to be removed which can be easier said than done for some cars.
Having the cabin air filter replaced can cost anywhere from $36 to $100 depending on the make and model of your car. High-end cars are more expensive because sometimes the air filter can only be sourced at the dealership. Other cars that are more common are less expensive as the parts are easier to find.
If you are planning long drives or vacations far from home, make sure to have the tire pressure checked, the oil changed, the wiper blades inspected – AND the cabin air filter replaced.