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As a vehicle owner, it’s easy to know when certain parts need maintenance. When your tires are losing traction, you tend to notice. When your wiper blades aren’t working, you’re reminded every time it rains. And of course, you know that pesky oil light won’t go away until you get the oil changed. But then there’s the often-forgotten cabin air filter. You don’t see it, but in reality, it’s having a big impact on every breath you take inside your vehicle.
Today we’ll cover four things to know about filters—including how often to change the cabin air filter—so that this lesser-known car part finally gets the attention it deserves.
First things first: what does a cabin air filter do? Usually located either behind your glove compartment or under your hood, your cabin air filter plays a major role in ensuring your comfort and safety. Whenever you’re running the heat or air conditioning system, your cabin air filter is filtering the air that enters your cabin. This is important, because while you’re enjoying the drive, there’s a whole world of dust, mold spores, pollution, and pollen in the air outside, trying to get in. Your cabin air filter is designed to filter out these contaminants to help improve the air that you breathe.
Just like the filter in your home A/C system, the cabin air filter eventually becomes clogged with dust and needs to be changed out to a new filter. Thankfully, cabin air filters are affordable to replace. As the cabin air filter begins to plug, you’ll generally notice the symptoms of a bad cabin air filter, including reduced air flow from vents, musty smells inside the car, or more and more dust settling on interior surfaces. Or you may simply find that the A/C isn’t blowing hard anymore. If these happen to you, bring your vehicle to your local Jiffy Lube® for a quick and easy cabin air filter replacement.
But what if you don’t notice any symptoms yet—how do you know how often to change the cabin air filter? It will vary based on the make, model, and year of your vehicle, but generally you should replace the cabin air filter every 15,000-30,000 miles. You can find the recommended interval for your specific vehicle in your vehicle’s owner manual. Or just ask the trained technicians at Jiffy Lube®, as they have this information at their fingertips.
Most people don’t even know that they have a cabin air filter. Even fewer know that it needs to be replaced. But now that you know how often to change the cabin air filter and you can easily answer the question, “What does a cabin air filter do?,” you can try replacing it on your own.
First, refer to your owner manual to find out where your cabin air filter is located. If it’s behind the glove box or under the hood, like it is in most vehicles, it should be easily accessible for you. (In some cases, the cabin air filter is under your dashboard, which poses more of a challenge.) Since the dirty air filter tends to be messy and dusty, protect yourself by wearing rubber gloves and a mask. Then remove the old filter and replace it with a new filter that meets your manufacturer’s specifications.
Many vehicle owners prefer to leave this task to the professionals. The technicians at Jiffy Lube® are always ready to help.
If you bring your vehicle to Jiffy Lube, the team will not only inspect your cabin air filter, but also your vehicle’s other filters like the engine air filter to ensure that everything’s working properly. They can give you personalized advice based on your vehicle, including how often to change the cabin air filter in your unique vehicle. Best of all, you can breathe easy—pun intended—knowing that every service at Jiffy Lube is performed based on your manufacturer’s recommendations.
Fascinated by filters? Read our overview of all the filters in your vehicle and how often you should change them.
Learn why oil filters are just as important as fresh oil in keeping your vehicle running smoothly.
Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center or visit jiffylube.com for specific services offered.