Most car manufacturers recommend changing the cabin air filter once every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or once a year. However, this is not a mechanical maintenance issue, it is rather an individual decision depending on how often you drive and where you drive. If you drive in heavy traffic in an urban area that has poor air quality, or if you live in rural area with high level of dust and pollen, you may need to replace the cabin air filter twice a year or even more.
As an example, Toyota recommends to inspect and replace the Cabin Air Filter every 10,000 miles or once a year. However, they recommend that “in dusty areas or areas with heavy traffic flow, early replacement may be required. If air flow from the vents decreases dramatically the filter may be clogged. Check the filter and replace if necessary.”
Just like your air filter at home, cabin filters for cars should be replaced once or twice a year. Some of the key signs that you need to replace your cabin air filter are reduced air flow through the climate control system. Another key sign is a musty smell or odor, as dust and mold builds on the old filter, which could be a health hazard. Even if you don’t have these warning signs, you should inspect the cabin filter at least once a year.
In reality, anytime you feel that the flow of air inside the car is being disrupted or weakened, it is time to replace the cabin filter. Some would prefer to replace the filter after pollen season and ahead of the hot Summer or at the end of Fall when dry leaves and debris are over. This is to ensure proper flow of cold air in the summer or hot air for defrosting in the winter. Others would prefer to replace the filter ahead of the allergies season. In conclusion, this is not a “mechanical” question, it’s rather a judgment call that drivers and passengers need to make any time they sense the flow of air inside the car is weakened or when a musty and dusty smell is apparent.
Often, consumers confuse the engine air filter with the cabin air filter. They are entirely different products, with different design and function. The former is to protect the engine, while the latter is designed to protect the wellbeing and health of drivers and passengers. Almost all new cars in the U.S. and Over 76% of all registered vehicles in the US, are equipped with a cabin air filter to enhance the quality of air we breathe inside the car. PureFlow lists all registered vehicles in the US and indicate which models are equipped with cabin filter.
Always have the best air quality by reading all the resources offered by Pureflow! You can also look up your car so you can find the best filter for what you need that uses the latest in filtration technologies.