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Recently, I shared 10 Car Maintenance Tips & Skills All Moms Need to Know, because I think it’s important to be empowered around car safety & maintenance – and not to mention it can help extend the life of your car. Today, I’m sharing with you how to chance the Cabin Air Filter in your car.
The air inside your vehicle can be up to 6x dirtier than the air outside. Dirt and allergens can enter the car and essentially become trapped there, for you and your family to keep breathing in and reacting to.
Some of you already know that Ella has some allergies and will actually be having surgery soon to remove her tonsils & adenoids, so keeping the air around her clean is really important to me – but I had no idea about cabin air filters until we recently.
We bought my dad his dream car this past summer, however the previous owner had been a cigar smoker… and that car reeked of cigars. I offered to get it professionally detailed, but my dad suggested that we see what changing the air filter did – and it went a long way to removing the smell. So naturally, it got me thinking about my own car and if my own cabin air filter could use some refreshing.
A cabin air filter cleans the air entering the vehicle – removing dust, dirt, and allergens. A clogged cabin air filter can not only block the flow of fresh air coming into the system and block output into the cabin of the vehicle, it can also restrict the air entering your vehicle’s ventilation system which could cause your air conditioning or defrosting system to not work as it efficiently should.
How to Change your Cabin Air Filter
We used a FRAM Fresh Breeze cabin air filter for our demonstration, which removes up to 98% of dirt, dust and allergens and uses natural deodorizers to absorb and eliminate odours. They recommend changing your cabin air filter annually or ever 24,000km so it’s some pretty low-key maintenance.
Look in your car’s manual to find out where your cabin air filter is located. Often they are located under or around the glove box.
Place a towel or some newspaper down on your car’s floor to catch any falling dirt or debris.
Remove the cabin air filter cover – mine just required a Philips head screwdriver.
Carefully pull out the old cabin air filter – you can see all of the leaves and dirt already!
Carefully dispose of the air filter and wash your hands to keep the new filter clean.
Remove the new cabin air filter from it’s packaging and check to see where the arrows indicate how to insert it.
Carefully shimmy the new cabin air filter up into the crevice, and then re-secure the cover.
While we were changing the cabin air filter, we also took the opportunity to change my Engine Air Filter. (Chances are if one needs changing, the other one needs it as well.)
A clean air filter improves airflow and prevents dirt and dust from entering and damaging the engine, and can increase acceleration, horsepower, and improve overall engine performance.
Whereas a dirty air filter restricts airflow, which can contribute to decreased acceleration, horsepower, and reduced overall performance.
I purchased both the FRAM Fresh Breeze cabin air filter and Extra Guard Engine Air Filter at my local Canadian Tire – the filters for smaller cars are out on the shelves in the Auto Maintenance area, however my new car is an SUV that requires bigger filters, so those were kept behind the counter at my location. (So if you don’t see yours on the shelf, ask an associate.)
What is the best thing you do to improve the experience of driving your car?