The primary purpose of cabin air filters, located on most vehicles since 2000, is keeping the air inside your vehicle’s cabin clean.
It’s typically located behind the glove compartment or under the hood or dashboard on most modern vehicles. Its job is to filter all of the air that comes through the car’s HVAC system to prevent pollutants, such as dust, pollen, smog and mold spores from entering. The filters can also catch rodent droppings, leaves and other unwanted debris.
“They help with allergy problems,” says Potter, who has a monthly contest at his shop to pick the dirtiest cabin filter (the winner gets a free oil change.) “It helps prevent pollen from getting in the car if you live in an area with a lot of trees.”
Besides improving air quality, replacing the cabin air filter may prevent an expensive repair. “When the air is dirty, the A/C will work harder and the motor can burn up,” says Troy Roberts, owner of highly rated Bays Complete Auto Repair in Phoenix.