The question “where is my cabin air filter located?” is usually asked when car owners are experiencing problems that call for a cabin air filter replacement. A cabin air filter needs to be replaced regularly to do its function properly and efficiently. It is an important component of the heating and cooling system of a car. It is responsible for protecting the passengers from contaminants in the air they breathe inside the car. So you ask, where is my cabin air filter located? Cabin air filters are usually located under the hood, behind the glove box, or behind the dash. Its location can vary from car to car. To know the exact location of your cabin air filter, you can consult your owner’s manual. From reading it, you should be able to know where to find it and anything related to it.
Where is My Cabin Air Filter Located? – Do All Vehicles Have Cabin Air Filters?
Before you ask “where is my cabin air filter located?”, you need to make sure first that your vehicle is equipped with one. Do all vehicles have cabin air filters? Not all of the vehicles are equipped with cabin air filters. In fact, the cabin air filter is a rather new technology. Although it was first introduced in 1989, it was equipped in high-end vehicles as part of their exclusive features. The very first production car that was equipped with a cabin air filter and was standard equipment on all models was the 1989 Mercedes Benz SL Roadster.
Good thing that cabin air filters became available and are equipped in most vehicles later on. The cabin air filters were equipped in vehicles that were built after the year 2000. So if your car is built after that year, you can freely ask “where is my cabin air filter located?”. Cabin air filters made available to most modern cars means good news for people who have allergies or are health conscious.
But it is still good news for everyone since cabin air filters are responsible for preventing pollutants from reaching into the car’s cabin. It also prevents bugs, leaves, and other debris from reaching into your car’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or HVAC system. In fact, according to studies, the cabin air filters in cars can trap or filter between 50 percent and 90 percent of particles bigger than 0.3 micrometers. It includes soot, pollen, dust, and insects. This goes to show that the cabin air filters keep the air inside the cabin of your car clean, helping the passengers breathe clean air and prevent asthma and allergy triggers.
Where is My Cabin Air Filter Located? – Are All Cabin Air Filters the Same?
Car owners may also ask “are all cabin filters the same?”. The answer is, not all cabin air filters are the same or created equal. The sizes and types of contaminants they can filter or trap can vary depending on the design of the filter. There are two types of cabin air filters that are commonly used today – the particle cabin filters and the activated carbon cabin filters.
The particle or dust type cabin filters are capable of trapping very small particles from reaching into your car. The best one available is what they call the high efficiency particulate air or HEPA cabin air filters. They are known to trap even finer particles and claimed to be able to filter at 0.3 microns with a filtration efficiency of 99.97 percent, based on standardized industry testing. However, this type of cabin air filter is more expensive than the regular ones. Although it can be a bit expensive, you can trust that it will be able to provide the best protection against every small airborne particle. It is capable of trapping most mold spores, pollen, smoke, soot, bacteria, and tire dust.
On the other hand, the carbon cabin filters are known to trap both dust and odor. This type of cabin air filter is known to be chemically treated with activated carbon which can be used to reduce or eliminate odors. This type of filter usually has a gray color because of the activated carbon. Aside from trapping airborne particles and other debris, this type of cabin air filter also absorbs a wide variety of odors and gases which include ozone, fuels, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, nitrous oxides, and even benzenes from incomplete combustion.
This goes to show that a cabin air filter is just something that is installed in a car to improve the quality of the air. When you ask, “where is my cabin air filter located?”, you are not just asking for its location just to get the maintenance done or to prevent some issues from occurring. Replacing a cabin filter regularly is important since aside from making sure that the air you breathe inside the passenger compartment is clean, it also can affect car safety.
It can affect car safety in a way by removing the contaminants that can trigger some health issues such as asthma and allergies. This is because, according to studies, 40 million Americans are suffering from allergies that are triggered or made worse by some airborne particles that can reach into your car’s cabin. Since cabin air filters are capable of removing these airborne particles, it can help reduce or get rid of allergy or asthma symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, sneezing, runny nose, and other allergic reactions that can distract drivers which can lead to an accident.
Where is My Cabin Air Filter Located? – How Do I Access My Cabin Air Filter?
Since you now know the importance of the cabin air filter and everything related to it, you also want to know how to access it so you can replace it when needed. Where is my cabin air filter located? How do I access my cabin air filter? These are some of the questions often asked by the car owners. The location of the cabin air filter can vary depending on your car’s make and model. But usually, you will be able to find it in the following areas:
- Under the car’s hood
There are many vehicles that have cabin air filters placed under the hood, where the fresh air intake is. You will usually find it in the windshield cowl where it will be exposed to the air. To gain access to the cabin air filter so you can replace it, you will have to open the hood and remove the plastic housing cover.
To replace a cabin air filter located under the car’s hood, you will have to put your key in the ignition and start the car. Once the engine is running, turn on the windshield wipers. When the windshield wipers are pointing toward your car’s roof, turn the car off immediately. But if your car is equipped with a windshield wiper service position, you will have to push that button.
Next thing you can do is get out of the car and open the hood. Then you need to remove the windshield washer hose from the plastic cover’s clips found near the base of the windshield. Once done, pull the hood weatherstripping away then remove the plastic cover. To do this, you may need to use a flathead screwdriver. Once the plastic cover is removed, you can then remove your old cabin air filter and replace it with a new one. Then reattach the plastic cover, the hoodie weatherstripping, and the windshield washer hose. Once everything has been securely put back in place, you can then close your car’s hood.
- Behind the glove box
Most cars have cabin air filters located behind the car’s glove box. Cabin air filters located in this area can be accessed easily. You will just have to open the glove box and remove all of its contents. You should also remove the little arm there that supports it when the glove box hangs open which can be usually seen on the right side of the box. Removing it may require you to unhook it.
Once it is unhooked and removed, you will usually see two small plastic tabs which you can squeeze inward to remove the entire glove box. Remove the entire glove box. Once done, you should be able to spot the faceplate for the cabin air filter’s housing. You should also be able to see a few plastic latches which hold the faceplate in place. You need to remove these latches to allow the air filter to come out. You need to be careful when you remove the old cabin air filter so you won’t scatter dirt, dust, and other debris. Then install the new cabin air filter and reattach the glove box and put everything back in place.
- Behind or under the dash
There are some vehicles that have cabin air filters that are located somewhere in the dash, and are harder to access. It can be found behind or under the dash. Usually, imported cars, large trucks, or luxury cars have these cabin air filters that are harder to access. If you are not sure about the location of your car cabin air filter, you can check your owner’s manual on how to find it and how to replace it.
When you ask, “where is my cabin air filter located?”, you need to make sure that when you find out the cabin air filter’s location, you are fully prepared to deal with it. Here are some helpful tips when dealing with a cabin air filter replacement.
- When you change your cabin air filter, you need to be prepared. You can do this by preparing a vacuum cleaner, rag, and a good set of screwdrivers. You may need a rag and a vacuum to clean the cabin air filter housing compartment. Dirt might have accumulated there, especially if it’s been a while since you last changed your air filter. And of course, you may need a good set of screwdrivers if the filter housing cover is secured with screws.
- Since you are dealing with cabin air filters that are known to trap dirt, pollen, mold spores, and other airborne particles, you should be protected when you are dealing with them. You can protect yourself by wearing protective gear or clothing such as goggles, a breathing mask, or safety gloves. This way, you can protect your eyes if dust or other airborne particles suddenly scatters or gets loose and with a breathing mask, you won’t be able to breathe in all the dust..
- Make use of the owner’s manual of your car to know any specific details or instructions on how to change or clean your cabin air filter and its housing compartment.
- After removing the oil and dirty cabin air filter, dispose of it properly. Place it in a garbage bag and make sure that you will replace it with a genuine OEM part to make sure of the durability, fit, and quality.
Where is My Cabin Air Filter Located? – What are the Symptoms of a Bad Cabin Air Filter?
Where is my cabin air filter located? There are some car owners that ask this question when they are experiencing issues related to the cabin air filter. Although replacing your cabin air filter can fix the issues that can occur because of it, replacing your cabin air filter regularly before you experience a problem is still ideal.
Cabin air filters should be replaced every 15,000 to 25,000 miles or once a year, depending on the car you own. However, if you often drive your car in heavy traffic, are always exposed to poor air quality or pollution, or perhaps you live in dusty or sandy areas, then you should replace your cabin air filter more frequently. The cabin air filter maintenance interval should be less than the recommendation set by your car manufacturer.
Symptoms of a bad cabin air filter include reduced or weak airflow, musty or foul odor coming through the vents, whistling sounds from the cabin air intake ducts, and excessive noise when you turn on your heating or cooling system. If you experience any of these problems, then it is an indication that your cabin air filter has to be replaced. You can do the replacement yourself, you just need to find out, “where is my cabin air filter located?”, buy the replacement filter, and you’re good to go.