While updating the maintenance logs for your car, you see that replacing the cabin air filter is recommended. You pull it out and discover it is completely clogged with leaves, dirt, and even twigs. No wonder you don’t have any heat! So, you skip replacing the cabin filter and just throw it away. You figure you don’t mind a little extra dust on your daily drive. Was that a good idea or are you about to cause some kind of unseen damage to your vehicle?
What Does a Cabin Air Filter Do?
While it might seem like it’s just a piece of paper that gathers dust, car cabin filters are actually part of the engineering design for the entire vehicle. The first job of the filter is to remove:
However, the cabin filter also restricts airflow past the condenser and heating coil into the passenger compartment. This resistance is calculated into the performance of the climate controls for your vehicle. When you remove that restriction by taking out the cabin air filter, a whole host of problems can pop up.
Poor Climate Controls
First, you will likely be too hot or too cold. If you own a vehicle manufactured in the past decade, your onboard computer will try to compensate for the lack of an air filter by altering the power supplied to the fans, but that can reduce the lifespan of the entire climate control system.
Your car was built to last the longest with all of its components in place, including the cabin air filter.
Breathing in Pollution
Of course, the most noticeable problem with a missing cabin filter is the air quality. You will be breathing in all of the contaminants spewed by other vehicles on the road, like diesel fumes and burning oil. Allergens also make its way in and won’t be scrubbed before being circulated through the cabin.
Ripped and Torn Ducts and Burnt Blower Motors
There is also hidden damage that occurs when a cabin air filter is missing. Remember the leaves and twigs mentioned at the beginning of the article? Those were captured before they got to the blower motor and the fragile ducting that delivers fresh air to your cabin. It doesn’t take much for a stick or pebble to puncture a duct or get caught in the motor. You will notice a further drop in the efficiency of your air conditioning as the motor works harder and ends up burning out.
A quality cabin air filter replacement by Premium Guard Inc. costs less than twenty dollars and only takes a few minutes to switch out. In today’s modern vehicle, replacing the cabin air filter is extremely easy to do. Generally, they are located behind the glove box in the passenger compartment but you can refer to the vehicles owner’s manual to determine the exact location. By using a screwdriver and a little patience it can be replaced easily with very little effort. If you skip the cabin air filter replacement, you could end up spending thousands on repairs to your entire heating and air conditioning system.