There are a lot of impurities and bad substances out on the roads that are not visible to the eyes. Even though we are cocooned inside the body shell of our cars, external impurities and dust particles could be very harmful. To avoid that, carmakers use a cabin air filter that channels the clean airflow inside the cabin. Just like every other filter, the cabin air filter needs to be cleaned and replaced at certain intervals for best performance. So we tell you how can you clean the cabin air filter at home.
What is a Cabin Air Filter?
Cabin Air Filter, as the name suggests, fits inside your vehicle’s cabin and ensures clean airflow through the fan. An air filter is a rectangular-shaped unit that is made of paper and multifibre cotton.The air channelled from the fan is passed through the filter and it traps all the dust particles and impurities and channels the clean air ahead into the cabin. The cabin air filter may not sound like a crucial part but it plays an important role in your health and car maintenance.
Why and When is it Supposed to be Cleaned?
As you have known by now, the cabin air filter traps all the impurities and dust particles. Hence the accumulation of such particles clog the filter and that reduces the overall efficiency and quality of air conditioning. Clogging of cabin air filter can result in bad odour inside the cabin that can be unpleasant on longer drives. Poor AC efficiency and bad odour are also the indicators of a clogged cabin air filter. Generally, Indian car makers recommend the replacement interval of every 10,000 km or one year, whichever is earlier. If you use your car only a few times, you can clean the air filter and take it in use for a couple of months more. And that brings us to the question, how to clean the cabin air filter? Let’s answer that.
How to Clean Cabin Air Filter?
In most of the cars sold in the Indian market or even overseas, the cabin air filter is fixed behind the glove box of the car. Unlike other replacement tasks, replacing the air filter is easy and it doesn’t even require any tools. Before going to clean the air filter by yourself, it’s recommended to have a new air filter for a quick replacement if the ongoing one can not be used further.
1: Open the glove box -
Open the glove box and take out the items like the owner’s manual and other stuff. Make sure it’s empty as it will come out and fall to access the air filter.
2: Remove the stop arm -
The limiting stop arm is generally placed on the right side of the glove box assembly. Just slide off the pin to remove.
3: Remove the glove box -
To remove the glove box, push both the sides of the glove box inside and free the side clamps. Once that is done, the glove box will hang downwards and you will be able to access the air filter.
4: Remove the air filter -
After opening the glove box, the front lid of the air filter will be visible. Pull the air filter out from the compartment and take it out from the interiors without scattering any dirt on the dashboard and seats.
5: Clean the old filter -
To clean the old filter, you can either use an air gun to shoot away the dust or use the easier way. Wrap one hand with a cloth and tap the air filter sideways gently. This will remove most of the dust particles. However, if the dust is trapped inside the layers of the filter, it is recommended to install a new air filter.
6: Install the filter -
Before installing the filter, clean the chamber and check the seals. After that, put the filter back in its place in the same direction it was placed earlier. Once that is done, put the glove box back in place, fix the limiting stop arm and you are good to go.
Signs of a Clogged Cabin Air Filter
There could be multiple reasons for the clogged cabin air filter and some of the signs mentioned below could be a sign of a much bigger problem. However, the mentioned signs are the most common ones and upon notice, you should check the cabin air filter on priority.
1: Ineffective cooling -
If the performance of the air conditioning has degraded over time and the cooling is not satisfactory even at the lowest temperature, it’s mostly because of a clogged air filter.
2: Bad Odour -
Car interiors can smell bad if you spill any drink on the upholstery and don’t clean it right away. But if the odour persists and feels more evident with the air conditioning on, it is because of the clogged and dirty cabin air filter.
3: Hissing sound from the dashboard -
The clogging of the cabin air filter reduces the flow of air and that, under the pressure of air, creates a hissing sound that comes from behind the dashboard. If you observe such sound, you should either clean or replace the cabin air filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: At what interval, the cabin air filter is changed?
Ans. Every car has it mentioned in the owner’s manual but in the case of most Indian cars, the interval is every 10,000 km or 1 year, whichever is earlier.
Q2: What are the benefits of replacing a cabin air filter?
Ans.A clean cabin air filter keeps you and your car protected from allergens, dust, pollen, smog and other harmful pollutants. Inhaling such harmful substances can deteriorate health, especially in the case of people suffering from asthmatic diseases.
Q3: How to locate the cabin air filter in my car?
Ans.Cabin air filters are mostly located behind the glove box. However, some carmakers also fix them inside the bonnet. Hence, it is always recommended to check the owner’s manual and know the correct location.