Add-Ons: Cabin Air Filters
Fall is in full swing. There is plenty of football to watch, and Thanksgiving isn’t even here but Christmas decorations have already taken over local stores. The cooler weather is a nice reprieve from the hot summer temperatures. However, seasonal changes mean more than just a host of new activities, decorations and things to look forward to. The changing weather brings a whole new cast of allergies.
To help prevent itchy noses and watery eyes, (no, you don’t need to start handing out Benadryl tablets) consider changing a few more cabin air filters. Your customers will thank you. Similar to servicing an engine air filter, when a customer pulls up for an oil change, a cabin air filter is also important to examine. Replacing a dirty one could make a world of difference for your clients.
Reports suggest that American drivers spend roughly 600 hours a year in the car. According to the Annual Mobility Study conducted by Texas A&M University, the average American commuter spends 38 hours a year stuck in traffic alone.
Considering this large amount of time spent in the car per year, it is important to the health of your customers, and their passengers, to pay attention to the quality of air being circulated throughout their car.
You’re already aware of the importance of an engine air filter to the life of a car. Well, a cabin air filter is significant to the health of a driver.
This little-known filter cleans the air that circulates through a car. The filter traps common irritants like pollen, dust, mold spores, cigarette smoke, soot, smog, mildew, pet dander and fungus. The filter then blows out the clean, filtered air into the car’s cabin.
Most vehicles produced in the last decade come with a cabin air filter already installed. If one is not installed, there should be a convenient housing to pop a filter in. Cabin filters are commonly located under the vehicle’s dashboard or by the glove box. They can also be spotted in the outside air intake when the hood of the car is up. In most cases, replacing them only takes a few minutes and the effects are immediate.
To replace a filter by the blower, determine whether you will have to remove the glove box or not. In some cases, you will be able to simply pivot the box down to give you room to work.
Switching out a filter located by the air intake usually begins with removing the air intake screen. Next, if there is a rain or snow screen over the filter, you’ll have to remove that also. After you remove the filter, vacuum around the outside of the air intake duct as it may have gotten pollutants stuck in it. Make sure everything seals properly when you reinstall the air intake screen. If not correctly installed, rainwater can get in and soak the cabin air filter. Typically, car manufacturers suggest changing a cabin filter at least once per year, but as always, checking the owners manual is your best bet.
Specialist, Emrullah Atilgan, of automotive component supplier, Mann+Hummel reports, “On most vehicles, the cabin filter is certainly not changed anywhere near frequently enough.”
The company found that most drivers change their cabin air filters only once every six years. If these little gems are so important, why are they changed so infrequently?