The cabin air filter is generally a pleated paper filter placed in the outside air intake to the passenger compartment. It is designed to remove dust pollen, mold, spores and other contaminants from the outside air that enters your vehicle.

A clogged or dirty cabin air filter can significantly reduce air flow through cabin vents, increase the load on the blower motor, and allow allergens into the cabin air stream. We recommend changing the cabin air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific intervals.

Failure to change a clogged cabin air filter can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the vehicle’s air conditioning and heating systems. It could also cause premature failure of other system components. Replacing the blower motor could cost $300 or more. Running your A/C with a clogged filter won’t cause any vehicle safety issues, but it could affect the quality of the air you and your passengers breathe. You might also be uncomfortable if the system does not adequately heat or cool the cabin. From an environmental point of view, a clogged cabin air filter will lead to higher levels of allergens inside the passenger compartment.