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What the heck is a cabin air filter? Your cabin air filter helps you breathe easy! It prevents dust and odors from entering the interior of your vehicle.

I think we've all experienced foul odors while driving; even with the windows closed. Have you ever driven near a paper mill? How about a pig farm? I think that is an experience you'll never forget. I've often said that I've never met a pig that I didn't like, but wow! What an odor! Of course, your cabin filter also helps eliminate everyday odors such as fumes from other vehicles.

Other than odors, there is another indication that your cabin filter is old, clogged, and on its last leg. You turn on the defroster to clear the window. It is completely ineffective. You turn the blower switch to high, you get more noise, but little in the way of increased airflow. Very little outside air is getting in. Clogged filter. I think it is obvious, even to those of us that need a little bit more time to figure things out, that replacing your cabin filter is important.

Most newer cars have cabin air filters. Most European cars have them. You may have one, two, or even three cabin air filters. They may be arranged side-by-side (in parallel), as in the case of 2 of my vehicles, or they may be arranged one after another (in series).

Finding your cabin air filter

In general terms, filter(s) will be located near the bottom of the windshield and visible with the hood raised. Perhaps underneath a cover or grate. Or you'll find it inside the vehicle, underneath the dash. Possibly in both locations.

For filters located underneath the dash, you'll either find it somewhere above the blower motor or it may be between the blower and the rest of the HVAC system components, such as the vents. Twist and 20x20x1 air filter merv 13 yourself to look under and behind the dash. Look near the glove box. You may see an HVAC type plastic box with a panel door. This is probably where the filter is. Remember, the system was designed for filter replacement, so it should not be an impossible task to find the location of the filter.

You could consult your owner's manual. Nah, that would be too easy and where's the fun in that?

Or, you could get information from the dealership. You could purchase them there, though, at a premium. The parts department will be able to tell you about the location of the filters and even how they should be inserted.

Another great source for info is your local auto parts store. They'll have aftermarket filters there. You'll probably have a choice on the quality of filter as well, with potential savings. They can also tell you how many cabin air filters you have and where they are located.

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