What Happens If You Fail to Change Your Car's Dirty Cabin Filter?

Your car's air filter does more than keep foreign particles out of the air you inhale. Like other components of your vehicle, your air filter can become damaged or clogged with use. Industry experts suggest a replacement of the cabin air filter approximately every 12,000-15,000 miles. For a more accurate number of miles and further guidance, you can refer to your owner's manual for more information.


You may wonder, what happens when you fail to change your car's air filter? Here are some things that can go wrong if you don't change your filter on a regular schedule. 

Pollutants Enter Your Cabin

Every car, including yours, emits smog and exhaust fumes. If you operate your vehicle in high-traffic areas, then all this vehicle smoke can make its way into your cabin's air circulation system. A healthy in-cabin air filter should catch this pollution. However, if the filter gets old or damaged, it allows pollutants to flow directly into the air you breathe.

Poor Air Circulation

Sometimes, larger objects can get stuck in your filter system. If these items aren't cleared out from time to time, it could alter your air circulation. 

Strain on Your Engine

A clogged filter will make your HVAC system work twice as hard to get air through your cabin. The harder it works, the harder the engine has to work too! Furthermore, a heavy strain on your motor will result in poor fuel efficiency. 

Allergens Circulate

Many people are sensitive to things and have allergies. If you or your immediate household are one of those people with allergies, make sure your air filter gets changed to ensure a comfortable car ride. Otherwise, pollen and other substances can enter your cabin and cause a sneeze-fest that could be avoided.

Bad Odor

When you neglect to replace your air filters, dust and mold can accumulate in your filter. As a result, you may catch a whiff of a musty odor coming from your vents. And not even the best air fresheners on the market can cover this smell. 


If you want fresh and clean air, feel free to ask one of our technicians at Open Road Automotive & Tire to replace the filter. 

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