This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FRAMFresh #CollectiveBias
Today I’m going to show you how to change your car’s cabin air filter. This is something that I think everyone should know how to do and you’ll see why when you see how easy it is and how much money you can save compared to what you pay to have it changed at the dealership or when you get your oil changed. Seriously, it’s a little ridiculous. It’s another one of those little life skills that I wish we taught our kids in school because it really could give them a sense of empowerment and save them a lot of money when they’re older!
Cabin air filters exist to filter the air inside your car, which can be up to 6 times dirtier than the air outside. The cabin air filter removes dirt, dust, and allergens from the air passing through your car’s heating and air conditioning system and helps you breathe easier. A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can reduce the efficiency of your car’s heating, air conditioning, and defrosting systems, so changing it out regularly is very important to your comfort as well as your safety! Fall is a great time to think about switching out your cabin air filter because you’ll be putting your car’s heating and defrosting systems to the test in a month or two when the cold weather hits! You want those systems in tip top shape!
The first step in changing out your car’s air filter is to go to the store and buy a new one! I went to Canadian Tire to buy a FRAM air filter as well as a FRAM Fresh Breeze cabin air filter.
The FRAM air filter aisle can be a little intimidating because they make air filters to fit a lot of different vehicles, but finding the right air filters for your car is actually pretty easy. They have these little tablets set up right in the aisle and you just choose your car’s make, model, and year, and it will tell you exactly which models of air filter you’ll need! You may also need to know your engine size, which always kind of throws me off because who remembers what their engine size is? If you look in your little plastic folder with the owner’s manual, you’ll usually find a sheet of paper that will quickly tell you what your engine size is. It’s usually the piece of paper that would have been stuck to your car’s window at the dealership.
Changing out the cabin air filter is a little different on every vehicle, but it’s almost always super easy. If you want instructions for your exact vehicle, either look in your owner’s manual or just google it! The internet to the rescue again!
Once you get your air filters home, you’ll be ready to get started!
For this particular vehicle we were working on, and for most vehicles actually, the cabin air filter is located in the glove box area.
Open the glove box up and remove everything from inside.
Press inwards on both sides of the glove box at the same time and the glove box will release and drop down towards the floor of the car.
The cabin air filter will be revealed! Press the little tabs on each side at the same time and the whole thing will slide straight out.
You’ll see that you have a plastic casing with the actual air filter sitting inside.
Here you can see the old cabin air filter still sitting in the plastic casing, and the new one sitting beside it. The old one doesn’t look too bad from here, but up close you could see it was pretty dusty and there were actually quite a few bugs in the folds of the filter. So it was doing its job basically!
The old filter will easily pop out of the casing and then you can just put the new one right in!
Make sure you get the new filter to sit nice and straight in the casing. It should be a perfect fit because it was designed specifically for your car!
After that, all you have to do is slide the filter back into place and close up the glove box! Done!
We also went and replaced the air filter that filters the air going into the engine at the same time. A clean air filter improves airflow and prevents dirt and dust from entering and damaging the engine. This can be a bit more difficult to switch out than the cabin air filter on some cars, but on this one it was just as easy to do. Actually, we replaced both air filters, took pictures of the process, and had lots of discussion as to which exact pictures we should take to show you the whole process in less than 10 minutes! …and we probably saved ourselves close to $100 at the same time compared to the prices we’ve seen at some of the oil change places!
Here you can see the color difference in the old air filter vs. the new one. It was definitely time for a change! How long these filters last usually depends on how much mileage you put on your car, but it’s different for every vehicle, so definitely refer to your owner’s manual to see how often you should change yours out.
And that’s all it takes to change out your car’s cabin air filter! Amazing! It’s really not much more difficult than when I make a coffee using my Tassimo in the morning, really. 🙂
If you think it’s time for your cabin air filter to be switched out, definitely give it a try yourself! It’s an easy little project that gives you such a sense of accomplishment and could save you some money too!
You can check out some more tips for changing out your air filters here!
Do you tackle little maintenance things like this on your own vehicle? What are some of the easy tasks that you think everyone should know how to do themselves?
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.