Informational Guide

How Often To Replace Cabin Air Filter

Ever wondered how often should you replace your cabin air filter in your car? We answer your top questions and show you how to change & replace them yourself.

The cabin air filter must be changed as a regular part of your car maintenance, but do you know how often to replace a cabin air filter?

In this guide, we will answer your top questions, such as where is the cabin air filter located and how much is a cabin air filter replacement?

What is a cabin air filter and what does a cabin air filter do? The cabin air filter is responsible for filtering out harmful pollutants from the vehicle, including dust and pollen. Where is the cabin air filter? In most vehicles, you can find it behind the glove compartment.

The filter itself is small and pleated. It's often constructed from a paper material that traps any contaminants in the air before pumping out of the HVAC system

If you have allergies or asthma, you will find it is even more critical to change this filter regularly. Plus, a dirty cabin air filter can lead to strange odors in the car.

How Often To Replace Cabin Air Filter

How Often Should You Replace Your Cabin Air Filter?

How often do you replace the cabin air filter? It depends on the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle. In most cases, the answer to how often should you replace the cabin air filter would be every 30,000 miles. However, there are several factors that alter that number.

First, you must consider the internal factors. For example, if you are a smoker, you are going to have more contaminants in your cabin air filter than the non-smoker. For this reason, you might want to change it more frequently.

Additionally, you have external factors to consider. If you live in an area that's heavily polluted or you deal with consistent wildfire smoke, the cabin air filter should be changed more often.

How To Tell If A Cabin Air Needs Replacing

Now that you have the answer to how often should you replace cabin air filter in car, it's time to consider when should the cabin air filter be replaced. Other than as part of the regular maintenance, you want to understand the other times when replacement is needed. So, why replace the cabin air filter? Here are some reasons.

Foul odor from outside the car

One of the first signs that indicate when to replace a cabin air filter is when you start smelling odors from outside the car. If you start smelling all of the skunks, cow pastures and other outside scents, it might be time for a replacement.

Particulates or smoke

If smoke begins to make its way through the vents, this is a major sign that it's time to change the cabin air filter. It could indicate that the filter has been ripped or otherwise damaged.

Car AC doesn't blow vigorously

After lots of use, the cabin air filter can become clogged. When this happens, there won't be enough airflow to work the HVAC system properly. To restore the cars air conditioning system to its free-flowing performance, you need a new filter.

Struggling sound from Car HVAC to push air out

Additionally, you might start to hear the HVAC system struggle to push air around the cabin. Sometimes it comes across like a blocked vent, when other times, it just sounds loud. A quick fix to any performance issue is to change the cabin air filter.

How Often Should You Replace Cabin Air Filter

How To Change Cabin Filter On Your Own Car

Do you know how to change a cabin air filter? If you are looking to learn how to change a cabin air filter in a car, the best resource is your owner's manual. If you are asking, "can I replace my cabin air filter myself," the answer is absolutely!

Is it easy to replace a cabin air filter? Yes, most people can change it quickly without any skills or special tools. Here are some steps to follow with the most popular cars on the road today.

Replacing cabin filter of Nissan Altima

To learn how to replace a cabin air filter for Nissan Altima cars, you will need to look in your glovebox for the three screws on the lower portion. Remove these screws and the center console lid side panel to access the cabin air filter.

Replacing cabin filter of Toyota Corolla/Camry

Learning how to replace a cabin air filter on Toyota Corolla or Camry cars is also simple. Open the glovebox and find the lower right side screw for removal. There might also be plastic tabs on the glovebox edge that need to be removed. Take out the cabin air filter and replace it with a new one.

Replacing cabin filter of Honda Odyssey/Accord

Figuring out how to change a cabin air filter on Honda Accord and how to replace a Honda Odyssey cabin air filter include the same steps. Open the glovebox and push the grooved section of the retaining arm, popping it out of place. You should be able to pull the two sides of the box together and lower it to the floor mat. Remove the sliding tray to replace the cabin air filter.

Replacing cabin filter of Jeep Renegade

Figuring out how to replace a cabin air filter on Jeep Renegade models won't take much work. You might need to remove more screws than the other models, but the glove box should come out easily and reveal the cabin air filter for replacement.

Tips On How To Extend The Life Of Your Cabin Filter

As you learn the steps to changing a cabin air filter, you should keep these valuable tips in mind.

  • Don't clean the air filter. As you learn how much to replace cabin air filters, you see it's very cheap. There is no reason to clean it when it only costs a few dollars to replace it.
  • Follow the recommended guidelines in the owner's manual. Don't neglect regular replacements.
  • Avoid smoking in your car. The filter has to trap all of these contaminants, making it less effective.
  • Replace the cabin air filter at the first sign of trouble. If the HVAC system isn't running correctly, start with this simple replacement. It is the cheapest fix and might save you a bunch of money.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What happens if you don't change the cabin air filter?

If you run your vehicle with a dirty cabin air filter, it will only get clogged. Having a clogged cabin air filter causes the HVAC system to work harder and inefficiently, eventually leading to damage to the expensive components.

Can I run my car without a cabin air filter?

You should not drive without a cabin air filter. First, pollutants will get into the system and are breathed by you and your occupants. Furthermore, these particles can cause damage to the expensive HVAC system.

Does a cabin air filter affect gas mileage?

Not as much as a dirty engine air filter would, but it's possible. If the HVAC system isn't running efficiently, it could use more fuel to operate.

Are cabin air filters expensive? How much does it cost to replace a cabin air filter?

You shouldn't need to spend more than $20 to get a new cabin air filter. If you can replace it yourself, there's no labor charge involved, saving you even more money. If you don't want to do it yourself, ask your mechanic to do it with the regular automotive tune-up.

Does AutoZone replace cabin air filters?

While AutoZone offers lots of free services, changing the cabin air filter isn't one of them. However, this task is simple enough for anyone to do at home with a screwdriver.


Figuring out how often to replace a cabin air filter and how to change it isn't complicated. By taking this simple step, you ensure that you and your passengers breathe high-quality air for better health.