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Car Cabin Air Filter
Old 03-03-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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Car Cabin Air Filter

Today I got a mailer from the Toyota dealer offering $10 off a cabin air filter, saying that it should be changed every 15,000 miles.
"Toyota Cabin Air Filters play a vital role in maintaining healthy, clean air inside every Toyota vehicle. They trap dust, odors, pollen and many other irritating or harmful particles, ensuring that drivers and passengers enjoy a more pleasant journey."
Sounds like baloney to me. I never even knew there was a cabin air filter.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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How Do I Change My Air Cabin Filter?

Looks like a do-it-yerself job to me!

http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/aller...chart-2007.pdf
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:12 PM   #3
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Some cars do have them. I suppose it's one of those things that can't hurt and might even be helpful to some people.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:19 PM   #4
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Back in the old days we walked to our one room school houses, started our careers in the mines at age eleven, and breathed whatever air blew through the heater cores on our cars. And we liked it!
Nowadays cars have cabin air filters so we don't suffer from the effects of air borne dust. Some cars even have carbon filters to protect the occupants from anyone who may have flatulated out there in the evil old world. Changed the cabin filter on my '93 station wagon (BMW - bet the oriental cars make it easier) - once - which was a right pain, and it was full of dirt. Some filters end up being a handy home to mold growth. That's progress!

If you are full of enthusiasm you could probably change it yourself, doubt most get changed earlier than 50-60k.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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I'd be more afraid of it being clogged up and not getting enough fresh air in. Our Accord has one, our civic doesn't. I changed it myself. The manual says 1 hr which means it took me 2 hrs. A fair amount of dash disassembly was required (flexibility, a flashlight, and a screwdriver is all you need). This is one of those "part costs $5, labor for install costs $100" deals.

A quick google shows Honda got smart and it takes 2 minutes to change the cabin filter in newer accords where you don't have to disassemble half the dash. Go figure. So I'd say spend a few minutes googling for "how to" change the filter and see what's involved. It probably won't change the mechanical performance of your car, but may make the inside air cleaner. I think on DW's accord, it got clogged up and caused the windows to remain fogged up most the time and reduced the effectiveness of the defroster. Dust accumulation on the filter reduced the air flow significantly. Since DW said "my car is broken I can't see out the windshield I need a new car", changing this filter saved me literally tens of thousands of dollars.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:24 PM   #6
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Some cars even have carbon filters to protect the occupants from anyone who may have flatulated out there in the evil old world.
So so they also have a filter to protect you from those who may flatulate inside the car ?
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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So so they also have a filter to protect you from those who may flatulate inside the car ?
on recirc, yes. There is a somewhat famous used BMW ad in which the owner asserted that the car was never smoked or flatulated in. Can't claim the same for my car. Because I haven't had it since new, yeah, that's it!
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:36 PM   #8
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Didn't think I was getting enough fresh air from the intake in my Saturn Vue so I removed the compartment filter and left it out.

Still alive and well.

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Clean your air filter instead
Old 03-03-2010, 03:30 PM   #9
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Clean your air filter instead

They do typically get clogged and can grow mold. You could leave it out or change it. You could also do what I did as I am a cheap. Take it out and clean it in warm water. Let it air dry then reinstall. Works for most of them. If it is a very flimsy one it might break but then you really have not lost anything by trying. If you find mold add a little bleach to the water and soak it if necessary in it.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:35 PM   #10
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I've also seen people make their own from furnace filters when they thought the part was overpriced. Many cars have a place for one, but it is not installed at the factory - another cost reduction.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:01 PM   #11
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Sounds like baloney to me. I never even knew there was a cabin air filter.
It's where the rodents like to set up for cold winter weather.

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They do typically get clogged and can grow mold. You could leave it out or change it. You could also do what I did as I am a cheap. Take it out and clean it in warm water. Let it air dry then reinstall. Works for most of them. If it is a very flimsy one it might break but then you really have not lost anything by trying. If you find mold add a little bleach to the water and soak it if necessary in it.
I just shake out the debris (and any rodents) whenever I change the oil.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:20 PM   #12
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I've also seen people make their own from furnace filters when they thought the part was overpriced. Many cars have a place for one, but it is not installed at the factory - another cost reduction.
Here is one example.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:53 PM   #13
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A cabin air filter is probably useless in an urban environment. There isn't that much dust etc. to clean up.

If you drive on unpaved roads, you might like one. A couple of years ago, a friend and I drove the Dempster highway. No cabin filter and an inch of dust on everything (inside and out) when we arrived at the end.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:03 AM   #14
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A cabin air filter is probably useless in an urban environment. There isn't that much dust etc. to clean up.
I don't drive on unpaved roads and I replaced my cabin filter a while after the schedule outlines. I felt like I was not getting good air flow. When I popped it out, it was really clogged up. Looked like bits of leaves, cat hair (cat pretty much lives in the garage), and who knows what.

Now, maybe it would make no real difference if I had no filter - maybe that stuff doesn't amount to much when spread out over years of driving. Or maybe it could have collected in the corners of vents, clogged something, or turned moldy/smelling? I don't know, but I replaced it.

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Old 03-04-2010, 08:11 AM   #15
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Back in the 90's Nissan had trouble with no filter, leaves could blow into the Resistor used to run the blower at low speeds. The resistor is in the air duct to be cooled as it gets very hot. It did start fires.

The short story is do not remove the filter as you could have a build of flamable junk by the resistor.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:08 AM   #16
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I got a good house furnace filter for a couple of dollars and cut it into 4 filters for all my cars.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:46 AM   #17
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I got a good house furnace filter for a couple of dollars and cut it into 4 filters for all my cars.
Maybe it's time we re-visited the forum tagline...
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:56 AM   #18
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Changed the cabin and air filters in the Buick in two minutes. Cost for both $25
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:12 PM   #19
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A cabin air filter is probably useless in an urban environment. There isn't that much dust etc. to clean up.

If you drive on unpaved roads, you might like one. A couple of years ago, a friend and I drove the Dempster highway. No cabin filter and an inch of dust on everything (inside and out) when we arrived at the end.
Thanks for the link on the Dempster Hwy! Great adventure I bet. Got the old travel juices going. Probably worth it's own thread. I did a search and Yakers threatened to do this trip. I wonder if he went? Wonder if he took his Kayak?

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Old 03-07-2010, 06:37 PM   #20
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Heaven forbid that you should open the window! There's ALL that unfiltered air out there, after all, and you might accidently breath some.
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