19th Annual Technical Forum: Filters

19th Annual Technical Forum: Filters

Where is the cabin air filter located?

A. It depends on the vehicle. The majority of late model cars, light trucks and SUVs come factory equipped with a cabin air filter (or, in the case of some Ford vehicles, a slot where a filter can be installed). But there are still many vehicles that do not have a cabin air filter.

Cabin air filters were introduced back in the mid-1980s in Audis and other European luxury vehicles. The first domestic applications date back to 1994 (Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique). By 2005, cabin air filters were installed in nearly 80 percent of all new vehicles. But in some cases, such as 2003 and later GMC fullsize SUVs, the cabin air filter was discontinued when GM redesigned the HVAC (heat, ventilation & air conditioning) system (why, we don’t know).

On vehicles that do have cabin air filters, it is usually located somewhere behind the glovebox in the plastic HVAC housing, or in the cowl area at the base of the windshield where the outside air inlet for the HVAC system is located. Accessing the filter may require removing the glovebox, or a plastic cover in the cowl area.

Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for the location of the cabin air filter (if the vehicle is so equipped).
Because of its hidden location, many motorists are totally unaware their vehicle even has such a filter, let alone how often it should be replaced.

Cabin air filters trap pollen, dust, smoke and other pollutants that would otherwise enter the vehicle and possibly irritate the nose and lungs of the driver and passengers. The filter also helps keep the A/C evaporator clean so dirt and mold don’t build up on its surface and reduce cooling.

Most of these filters are highly efficient and have electrostatically charged fibers that do an excellent job of trapping even the smallest particles (down to 0.3 microns!). Most cabin air filters will stop 100 percent of all particles that are 3 microns or larger in size, and 95 to 99 percent of particles in the 1 to 3 micron size range. Some cabin air filters also trap odors, and are called “combination” filters. These type of filters have an extra layer of activated carbon that reacts with odors and other airborne pollutants to neutralize them before they become objectionable. The filters can even reduce the levels of carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen from the exhaust of other vehicles.

Some cabin air filters are also treated with a chemical biocide or a special surface treatment that destroys bacteria, fungus and mold spores on contact. This is important to prevent the growth of unwanted organisms and odors.



Shocks & Struts

Oxygen Sensors




CV Halfshafts

Chassis Parts

Belts & Hoses


You May Also Like

Meet the January ‘Guess the Car’ Champion: Jake Myers

The correct answer for the January contest was the Toyota C-HR.

Every month, Counterman’s “Guess the Car” contest challenges our readers to solve an automotive riddle, for a chance to win $100. And each month, we receive hundreds of responses from aftermarket professionals trying to guess the model of the vehicle depicted.

The correct answer for the January contest was the Toyota C-HR. (The illustration showed a man approaching a door with the letters “HR” on it.)

AACF Applications Increase 90 Percent in Wake of Wildfires

The Camp Fire destroyed 14,000 residences, displaced thousands and left more than 80 dead and hundreds missing.

wildfire, Camp Fire
Purolator Launches Summer Mail-in Rebate Promotion for Air Filters

The promotion will run through Aug. 31 for all Purolator air and cabin air filters.

Epicor To Demonstrate Augmented Reality eCatalog At AAPEX In Las Vegas

This “Catalog of the Future” enables users to perform inspections, visualize parts and labor information and order replacement components from the service bay, the company says.

Continental Expands Popular Asian, European And Domestic Coverage For VDO Brushless HVAC Motors

The company has added more than 30 new SKUs to its VDO Brushless HVAC Motors line, expanding the company’s coverage to include Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Infiniti, Lexus, and Toyota automobiles and light trucks for model years 2011-’17.

Other Posts

OttoFran And Vast-Auto Family Hold 2017 Annual Convention

The Vast-Auto and OttoFran marketing and sales team held various workshops during which the latest market information, the new banners programs, marketing campaigns and the action plan for 2017-2018 were presented.

Streamlight Introduces Rechargeable KeyMate USB Flashlight

With an off/off button for constant operation, the KeyMate USB has three modes: high (35 lumens); low (16); and strobe (flashes at high lumen level). Featuring LED technology for extreme brightness, the light provides a run time of one hour on high and two hours in both the low and strobe modes.

All-New Ford Expedition Redefines Full-Size SUVs with Adaptable Interior, Smart Technology for Every Occupant

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For today’s active families, Ford introduces the all-new Expedition – the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever – with technology to keep every passenger connected, more power for drivers, and more expected towing capability than any other full-size SUV. Related Articles – Coil Conversion Kit For 2001-’05 Audi A6 And Audi allroad

Coil Conversion Kit For 2001-’05 Audi A6 And Audi allroad Quattro

For ride quality, the kit includes new custom-valved, application-specific shock absorbers. The Audi front coil spring assemblies include new upper mounts, Arnott says.