How to change your car air filter

Tips and tricks for changing your car’s air filter

Most modern cars are fitted with a ventilation system that controls their car’s heating and air conditioning throughout the changes in the year. Every system has a car air filter as part of their kit and its purpose is to release clean air into the car’s cabin. The filter removes pollen, dust and debris from the air that moves through it, which is particularly helpful for anyone who suffers from allergies like hay fever or asthma. It’s something that is often neglected and taken for granted but air filters need to be changed from time to time to ensure that they continue to work properly. We’ve put together our best tips and tricks to help you change your car’s air filter at home.

An air conditioning vent

Which cars have car air filters?

Did you know that before 2000 most cars didn’t have air filters in their air systems? The only cars that did were higher end ones and you had to pay a lot more for it. However, things are very different today as it’s standard for most modern cars to have an air filter, as they will have air conditioning and heating. Most modern cars will have one, but if you’re not sure then you can check your manufacturer handbook to find out if you do, where it is located and when it might need changing. It can also be referred to as a cabin filter, microfilter or pollen filter so best to make sure that you’re looking at the right thing.

What are car pollen filters made from?

Air filters are made from five layers of fleece-like material that can catch microns as small as 0.001µ. A strand of hair is 100 microns so you can imagine how good these air filters can be at clearing the air that is released into your car’s cabin.

How often should I change the air filter in my car?

It is entirely dependent on your car manufacturer. It will normally be written in your handbook for the exact specifications and guidelines as to when you should change your air filter. This is due to car manufacturers designing their vehicles in different ways.

For the most part, car air filter replacement guidelines range from 10,000-30,000 miles or at least every 3 years as it becomes brittle over time and will be less effective. If you’re every unsure, check with your local garage. It is normally done during a major service and dependent on your mileage.

Where is my car air filter located?

Most car air filters are located under the bonnet of the car and look like a filter grate on top of a collector box. It’s normally up near the front engine compartment. It can usually be simply pulled out and the air filter can be replaced quite easily. On some models, they have been designed so it’s really easy to access and they place them behind the glovebox. If you’re unsure about where your car air filter is, then you can always refer to your vehicle’s handbook before you start as it can help you locate where the air filter is. If your air filter is in the engine bay it may be hard to change yourself – we recommend taking it to your local garage where they can fix it for you.

How do I find the right cabin air filter for my car?

If you’re not sure about which car air filter to get, it can be easy to find online. You’ll just need to check your car registration and chassis number to see which is right for you. If you don’t know where to find your chassis number, it’s usually placed on the right lower left corner of your dashboard. Alternatively, you can call your local garage and we’ll be able to help you find the right part for you.

How much does an air filter cost?

Prices can range anywhere from £5 to £55, depending on the what type of filter you get. Like anything, there are always budget, mid-range and premium variations for each type of car. Checking your manufacturer’s handbook will help to indicate the type of air cabin filter that you’ll need. For more expensive cars, the likelihood is the parts will be too.

Hopefully, we’ve answered all your questions about your car’s air filter. If you still aren’t sure what to check or when you can always contact us at Fir Tree Autocentre for information and advice. As we mentioned earlier, your air filter is normally changed during a major service, so it might be worth waiting until then to get it changed if you regularly service your car. Book online or call us for advice today on any car repairs, replacement parts of car servicing.