Upgrade Your Air, and your Car, with the Best In-Car Cabin Air Filters

Have a smelly car? Cabin air filters might be to blame, but a replacement will solve the problem. Consider a carbon cabin air filter for premium filtering.

Late Model Cars, Like This 2018 Nissan Rogue, Often Offer A Carbon Cabin Air Filter To Keep Your Car Smell Good.
Late model cars, like this 2018 Nissan Rogue, often offer a carbon cabin air filter to keep your car smell good. Photo: Maria Smith

When’s the last time you thought about cabin air filters in your car?

Air filters can make a huge difference in how it feels in your car, especially if you’re in the car for a long time. But do you need a carbon air filter? And what is a carbon air filter anyway? Here’s what you need to know!

What are Cabin Air Filters Anyway?

Most late model cars have car air filters already installed. They are essential for a clean, breathable car. Car air filters clean the air that comes into your car through the ventilation, air conditioning, and heating system. They remove things in the air like dust, soot, and pollen, as well as bigger things like leaves and insects.

Cabin air filters also help keep the air conditioning evaporator clean, which can reduce microbe growth and the musty odors that stink up your car. A clogged air filter will make it so the incoming air that is blowing throughout your car cabin also includes all this debris. You are breathing it in! That’s not only gross but it could be unhealthy too.

If your car is smelly, check out these tips for keeping your car clean even if you have a bunch of kids. 

Late Model Cars, Like This 2018 Nissan Rogue, Often Offer Carbon Cabin Air Filters To Keep Your Car Smell Good.

Late-model cars, like this 2018 Nissan Rogue, often offer a carbon cabin air filter to keep your car smelling good. Photo: Maria Smith

When Do Cabin Air Filters need to be replaced?

Do you smell some noxious odors on your commute? Are your vents not blowing air strongly? Does your car fog up easily? These are all signs that you might need a new cabin air filter. Experts say that you should get your cabin air filter checked at least once a year and it should be replaced about every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. This can depend on where and how much you drive. Some can last longer though so check with your manufacturer (or you know…just google it.)

If You Drive In A High-Traffic, Urban Area, You May Need To Change Your Cabin Air Filters More Frequently.

If you drive in a high-traffic, urban area, you may need to change your cabin air filters more frequently. Photo: Maria Smith

Do You Need a Carbon Cabin Air Filter?

There are two types of car air filters you can use:

1. Carbon cabin air filter-Contains activated carbon and remove everything the particulate cabin air filter does as well as absorbs smelly odors and exhaust fumes before they enter the vehicle.

2. Particulate cabin air filter-Removes dust and other contaminants from the car cabin air.

The charcoal is labeled as “activated” because it is treated with chemicals and heat which gives it very good odor-control properties. The carbon air filter may cost more than the particulate filter which does not have carbon. If you drive in slow-moving traffic often or encounter strong odors on your drive, the investment in a carbon cabin air filter might be worth it.

Looking for more car maintenance tips? Check these out.

If You Are Carpooling Kids During This Back To School Season, These Are The Tips For You.

All that good air feels so good! Photo: Maria Smith

Are All Carbon Cabin Air Filters the Same?

All activated carbon filters remove a significantly higher amount of air pollutants than regular carbon filters, however, there are some distinctions. Some filters contain more activated carbon than others, and this can affect the capacity for impurity removal. There are several different manufacturers which make their own slightly different “recipe” for the best carbon cabin air filter.

Save Money by Changing Your Own Cabin Air Filter

Cabin air filters are easy to change and only cost about $15. However, if you arrange to take it to a mechanic it can cost up to $70 plus you’ll lose time while you wait for your car. Simply search “change cabin air filter + make of car” on YouTube and you’ll find a video. YouTube pretty much has a video for every type of car.

And then, breathe easy, and luxuriously!

For Those With Stinky Cars, You Should Get Your Cabin Air Filters Checked. It Could Be A Super Easy Fix! #Carcare #Agirlsguidetocars #Airfilter

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Maria Smith is the founder of MamaliciousMaria.com, one of the top parenting, travel and auto blogs in the country.... More about Maria Smith