AA Car Care: Take care of those filters
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Now’s a good time to think about tidying up your vehicle, in anticipation of the warmer weather.
Did you know there are two easily replaceable filters that can have an impact on the quality of the air you and your vehicle breathes? They’re called the air filter and cabin filter, and here’s why you should get them checked out regularly.
Cabin pollen filter
As the weather warms up, there’ll be more pollen in the air, which can play havoc in the noses of those affected by allergies. It makes perfect sense for vehicles to have a filter for the air that enters the cabin of your car to make sure that no pollen, leaves, or bugs enter your car via the ventilation/heater fan.
A dirty cabin filter will restrict the fresh air flow into the cabin and cause weak flow out of the vents, which can also reduce the performance of your air conditioning system; you certainly don’t want that in the summer heat.
Not all vehicles have a cabin pollen filter. But most modern cars do and they’re usually located behind the glove compartment, or occasionally outside the vehicle under the front windscreen panel. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing this filter at every service (or once per year) to ensure that the air entering the cabin remains fresh.
Engine air filter
A bit like wearing a surgical mask (which most of us can now empathise with), all the air a vehicle requires is drawn through a filter before entering the engine. This removes things like road dust, bugs and anything else that might be in the atmosphere around the front of your car.
A clogged or dirty air filter can restrict the airflow, and therefore affect your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency. If your vehicle simply doesn’t have a filter or it’s in poor condition, the air can become contaminated with fine dust particles which can cause your engine to wear out prematurely.
Periodic replacement of the filter depends on the manufacturers’ requirements, but we’d expect that in most cases it’s 30,000-50,000km, or sooner if you tend to drive in extreme dusty conditions.
During a routine service, the filter should be removed, visually checked and may even be blown out with compressed air to see how dusty it is. It’s standard to perform a visual check of the air filter on all AA Auto Centre service options.
How can the AA help?
If you purchase a recently imported vehicle, it’s recommended to check or change both the air and pollen filters (if the dealer hasn’t done this) as they can be quite dirty inside. The cabin filter is removed and checked as part of the AA Gold and Platinum service options. For more details, click here.