Understanding Your Vehicle’s Air Filters
ROHNERT PARK — You’re probably aware that your home’s furnace has a filter that keeps your indoor air relatively clean. But did you know there’s a similar situation in your car? In fact, your vehicle likely has not one but two types of air filters.
First, there’s the cabin filter. Just as a furnace filter provides clean air for the home’s inhabitants, a cabin filter provides clean air for the vehicle’s driver and passengers to breathe. Since the air on the roads and freeways can be saturated with smog and other noxious elements, a cabin filter is a valuable asset for driver and passenger health.
Cabin filters are typically located at the front of the vehicle interior (below the dashboard or behind the glove compartment) and can be removed and replaced as needed. However, cabin filters are often overlooked, even by auto repair shops, so when you bring your car in for service, make sure your technician takes the time to check out yours.
More well-known than the cabin filter is the engine air filter. Whereas a cabin filter provides clean air for the driver and passengers, the engine air filter ensures the engine is receiving clean air. Engines need air for combustion, but when an engine’s air filter is dirty, it can’t breathe properly, which causes it to burn more fuel. That’s why any engine maintenance service should always include an inspection of its air filter.
Fortunately, both of these vehicle air filters are fairly easy to check yourself—just consult your owner’s manual to find out how.