When your car is smelling musty, it’s time to replace the cabin air filter.
Fortunately, this is one job in your car that you can do yourself.
How often should you replace the dust filter in your car?
Air conditioning or dust filters have a limited life span.
A general rule is to change the air filter every 20,000 km.
The more you drive, the greater the volume of air circulates through the ventilation system.
The filter clogs up with dust, debris, pollen and allergens.
If you travel frequently on dirt roads, through heavily polluted areas or a family member suffers from allergies, change the filter every 10,000 km.
Where to find the cabin air filter
In most vehicle makes and models, the cabin air filter is housed in a chamber in the cubby hole, South Africa’s version of the glove box.
In older modes, the filter may be located under the bonnet near the windscreen cowling.
If you aren’t sure, consult the owner’s manual.
Indications the cabin air filter needs changing
The air filter is no longer effective if:
- the car smells musty
- the car is dusty
- car fumes are noticeable when you drive
- the air conditioning is not working well
- the heating system is not providing the required output.
The easiest way to determine the filter’s condition is to open the housing and take a look.
If the filter is discoloured and coated in dirt, leaves, dust and insects, it’s time to install a new one.
Changing the cabin air filter
Open the cubby hole and remove the hinge clips or screws on both sides of the drawer or box.
Let the box drop to its fullest extent.
Detach the faceplate covering the filter chamber.
Slide the tray housing the air filter out of the chamber.
Remove the old filter, making a note of the way the arrows point to indicate air flow.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the residual dirt, leaves, dust and debris trapped in the chamber.
Wipe down the chamber and the filter slide with a damp cloth.
Install the new cabin air filter into position.
Make sure the air flow arrows are facing the right direction.
Insert the housing into the chamber.
Once the new filter is in place, the air will be clean, fresh and odour-free.
Where to buy a cabin air filter when your car smells musty
A good quality particulate air filter makes all the difference to the efficiency of your car’s air ventilation system – and how the car smells.
It also improves the overall experience of South African road trips, which can be long and dusty.
Masterparts stocks a comprehensive range of high-quality cabin air filters for almost all vehicle models – old and new – on our roads. Contact us if there’s a part you need and we’ll be happy to help.