Jan 09, 2017

One Thing You've Probably Never Changed in Your Vehicle...But Really, Really Should

created at: 05/20/2015

Before I headed out on a short road trip this weekend, I did a quick checkup on my car. I had been having some issues with my engine rattling when my air conditioning was on. I'm really not much of an auto-DIYer, but YouTube has certainly helped me become a better mechanic than I once was!


After digging through some forums, a few people mentioned that I may want to check my cabin air filter. It's a small filter, usually hidden behind your glove compartment, that cleans the air coming into your car from your A/C unit. I pulled out my car manual, found the filter, pulled it out and this is what I saw:

dirty air filter

 This, my friends, is at least 5 years of gross (as long as I've owned the car). I know that I have never replaced this thing, nor has any mechanic or dealership I've ever taken it to. I almost puked after seeing all the grime, bugs and debris caked on this filter. My compressor was working so hard I think I broke it because I never replaced this thing.  

You can bet I immediately got a new one. The results were almost instant, my rattle was gone and my car smelled fresher than I remember. 

I know this isn't a typical ManMade post, but I felt like it was a friendly PSA to check your cabin filter. Get a fresh filter from your local parts store and follow the instructions in your vehicle manual for cabin filter replacement (it's probably behind your glove box). While you're at it, pick up a new air freshener! 


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Petas on May 26, 2015:

This is the first time I have ever heard there was one, but there would have to be one. Yes! How much money have air-conditioning mechanics made out of this? My sister-in-law never cleaned her in-house air condition filter, till on a hot summers day with me there visiting she turns on the AC and nothing. Insantly goes for the phoine to ring The Guy. I say to check the filter first before she pays someone to arrive at her house for the princely sum of $80.00. She looks at me with confusion all over her face. What filter? It hadn't been looked at for 5 years. You could have grown a small crop in the dust and dirt.She had been thinking about updating because there air had no power to it and it was costing here a fortune in electricity. This is why I tell everybody. Read your owners manual for everything. 10 minutes could save you a fortune.

Dee on May 22, 2015:

Great Post. I just replaced mine last year,, But I will for sure try making my own as the other post suggests. That will allow for it to be relaced more often, since it is cheaper to buy a house filter,,,, Thanks for sharing,,

bryson on May 21, 2015:

Well, now, that's a creative way to do it Anon! 

Anonymous on May 21, 2015:

Filters from the dealer are very expensive. Go buy a large house filter and cut a piece down size based on the original filter, I use a little duct tape around the raw edges for structure.
Keep the cut filter for the next filter change, just cut out another filter.