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#3227425 - 12/25/13 01:17 PM Cabin Air Filters - how often?
97tbird Offline


Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 9200
Loc: Fayetteville, NC
How often should one change CAFs?
My BMW has 42k now on the factory CAF.
(It's one of those charcoal activated ones that filter not only air but also detects odors/pollutants, etc and switches on recirc when the climate control is on auto mode).

(I noticed that inside windows have been fogging up quite often recently...and while reading about CAFs, I noticed one article where it said that it CAN be a sign of the CAF has run its useful course ... )

Is it time? The OEM CAF (made by Corteco Micronair) is on sale right now for $28 shipped...

Wonder if I should go ahead and do it? (5 min job, looks like)
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#3227433 - 12/25/13 01:26 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
actionstan Offline


Registered: 05/22/13
Posts: 488
Loc: Ohio
My kia calls for a new one every 15,000 miles, seems like a short interval but I do it anyways. I would just go by what ever your owner manual says.
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#3227435 - 12/25/13 01:26 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
Cardenio327 Offline


Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 807
Loc: Oaxaca, Mexico
You only really need to change it if airflow is reduced or if you are getting funny smells.

My Honda's factory filter was so cheesy and flimsy that it only lasted 2 or 3 months before it began to stink. At the dealer they want $35 for a new one, so I've never bought one. Either run without or use pieces cut out of a $4 furnace filter (which only last a month). Last month I bought a activated carbon filter for an A4 for $14 and cut it to length. So far so good but I don't expect to get more than 6 months out of it as filthy as the air is here.
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#3227438 - 12/25/13 01:29 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
Drew99GT Offline


Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 22130
Loc: Colorado Springs
I've found they load up quicker than the engine air filter, depending on the HVAC system design.

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#3227443 - 12/25/13 01:31 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 19528
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
For some reasons unknown to me the cabin air filter is usually clogged up earlier than engine air filter in all my cars. The air flow from the vents is reduced quite a bit after cabin air filter is in used for 30-35k miles, at the same mileage the engine air filter is barely dirty.

If you can remove the cabin air filter easily you should do it to inspect and tap the dirty side lightly on hard surface to remove the loose dirt, leaves, bugs ... then reinstall while waiting for the new one.
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#3227455 - 12/25/13 01:43 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
walk23 Offline


Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 591
Loc: TX - TEXAS
My Nissan calls for changes every 15,000 miles.
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#3227466 - 12/25/13 01:49 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
97tbird Offline


Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 9200
Loc: Fayetteville, NC
Thanks for all replies.

It's not that bad that I can't wait for the new one (Actually ordered one after I started this thread it as the sale is for a limited time, so it should be here soon).

I guess with 42k miles on the factory one, and as it seems most of you guys' cars call for 15-20k mile intervals, it's probably not overkill to change now.

EDIT: found out that BMW also calls for every 15k CAF changes apparently.
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#3227476 - 12/25/13 01:56 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 2220
Loc: London, England
I am fairly certain that they are becoming an annual replacement on many cars.

I think it is annual on the Jag.

I will admit that i bought one for the Clio but haven't changed it yet.

Been in the garage for 2 years.

I think i will buy a new one and change it when the weather warms up

I used to change the cabin filter whenever i bought a used car from auction. Part of my post purchase catch up maintenance.
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#3227483 - 12/25/13 02:00 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
CHARLIEBRONSON21 Offline


Registered: 08/28/13
Posts: 659
Loc: MEMPHIS, TN
Change mine after every spring, when it has collected all the pollen and stuff. Usually pretty dirty.
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#3227484 - 12/25/13 02:00 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
simple_gifts Offline


Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 11953
Loc: Middlesex County CT
Pays to inspect, as I found out years ago.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubb...CAF#Post1941862
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#3227556 - 12/25/13 03:37 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9580
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
1 to 3 years depending on the amount of polution is your area.


Edited by Eddie (12/25/13 03:37 PM)
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#3227692 - 12/25/13 06:32 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 12893
Loc: Northern Kentucky
Mine can be pretty dirty after 1 year but i try to do it at least every 2 year after spring.
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#3227732 - 12/25/13 07:44 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: actionstan]
Deamos Offline


Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 99
Loc: STL Area
Originally Posted By: actionstan
My kia calls for a new one every 15,000 miles, seems like a short interval but I do it anyways. I would just go by what ever your owner manual says.


I do the same, and after seeing the condition of my Sorento's filter at about 15k miles, its probably an okay idea. Plus I was noticing weird smells, after replacing the filter air coming out the vents was nice and fresh again.





Edited by Deamos (12/25/13 07:45 PM)
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#3227850 - 12/25/13 10:22 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
nleksan Offline


Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 587
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
I asked my friend, retired BMW Master Mechanic running his own indy shop now, and he said:
"I have seen too many people either neglect their cabin filter, or not even realize it exists, and the result is far too often that the blower motor resistor fails. One could argue correlation vs causation, but in 30+ years, I've only seen that resistor fail twice on cars that had their cabin filter changed at reasonable intervals, and I couldn't even begin to tell you how many issues I've seen from it not being touched..."
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#3228466 - 12/26/13 04:22 PM Re: Cabin Air Filters - how often? [Re: 97tbird]
JPP Offline


Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 283
Loc: Central Kansas
In my Silverado....... every spring.
I get them on good sales so no big deal. I like the clean/fresh air and
it is a 5 minute chore.
In my Son's Altima.... every two years. He see's less dirt roads.
It is amazing how nasty these things can get even after a year.

YMMV

JP
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