How To Change Your Car’s Cabin Air Filter Yourself

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I know absolutely nothing about cars. To me cars are big hunks of metal created so I don’t have to walk to get places. Hubby is a car guru and so is my teenager. I often get giggled at just trying to find the gas cap. But being I just got my learners license this past year, I thought I would take the time to learn more about my vehicle. 



Our car is always dirty. Not filthy but dirty. In the backseat you’ll find dog hair, french fries from who knows when, report cards stuffed under the seat the kids don’t want us to see, along with juice boxes in the door frame and old stinky sneakers on the floor. Basically it’s like home but on wheels.

Our car also isn’t brand new but it’s not old either. We regularly maintain our vehicle by getting the brakes checked, oil changed, tires rotated. Doing all of this helps the car run smoothly and is why our vehicle is able to get us where we need to go on a daily basis. But one thing not on the maintenance list was replacing our cabin or engine filters. Something I learned should be done consistently. 


A cabin air filter cleans the air by removing up to 98% dirt, dust and allergens from passing through the air conditioning and heat ventilation system. This is kind of important, especially during allergy season. I figured it was time to change ours.

DID YOU KNOW?  The air inside your car can be 6x dirtier than the air outside? Or that a clogged filter prevents clean air from getting into your car?


I thought we’d have to take our car to our service guy. But guess what? Nope. You can do this simple serving task all by yourself. Your cabin and air filters should be changed at least once a year or every 25,000 km depending on where you’re driving your vehicle and the distances. 



I took hubby to our local Canadian Tire store to pick up the right FRAM filter for our vehicle. With so many cars on the road, I had no idea there would be such a large choice of air filters to choose from. 



Make sure you double check at the counter in the parts department that you have the right one.  I looked online and it gave me the wrong filter number. You’d hate to get home and figure out you accidentally grabbed the wrong filter for your car.



 It’s good to change both the Cabin and Engine filters at the same time. Both run equally, so if one needs changing then the other one usually does as well.  


Now Let’s Change That Cabin Air Filter


Step #1 – Find your cabin air filter location. Ours is inside behind the glove box. I simply pushed the pins on the glove box to remove it. Put it aside. 



Step #2 – Locate where the old filter to remove it. Mine had a little door on it. I pulled off the door and pulled the filter out. 



Step #3 – Remove the old filter. I kid you not how utterly disgusting this filter was. It was most likely clogging our air conditioner which is why ours didn’t work so well this past summer. Yuck! 



Step #4 – After removing the old filter, I opened the new one and simply slipped it back into place. I put the little door back on and that’s it. New filter has been installed. Now that was easy. The entire process took me like five minutes seriously. Not long at all. 

DID YOU KNOW? FRAM Fresh Breeze® uses Arm & Hammer baking soda and activated carbon as a natural deodorizer to help absorb and eliminate stinky odours in the car.

Why is the Engine Filter Important?


A clean engine filter keeps damaging particles from entering your engine. If your engine craps out you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. So it’s important dirty engine air filters are changed to allow proper air flow which helps increase accelerations,  horsepower and the overall performance of our vehicle. Your engine air filter should be changed every 12,000 miles.

Note: It’s important to check your car’s manual on how often your vehicle’s filters should be changed. Check out other tips and tricks for changing out your filters here!

Who is in charge of maintaining your vehicle in the household? 

1 Comment

  1. Kim October 17, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Great post and glad you had so much fun doing this yourself. Dad and I love that as a girl you’re willing to get your hands dirty.


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