Charlotte, NC – We get asked a lot about air filters and cabin air filters in the shop. “What’s the difference?” “How often should I change it?” and “Can I go without it?” are all common questions we hear.
Your air filter is the one in the engine bay. Your engine needs air. It combines it with fuel and sparks inside your car’s combustion chamber to make tiny little explosions to make your car, well… go! But in order for this to work properly, you need the cleanest air possible. That’s where this air filter comes in. without it, your engine sucks in dirty air making less horsepower and potentially gunking up the engine over time. You should inspect these every six months and change as needed, unless you have a washable kind, like a K&N filter.
The cabin air filter is more like the filters you have in your home. It filters out the air going through your car’s ventilation system and keeps the air flowing through your vents in the car nice and breathable. It also helps keep physical debris from entering the cabin too, like acorns. Seriously, acorns. You’d be surprised what people find in these things. These should be inspected yearly and changed as needed. I also recommend filters that use carbon as they’re a little higher quality and bears more of a resemblance to what you’ll see in a house filter, but a regular one is fine too.