Cabin Air filters, really?

Old 10-06-2020, 08:06 AM
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Default Cabin Air filters, really?

Maybe I'm in a bad mood this morning but when did cabin air filters become a thing? My wife's Honda is getting an oil change and of course like always they recommend getting the cabin air filter changed for $80. I told her to take $80 and flush it down the toilet and you'll never know the difference.

It seems to me that driving with the window down even once a day defeats the whole purpose of a cabin air filter. Yes, I know the AC can supposedly work harder if really dirty, but seriously? I'm supposed to replace this thing every 12,000 miles?

Here is the thing that gets me...the only way they know if it's dirty to pull it out and look at it. If I say "No, i don't want to replace it" then it's no charge to put the old filter back in but if I tell them "yes, replace it" it's $20 for the filter + $60 labor to take the new filter out of the carboard box it came in and put in the car as opposed to putting my old filter back in. That is... unless they are just going off the mileage and saying "Lady, your car has X miles, you need to replace your cabin filter".
Old 10-06-2020, 08:09 AM
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You can do it yourself--its not that hard. Rock Auto usually has some discounted filters --like $5
Old 10-06-2020, 08:15 AM
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It is worth changing a cabin air filter, yourself, about once a year. The cabin air filter in my Tundra collects bits of leaves and tree seeds and starts to smell faintly of compost after a year. The ones that I replace are visibly dirty.

Buy a few filters when they are on sale and they are about $12 each.
Old 10-06-2020, 08:42 AM
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ok, ordered one off Amazon for $8. Maybe it will get replaced next time it's too windy to fish.
Old 10-06-2020, 08:50 AM
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Been around a while but yeah, should be super easy. Usually behind the glove box.

Once you see how gross yours is, you may decide to change it more often.

Good luck
Old 10-06-2020, 10:14 AM
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I used to think the same thing, until I took it apart and looked at it one day. It was far dirty than I thought it would be. I replace them now at least once a year. I've never paid more than $15-$20 for a filter.
Old 10-06-2020, 10:29 AM
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Most are easy to do. Like having them and definitely notice a difference, but the up charge for the dealer to do such is silly.
Old 10-06-2020, 10:43 AM
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My wife keeps her a/c on "recirc" all the time, just SO the air repeatedly goes through the filter. She seems to think it helps with her allergies. I replace the filter myself... I do the oil change myself too though.
Old 10-06-2020, 10:58 AM
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Every other oil change in my 19 Explorer. Super easy, $8 from Oreilly's. Eventually it will plug up (like any filter does) then the AC will start freezing up. It does make a difference.
Old 10-06-2020, 11:59 AM
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while it seems silly if it keeps debris out of the heater/AC box it can save you from at rotted out AC evaporator which is a very expensive repair because the dashboard needs to come out on most cars. Debris, leaves, pine needles etc gets in and winds up in a damp mess in the bottom of the AC/Heater box and that keeps the bottom of the evap wet and causes corrosion, then your AC does not work....blah blah etc.
Old 10-06-2020, 01:18 PM
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I agree the dealer charges are insane and like you, I've had exactly that argument. If they charged me $10 to do it over the parts cost, I'd probably say sure.
Old 10-06-2020, 01:42 PM
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Spray some Lysol in there while you have the old filter out. It'll help prevent musty smell from developing in your ventilation system over the years.
Old 10-06-2020, 03:01 PM
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Most vehicles will take 3 minutes to change if that. It's worth it to me, but that's your call. My windows stay up most of the year.
Old 10-06-2020, 03:40 PM
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The cabin filter on my 2018 F 150 is a pain to replace.
Old 10-06-2020, 03:49 PM
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I got in the habit of replacing the air, cabin filters and wiper blades once a year before car inspection. Figure small price to pay for piece of mind
Old 10-06-2020, 05:42 PM
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Ive seen some nasty cabin filters. Black, moldy, filled with leaves
Old 10-06-2020, 05:45 PM
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If you think of all the sh*t in the air at the cabin air intake level along a road, especially an urban road, the value of a cabin filter is evident.
Old 10-07-2020, 06:52 AM
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You would be surprised how much $hit they collect and how dirty they get. But no way in hell I’d pay $80. Typically located behind the glovebox or under right side of dash.
Old 10-07-2020, 06:59 AM
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First, I don't think the cabin fiter comes into play on recirculate. The cabin filters I've done filter incoming air only. Ever see an evaporator core after several years? Full of all kinds of shit.
Old 10-07-2020, 07:03 AM
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I have had the dealer tell me I needed a new one, I had just replaced it, with a date on the filter, so they don't check. They just would like to rip you off, if possible.

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