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When I was growing up, I remember my dad was often out in the driveway doing maintenance and repairs on his cars. When he wasn't at work or watching hockey on the tube he was wearing his hospital electrician's uniform and working in the shed or under a car hood.
My siblings and I didn't pick up any of his car-related knowledge, and I’m sure we weren't even interested, caught up as we were in our everyday dramas. But I remember admiring my friend Lynn. She had her own car as a teen - a little Chevette - and her dad had her out in the driveway changing the oil and the tires. I have often wished I knew more about my own car. One thing we all can do (I know because I've done it!) is install a new cabin air filter. Did you even know there was an air filter inside your car?
With winter on the horizon and Thanksgiving road trips coming up, it's a good time to prepare your car for the season. I recently switched out the cabin air filter in our van for a new FRAM Fresh Breeze® Cabin Air Filter and I'm going to show you how easy it is to do it! If you are automotively challenged like me, don't be tempted to ignore this simple maintenance task. The cabin air filter is important.
FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filters can remove as much as 98% of dirt, dust and allergens that would otherwise pass through your car's air conditioning and heating ventilation system straight through to you. FRAM Fresh Breeze® uses the natural deodorizing qualities of Arm & Hammer baking soda and activated carbon to absorb and eliminate odors. If your cabin air filter is super dirty, it could be blocking the flow of fresh air into your car interior, and messing with the efficiency of your air conditioning or defrost system.
Head To Canadian Tire
We also replaced our old engine air filter with a FRAM Engine Air Filter. Step one of the process for both filters is to head to Canadian Tire (my dad's favourite store!) to pick out the right FRAM Fresh Breeze® Cabin Air Filter and FRAM Engine Air Filter for your vehicle. We were able to search for our vehicle right on-screen next to the FRAM filters. But the staff in the Canadian Tire automotive parts department can also help you find the right filters. (They have more product in the back.) Up to 80% of vehicles built since 2000 have a cabin air filter or a compartment where one can be installed.
How Often Do I Need To Change My Car's Air Filters?
FRAM recommends changing your cabin air filter once per year or every 24,000 km. Since both the engine air filter and cabin air filter endure the same air quality and driving conditions, it's a good idea to change them both at the same time. The engine air filter performs for your engine the same function the cabin air filter performs for you - it prevents dirt and dust from entering and damaging the engine. You can also check your vehicle owner's manual to find out how often the manufacturer suggests changing the filters.
Let's Do This! How To Change Your Cabin Air Filter
Pictured above, clockwise from left. (The process may vary some depending on your vehicle model.)
1. Empty out your glove compartment. (Optional, but if your glove compartment is stuffed full like ours it will make it harder to remove it!)
2. To the right of the glove box, you'll find the dampener arm (or the black thingy as I like to call it). If yours is held in place with a screw, remove the screw with a Phillips screwdriver. Our Toyota Sienna doesn't have a screw holding the dampener arm. Instead I used pliers to squeeze the two plastic prongs that hold the dampener arm in place.
3. Slide the dampener arm forward to pull it away from the glove box.
4. Press inwards on the sides of the glove box to disengage the stops. Remove the glove box completely.
5. Pull the air filter frame straight out from the housing. Check out how dirty your old air filter is! (Mine had a poor wee dead spider in it!)
6. Carefully remove the old filter from the frame and discard it.
7. Install the new filter in the frame with the air flow arrow pointing down. Make sure to tuck the filter completely under the retaining tabs.
8. Slide the frame back into the housing and push gently to snap it securely into place.
9. Put your glove box back in place, pressing inward on the sides to re-engage the stops.
10. Re-attach the dampener arm.
11. Re-install the screw that secures the dampener arm (if you have one) and close the glove box. That's it!
Changing your cabin air filter is easy and takes under 10 minutes. And you know what? It was actually kind of fun. You might just catch me changing the oil next. But probably not.
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Follow the conversation (and maybe share a pic of you changing your air filter?) at #FRAMFresh.
Did you know that your car has a cabin air filter? Have you ever changed it?