Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Prep Your Car for Holiday Road Trips (aka I Changed My Cabin Air Filter and So Should You!)


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FRAMFresh #CollectiveBias

Your car's cabin air filter is a line of defence against dirt, dust and allergens! Change it once a year to keep your family safe and comfortable. Here's how... (it's easy)!

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.

Get Expert Tips


Get expert tips and tricks for changing your air filters here.

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?

29 comments:

  1. When I was a teenager my dad showed me how to change the oil, tires and will the cooling tank. He probably taught me more, but all that knowledge seemed to vanish when I said "I do"! Hubby does all this now so it felt good when I learned how to change our cabin air and engine air filters - couldn't believe how easy they were to do! Girl power! :)

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    1. That's great that you learned how, even if you don't do it today. (You could if you had to, haha.) Yes, girl power! :)

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  2. I love how detailed your photos are! I am such a visual person, so having those photos would definitely help me out. We will definitely be doing it ourselves from now on. So easy!

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    1. Thank you! I'm a visual person too! I need the pics for any kind of instructions that are longer than a few steps. ;)

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  3. You got some great photos! I struggled with getting good photos because I live in a condo and we changed ours in the underground parking.

    BUT - what was so awesome is that you CAN do it in underground parking. How amazing is that? It's so easy that you can do it anywhere.

    I loved how easy it was :)

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    1. I can see that would be challenging! ;) But yes, the process is quick and easy enough to do pretty much anywhere. :)

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  4. It's funny that I just ran across this. I just got back from Valvoline and they offered to change my cabin air filter for $40. I figured it was something I could do myself pretty easily. But to be honest, I had NO idea that it even had a filter there! No one had ever pointed it out at an oil change before!

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    1. Isn't it funny how you don't hear about something and then you hear about it two or three times in as many days? I only ever had the air filter pointed out to me once by my mechanic. Yes, save yourself some cash and diy!

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  5. You provided such a great step by step = made the whole process look easy enough even for me! #client

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    1. Thanks Cyn! I'm happy I could make it look easy. Because it is. ;)

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  6. I had no idea there was even a filter there!!

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  7. I've been learning to do more things myself (changed my own headlight bulbs recently!), but this is something I never thought of. I could do that! :)

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    1. That's awesome Kristen! Good for you!

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  8. My car actually doesn't have a cabin air filter. But I am wondering if I could put one in, it looks like it is something that is really beneficial!

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  9. I'm shocked I did not know there is one - and nobody has ever mentioned it when going for maintenance, etc. I must do this!!! Thanks!

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    1. It's funny it doesn't get mentioned very often!

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  10. I had no clue about the cabin air filter! I am surprised this exists. Thank you for sharing this

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  11. I didn't even know there was a cabin filter. Must go look
    jan

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  12. I'm glad I'm no the only one who didn't know there was such a thing as a cabin air filter. I will be telling all my friends. One of my friends is 70; she didn't know windshield wipers had to be replaced!

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    1. Yes, this is info we need to share with friends! :)

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  13. My dad & I just did this at Canadian Tire this past weekend. The automotive department is extremely helpful & can look up any vehicle model to give you the most accurate info re: what filter & oil type you need!

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    1. We found the staff quite helpful too! Glad you had a good experience. :)

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  14. This is so easy to do -- I would never pay to get this done.

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  15. Come to think of it, I have never changed my filter before!

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