Engine Air Filter Vs. Cabin Air Filter: The Difference Explained

Engine air filters and cabin air filters are two terms often used interchangeably, even though they’re two entirely separate components. The difference is clear right in the name: one is meant for the engine and the other for the interior cabin. Both, however, require regular inspection and replacement during routine maintenance.

Engine Filter

Car engines require clean air much in the same way as living beings. Engine Air filters essentially help your engine “breathe,” for the lack of a better term. In fact, engines require about 10,000 gallons of clean air for each gallon of fuel burned.

Check your vehicle’s manual to determine when the filter for your particular vehicles needs replacing. In most cases, a replacement is necessary every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

Without a clean filter, air contaminants can make their way into the engine parts, such as the bearings, cylinders, and pistons. Not only does this cause premature wear, but it also reduces fuel economy and leads to increased car emissions.

Cabin Filter

The cabin filter keeps contaminants out of the cabin. Without it, you and your passengers will be breathing in all sorts of pollutants and dust. Frequent coughing, wheezing, headaches, and other allergy symptoms while driving may be signs of a dirty cabin filter. This filter should also needs changing every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Of course, always consult the vehicle manual for the specific replacement interval.

With a dirty cabin filter, particles ranging from mold spores to insects can enter the car’s HVAC system and cause heating and cooling issues.

We Inspect Both Engine Air Filters and Cabin Air Filters

Schedule your next car maintenance with Chuck’s Auto Repair. Think of a tune-up as a health exam for your car. We often inspect the engine air filter and cabin air filter as part of a routine 30k/60k/90k service.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Air Filter Checks and Replacement

Serving motorists of Seattle and the greater area

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