Should I Change My Car’s Cabin Air Filter?

During the COVID-19 Shelter In Place order, Tracy Honda’s Service Department has remained open as an “essential” business in order to help anyone who drives a Honda. Naturally, under such unusual circumstances and with so much misinformation circulating, we’ve received a wide range of questions about what services are truly essential now. Some of the best questions have been from concerned customers who wonder what to do while their cars are parked for extended periods of time. But here’s a question from people who are performing essential jobs and still driving daily that I think is worth sharing:

Q: “Should I change my car’s cabin air filter?”
A: We’ve received lots of recent requests to change cabin air filters. While that is never a bad idea, we want to clarify the benefits.
  • Cabin air filters are effective in removing airborne contaminants — such as pollen, mold, spores, and dust — from outside air before they enter your car’s air conditioning system.
  • For the system to properly function, that filter must be replaced regularly; at least once per year.
  • With respect to COVID-19, changing your filter is not to be considered a “recommended” precaution. (At least as far as we know). Air already circulating within your car is not immediately filtered.
  • However, to the degree that removing airborne contaminants will help mitigate sneezing, coughing, and runny eyes or noses, it is not a bad idea to at least ensure that your cabin air filter is clean and properly performing its job.

We hope that helps “clear the air” on how you prioritize changing your cabin air filter. As always, we’re available to answer other questions you may have.