Cabin Air Filter

Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
My 2005 Suzuki(GM/Daewoo) Forenza(Nubira) has a cabin air filter. It does seem to keep the interior cleaner. The problem is that the dealer wants $25 for the filter and it needs to be changed every few thousand miles. I did find a WIX substitute and ordered a few from Rock Auto. They still cost over $10 with shipping. I let the last one go for about 10,000 miles and it was pretty plugged. I put a new filter in last night and the difference in air flow was dramatic. If I had let it go much longer I might have fried the blower motor. After the ones I have are used up, I'm not sure what to do. I don't see any big benefit from having one, other than to keep leaves and stuff from plugging the A/C evaporator. I can dust my dashboard once in a while. These are my three options: 1) Keep buying and replacing them every 5,000 miles before they plug. 2) Retrofit one with a piece of window screen to keep the big stuff out and clean it once a year. 3) Just leave it out. Suggestions?
 
Messages
113
Location
San Antonio,TX
Well I think that should work. My 2004 Toyota Matrix has a cabin air filter and I think right now it has a purolator. I'm not sure if it's clogged, but I don't think so.
 
Messages
113
Location
San Antonio,TX
quote:
Originally posted by sifan: Try the 3M furnace filter. Cut it to fit. That is what I do for my 2003 Toyota Echo. It works great.
Hmm, how far do you have to cut to make it fit a 2004 Toyota Matrix?
 
Messages
4,118
Location
Olathe, KS
Why would you ever have to replace a CAF every few thousand miles? Do you live in a dust bowl? Most manufacturers recommend a 15,000 --> 30,000 change. I swapped mine at 20K. Just tap out the big stuff every now and then. I would think one could also blow them out from the back-side -- it's not going to hurt anything.
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
If the cabin air filter were truly clogged, there'd be little or no airflow from the registers. Just because a cabin air filter darkens early is no indication of compromised function. (Air molecules are generally a bit smaller than particulates... [Wink] )
 
Messages
757
Location
Fla.
quote:
Originally posted by Pbert25:
quote:
Originally posted by sifan: Try the 3M furnace filter. Cut it to fit. That is what I do for my 2003 Toyota Echo. It works great.
Hmm, how far do you have to cut to make it fit a 2004 Toyota Matrix?

Use the stock filter as a template for cutting. I get 4 filters for my '04 Vibe out of a 25x20x1 furnace filter. Works great and way more economical than the $$$ the dealer and or aftermarket charges. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
1,027
Location
East Helena, Montana
If it was me, I'd simply throw away the current filter and go with no filter. I've never had a vehicle with a cabin air filter and doubt that one's needed, tho it would be nice if you drive a lot on dusty roads. Used to be no cars had one. I don't see the need for them under normal driving conditions. Just one more unnecessary trinkit to spend maintenance money on.
 
Messages
1,268
Location
SoCal, CA USA
well, it's no "trinkit", JMAC. I replaced my home-made filter after only 3-months, and it was FILTHY! The inside of my car is cleaner - especially the vents, etc. and my allergies are noticeably better with the filter in. I will take/post pix of my next change and you'll see how much crap gets caught with a filter. Scott
 

BigAl

Thread starter
Messages
550
Location
Wisconsin
quote:
Originally posted by kkreit01: Why would you ever have to replace a CAF every few thousand miles? Do you live in a dust bowl? Most manufacturers recommend a 15,000 --> 30,000 change. I swapped mine at 20K. Just tap out the big stuff every now and then. I would think one could also blow them out from the back-side -- it's not going to hurt anything.
No dust bowl. Normal small town and highway driving. Mine was pretty restricted at 10K. It was visibly caked with fine dirt. It's kind of a pain to change, so I think I'll start with a new one each time. . . if I use one. Suzuki recommends replacing the filter at 7,000 miles for normal service and 3,750 miles for severe service. They claim level micron filtration for pollen and the panel is pretty small. It seems to plug quickly.
 
Messages
1,088
Location
Baltimore, MD
Cabin air filter will keep the air conditioning evap coil clean and hopefully it won't start to stink due to the buildup of mold when the car gets old. I third (or fourth) the recommendation of cutting up a 3M air filter if it is the right thickness. I use the "Filtrete Ultra" in the corolla since it has better airflow capacity than the lesser ones and is more rigid (more pleats).
 
Messages
2,724
Location
Herndon, Virginia
Man, the difference is startling how much cleaner the ducts, dash and steerling column are with the CAF. My last car was a vertible dust bowl, and every now and then bugs and stuff would come through. I can see how stuff would collect on the cores and hold moisture and corrode. The Rock sells two WIX for mine, $12.46. I have 11,000 on this car in only 3 and a half months, but mine's running free and clear right now. A great idea these things.
 
Messages
2,183
Location
Lexington, KY
My 95 BMW 525i has a cabin air filter. The air is much cleaner in the car. Change it once a year and good to go. Do not run the car without a filter as you may see all sorts of debris blocking airflow after a year or so. Most new cars has the cabin filter under the hood and is a simple matter to change. Mine takes an hour to change as it is under the dash. What a pain.
 
Messages
376
Location
Athens, Georgia
It serves exactly the same function as the air filter in your home AC: keeps the coils clean, helps filter dust out of the air you breath. Running the AC without that filter is asking for trouble, as is running it clogged. I would clean it out every 3-4 months and replace it once a year.
 
Messages
150
Location
Colorado
I have a 2001 Silverado and it takes two cabin air filters. Does anyone think that Fram would be much better than Purolator? The Fram filter kit runs $31.48 and the Purolator is $16.88.
 
Messages
4,118
Location
Olathe, KS
My Freestar filter sits under the hood (below wiper cowl). It takes 1 minute to remove. Bought a new Wix at 1.5 years/20K mi. Cost was around $13. I might try the Filtrete, but one would think you wouldn't get a good seal around the edges?
 
Messages
188
Location
QCA, IA
I believe the Fram filters have charcoal in them to help eliminate odors. If that's an issue for you, it may be worth it, but otherwise I'd stick with the Purolator for the price.
 
Messages
757
Location
Fla.
quote:
Originally posted by kkreit01: I might try the Filtrete, but one would think you wouldn't get a good seal around the edges?
I have not found this to be a problem. [Cheers!]
 
Messages
1,899
Location
Columbia, SC
FWIW, here in SC, we have a bad problem with pollen during the spring. The in cabin air filter in my 03 Matrix helps tremendously with keeping that junk out of the car. By comparison, my 04 Tacoma has no such filter and there is a noticible difference in cleanliness.
 
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