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225 S Western Ave, Waupaca, WI 54981
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323 S Western Ave, Waupaca, WI 54981
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Clearing the Air: Cabin vs. Engine Air Filters

Most people know the engine has an air filter that needs replacing. However, some may not be aware there’s also a cabin air filter. These two are distinct. But as air filters, both remove pollutants, dust, and other airborne particles. 

The engine air filter filters the air going into the engine. The cabin air filter, on the other hand, filters the air passing a vehicle’s cabin through the HVAC system.

What is Engine Air Filter?

An engine air filter is a crucial component of your engine system as it keeps harmful particles and debris from entering the engine. 

Clearing the Air: Cabin vs. Engine Air Filters | Little Wolf in Plover, WI. Side by side comparison of new and dirty air filters, with an open engine in the background.

Over time, this filter can become clogged with dirt and debris. This can reduce airflow to the engine, cause wear and tear on internal components, and potentially lead to costly repairs. That’s why it’s crucial to replace your engine air filter periodically. 

Signs You Need a New Engine Air Filter

Generally, you or your mechanic can visually check the air filter to ensure it’s not too dirty. Your vehicle will also show signs that you must replace the engine air filter. 

In most cases, you might notice a decrease in power when accelerating. In extreme cases, the engine might misfire, or you might see black smoke in the exhaust, especially if you drive a diesel vehicle. Moreover, some diesel vehicles won’t run well or may not even start if the air filter is clogged.

Engine Air Filter Replacement

Changing an engine air filter involves removing the old filter and installing a new one. Doing so ensures that your engine is receiving the cleanest air possible, which can improve engine performance, fuel efficiency, and lifespan. 

Changing an engine air filter can be done by a mechanic or by following the instructions in the owner’s manual if you want to do it yourself. Most vehicles have this air filter located near the top of the engine. A few have air filters located behind the front bumper. 

The owner’s manual will also tell you the frequency of replacing the engine air filter. But if you drive on gravel roads or in a city with thick smog, you might have to replace it more often.

Cabin Air Filter

The cabin air filter is responsible for cleaning the air that enters the cabin through the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, ventilation) system. It keeps the air from pollen, dust, dirt, and other contaminants. 

Like the engine air filter, the cabin air filter can become clogged over time. This reduces its effectiveness and potentially causes unpleasant odors, reduced airflow, or even health issues. 

Signs You Need a New Cabin Air Filter

You might need to change the cabin air filter if you notice the airflow from the climate control system has decreased, the heat or air conditioner smells (especially when you first turn it on), or the vehicle’s interior has a lot of dust.

Cabin Air Filter Replacement

This task involves replacing the old cabin air filter with a new one. Regularly doing so can ensure you and your passengers breathe clean, healthy air while driving. This also improves the overall comfort and safety of your vehicle.

A mechanic can do this task. But if you want to do it yourself, your owner’s manual will tell you when to replace the cabin air filter. Usually, this filter is located behind the glove box. In some models, it might be under the hood or the dashboard.

Little Wolf Automotive Performs Cabin and Engine Air Filter Replacements in Plover, WI 

The engine and cabin air filters are essential components of a vehicle’s air filtration system. Regular maintenance and replacement of these filters can help prevent damage to the engine, reduce the risk of respiratory issues caused by airborne pollutants, and improve overall driving comfort.

At Little Wolf Automotive in Plover, WI, we perform both engine and cabin air filter replacements. Simply call us at (715) 883-5111. You can also drop by our shop at 2550 Plover Road, Plover, WI, 54467.