Air Filter vs Cabin Filter – what's the difference? | AutoGuru
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Air Filter vs Cabin Filter – what's the difference?

Joel Ilton

Updated 11 Oct 2019

Joel Ilton

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Just like the human body, a vehicle’s engine requires oxygen to allow it to operate.

This air needs to be cleaned before entering the engine, to stop debris, dust and pollen causing damage to the sensitive internals.

This job is carried out by the air filter.

Air Filters

The air filter is located inside a sealed box, in the engine bay, to ensure the only air entering into the engine is free from these damaging particles. It is required to be changed at certain intervals, to make sure it is operating at its peak.

If the air filter is not replaced, and allowed to block up, it can increase fuel consumption, and place additional strain on the engine and drive line components.

Read how to replace your car's air filter.

Cabin Air Filters

A second air filter is located in your vehicle - the cabin air filter.

This filter is fitted inside the air conditioning system, to filter out dirt, dust and pollen from the air entering into the cabin.

It also stops exhaust odours from working their way into the cabin where your passengers sit, and can help allergy sufferers by making car trips more pleasant.

This cabin air filter can also clog up over time, and will need to be replaced at certain intervals to maintain levels of comfort inside the cabin.

Failure to replace the cabin air filter may cause a musty smell to emanate through the air conditioning system, and make car trips unpleasant, especially on hot days!

Read how to change your car's cabin filter.

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Images: Air filters -Ryan Gsell ; Vent - C

Joel Ilton

Written By

Joel Ilton

Finding a passion for cars from a young age, Joel carried out work experience as a mechanic whilst at school before starting an apprenticeship after finishing year 12.

Joel is now the Workshop Manager at Robina Volkswagen.