The cabin air filter is usually located in the air conditioning system of the vehicle and was developed in the late 1970s. Today it is part of the standard equipment. The air conditioning system in a car generally draws in air from outside and allows it to flow into the vehicle through the cabin air filter. Without the filter, pollutants and exhaust gases would enter the car interior unfiltered, especially on busy roads or in multi-storey car parks, for example. Harmful exhaust gases and unpleasant odours can cause fatigue, headaches and respiratory diseases such as asthma or irritation of the skin and eyes. Especially for allergy sufferers, the cabin air filter also serves as a pollen filter. In addition, there are many other harmful substances in the air that are captured by the filter. These include:
The cabin air filter also promotes the longevity of the heating and air conditioning system, because only clean air reaches the heat exchangers. In this way it actively contributes to maintaining the value of the vehicle.
The cabin filter consists of a pleated filter medium and a frame. The filter medium consists of synthetic fleece, based on polyester and polystyrene, which has an electrostatic property. Dust particles stick to the fibres of the fleece, similar to a fly in a spider's web. Minor particles are attracted by the electrostatic charge like a magnet. This filters pollen, soot and dust particles out of the incoming air. The filter is kept in shape by the frame. This is usually made of plastic or textile.
The activated carbon filter is also called a combination filter. This filter is increasingly being installed as standard in new cars. The activated carbon filter has the same technical design as other cabin air filters. However, it also filters and neutralises odours and harmful gases through an integrated activated carbon layer. Nitrogen dioxide, i.e. exhaust gases, or ozone can thus be significantly reduced in the passenger compartment. The activated carbon layer acts similar to a sponge and binds harmful gases. Pollen, dust, allergens and unpleasant odours are filtered 99 percent out of the air with an activated carbon filter. The activated carbon filter thus offers greater comfort and safety. Many vehicles can be converted to an activated carbon filter. In addition, these usually cost not much more than a classic pollen filter.
The latest generation of cabin filters are antiallergenic filters. In addition to the activated carbon layer described above, these filters also have a biofunctional layer. The polyphenol coating filters and binds fine dust and pollen even more effectively. The growth of mould fungi in humid air is also significantly reduced by the biofunctional coating. The anti-allergenic filters are available from Hengst (Blue Care) or Mann (Frecious Plus) among others.
The cabin air filter sustainably reduces health-endangering fine dust inside the vehicle. It also contributes to environmental protection, because the air cleaned by the filter escapes cleanly to the outside. The performance of the cabin air filter decreases over time as pollutant and dirt particles are deposited on the filter. As the dust load increases, the filter slowly becomes clogged and a so-called filter cake forms. As a result, the filter fleece gradually loses its electrostatic properties and filters out fewer pollutants.
The specified intervals for changing a cabin filter vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and can be found in the service booklet of the vehicle. You should always check it if you notice unpleasant odours in the vehicle interior.
The exact procedure for a change depends on the position of the filter. On the one hand, the cabin filter can be located in the engine compartment. Then it is usually found under a paneling near the windshield. This paneling is dismantled either by loosening screws or by opening special fasteners so that the cabin filter can be removed. It is recommended to remove dirt, pollen and leaves from the housing and the adjacent area. The cabin filter can also be located inside the vehicle. In most cases, it can be found under or behind the glove compartment. Depending on the location, it may then be necessary to remove the glovebox or part of it in order to access the filter..
The cost of changing the cabin filter at a workshop depends on the vehicle model and the type of filter. The price of an activated carbon filter is between 15 and 30 euros. The exchange takes about 10 to 30 minutes. In a workshop, this can result in labour costs of 10 to 45 euros. In most cases, however, you can easily change the cabin air filter yourself.
If you are not sure which cabin filter is suitable for your vehicle, please contact our customer service with your 17-digit chassis number.