How to Clean an Air Filter

Dirty Engine Air Filter


While out of sight, your car’s cabin air filter is an unsung hero. This vital component plays a major role in your vehicle’s HVAC system. A fresh air filter ensures that you’ll enjoy soothing travels as you take on your commute from Normal to Springfield. If you suffer from allergies or have noticed that your vehicle’s interior isn’t as fresh as it should be, you might wonder, “Does the cabin air filter affect AC in the car?” and more. Our team is here to answer your service questions and offer the guidance you need. Grab your preferred air filter cleaner, and review our service tips below to spruce up your ride!

Air Filter Cleaning: Step-by-Step Guide 

Learn how to clean your air filter through the following steps:

  • Access the Air Filter: Air filters are generally encased in a housing unit to keep them fresh and protected. You may need to review your owner’s manual to determine where your filter is and how to access it. Make sure you don’t shake your filter as you remove it since you don’t want to spread any debris into the intake or airbox. 
  • Remove Loose Dirt, Dust, Etc.: Once you’ve freed the filter, shake the dirt out over a garbage can. 
  • Vacuum the Filter: Next, grab your vacuum, and use it to remove the finer debris from the filter. 
  • Apply Air Filter Cleaner: After you’ve vacuumed the filter, apply your air filter cleaner. Your best course of action is to follow the instructions on the package to get a high-quality clean. 
  • Scrub with a Brush: With a soft brush, gently clean the filter. If you’re in a pinch, a toothbrush is a great tool to clean the crevices of your filter. 
  • Rinse Thoroughly & Dry: Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the air filter, rinse it completely with water. Give it a good shake, then let it sit upside down to drip dry. Do NOT use heat to speed up the process. 
  • Reassemble the Filter: After the filter is fully dried, assemble the filter housing, and place it back in your vehicle! 

Does the Cabin Air Filter Affect AC & Air Quality? 

Does the cabin air filter affect AC quality in your vehicle? Yes, the status of your filter will impact your AC and air quality in your cabin. Since cabin air filters collect dust, bugs, dirt, and debris, they can become clogged over time. This makes the filter ineffective at purifying the air that circulates through your HVAC system. If you feel your allergies come on when you enter your vehicle, or you notice unusual dust deposits, it’s likely time for a new cabin air filter or a cleaning!

Get More Car Care Tips From Sam Leman Mazda 

Once you have the right air filter cleaner and tools, learning how to clean an air filter is simple! You can handle this task with ease in your own Morton driveway. Sam Leman Mazda is your source for all things automotive maintenance. Not only can we teach you how to clean an air filter, but we can show you how to jump-start your car or how often to change your oil! Review our tips for guidance, and visit us in Bloomington for larger repairs!

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