What is this rubbish the dealers are trying to sell me now?
Automotive Bloggers have warned consumers for many years now about the less than ethical upselling of preventative maintenance items as required repairs. In recent times (the past 5 – 10 years) we have seen motor vehicles hit the market featuring an item called a pollen filter. It can also be referred to as particle filter, a cabin filter or an air conditioning filter.
These items are not an “up sell” the same way some of the other items often found on the list of “items blokes in K-Mart suits try to sell in order to make commission”. Whilst your Service Advisor may get paid a substantial bonus each month for selling forty five thousand cabin filters, we do believe that these items are something most consumers should consider. For the relatively low cost this item can save you a world of heartache and for many consumers improve personal health.
Where is this filter?.
The filter is located behind the dash on most vehicles. In some vehicles this is accessed from the engine bay side of the dash, but in most cases it’s accessed from inside the cabin of the car. More often than not the filter is located after removing the glovebox from the vehicle. In some exceptional cases such as the Mazda 3 or any of the small Ford Hatch backs its half an hours labour to access it. If your mechanic says your Mazda 3 does not have one, he is just too lazy to get in there to change it.
What does the filter do?
The filter sits between the air-conditioning interior fan and the vents that blow air into the cabin. It acts as a particle barrier, stopping leaves dirt and pollen from getting into the air condition system. It also prevents moisture from entering the system. If this filter is worn or not present at all, moisture can enter the system allowing mould and other bacteria to form inside the air condition ducting. By regularly replacing this filter you prevent this from happening. This is particularly adventageous for those consumers suffering from allergies and prone to respiratory conditions such as asthma.
What does it cost?
The price can fluctuate from vehicle to vehicle and is also dependent upon how much time is required to access this filter. Again genuine versus aftermarket options will cause fluctuating in prices. As a guideline we advise this filter replacement should cost you anywhere from $40 to $160 depending on the variable listed above.
How often should it be replaced?
We advise our consumers to replace this filter whenever the engine air filter is replaced. Both filters do the same task, are exposed to identical conditions and if one is due for replacement the other will be in similar condition.