Car Care

Why you should get your car's filters checked this spring

Spring has sprung as the old saying goes, so now’s a good time to think about tidying up your vehicle and giving it a spring clean in anticipation of the warmer weather.

Did you know there are two easily replaceable filters that can have an impact on the quality of the air you and your vehicle breathes? They’re called the air filter and cabin filter, and here’s why you should get them checked out regularly.

Cabin pollen filter

As the weather warms up, there’ll be more pollen in the air, which can play havoc in the noses of those affected by allergies. It makes perfect sense for vehicles to have a filter for the air that enters the cabin of your car via the fresh air duct to make sure that no pollen, leaves, bugs etc. enter your vehicle.

A dirty cabin filter will restrict the fresh air flow into the cabin and can cause weak flow out of the air vents, which can also reduce the performance of your air conditioning system, and you certainly don’t want that as we head into the summer months. That’s is why spring is a particularly important time to address this issue.

Not all vehicles have a cabin pollen filter, however, most modern cars do and they’re usually located behind the glove compartment or outside the vehicle under the front windscreen panel. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing this filter at every service (or at least annually) to ensure that the air entering the cabin remains fresh.

Engine air filter

A bit like wearing a surgical mask (which most of us can empathise with), all the air your vehicle requires is drawn through a filter before entering the engine. This filters out things like road dust, bugs and anything else that might be in the atmosphere around the front of your car.

A clogged or dirty air filter can restrict the airflow, and therefore affect your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency. If your vehicle simply doesn’t have a filter or it’s in poor condition, the air can become contaminated with fine dust particles, which can then cause your engine to wear out prematurely and burn oil.

Periodic replacement of the engine filter depends on the manufacturers’ requirements, but we’d expect that in most cases between 30,000 - 50,000kms or sooner, especially if you tend to drive in extreme dusty conditions.

During a routine service, the engine filter should be removed, visually checked and may even be blown out with compressed air to see how dusty it is. It’s standard to perform a visual check of the air filter on all AA Auto Centre menu service options. 

How can the AA help?

If you purchase a recently imported vehicle, it’s recommended to check or change both the air and pollen filters (if the dealer hasn’t already done this) as they can be quite dirty inside. The cabin filter is removed and checked as part of the AA Gold Service™. For more details, visit

How can the AA help?

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