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Engine Air Filter vs. Cabin Air Filter

Mechanic holding up an Engine Air Filter

We know there are a lot of things to keep track of when it comes to regularly and properly maintaining and servicing your vehicle. So sometimes, it can get a little confusing to know the difference between pieces. When you’re looking up vehicle services, you may hear about your engine air filter and your cabin air filter.



While these two car air filters may seem similar, they play very different roles in the function of your vehicle. Take a look below to understand the difference between these pieces. And we’ll also answer other questions you may have, like:

  • How many air filters does a car have?
  • What are the details of the engine air filter vs. cabin air filter vehicle functions?
  • How often should you replace a cabin air filter vs. an engine air filter?

When you’re ready for your next service or want to have your filters inspected, don’t hesitate to schedule a service appointment with us at Allen Samuels Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Cabin Air Filter vs. Engine Air Filter: Vehicle Function

So, how many air filters does a car have? Most vehicles will have two air filters, the cabin air filter and the engine air filter. And each one takes care of your vehicle, and by extension you, in very different ways. Take a look below for more information on each:

Cabin Air Filter

  • Function: Your cabin air filter is designed to keep the air in your vehicle clean. As air from the outside passes through the filter, it’ll be cleaned and filtered by the cabin air filter so that the air coming through your HVAC system is nice and fresh.
  • Signs You Need a Replacement: If you don’t replace your cabin air filter, you may notice a mildew smell or reduced airflow from your HVAC system.

Engine Air Filter

  • Function: As you’re driving around Newton, your engine air filter filters the air going into your engine. It’s vital you have clean air entering your engine to maximize performance and minimize wear.
  • Signs You Need a Replacement: Reduced engine performance, increased fuel consumption, or even a check engine light could all be signs that you need to replace your engine air filter. 

Cabin Air Filter vs. Engine Air Filter: Replacement Intervals

When you spot the signs and symptoms of an air filter that no longer works correctly. It’s important to make sure you get it seen as soon as possible. By scheduling an appointment with us at our Hutchinson service center, we can replace the necessary parts and get you back out on the Buhler roads as soon as possible.

So now that you know the difference between the two, how often must each be changed? It’s always good to reference your owner’s manual for specifics, but here’s the general rule of thumb as far as replacement intervals go:

  • Cabin Air Filter: Replace around every 15,000 to 30,000 miles.
  • Engine Air Filter: Replace around every 30,000 miles.

Schedule Car Air Filter Replacements With Allen Samuels Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram!

If you’re a Nickerson or Newton driver looking to get maintenance done on your vehicle, then our service team is here to help. Until then, be sure to take a look at our service tips and tricks as well!


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