All about Car AC / Cabin / Pollen Filters

All about Car AC / Cabin / Pollen Filters


In this article, we will be shedding some light on Cabin air filters or AC filters (sometimes also known as Pollen filters) in your car, its importance and how to clean / replace.

What is its function?

The primary purpose of a cabin filter or AC filter is to filter contaminants in the air entering into the cabin through the AC ducts. The ambient air flowing in through the air ducts from outside the car passes through a “cabin filter” inside the vehicle before entering the cabin. This ensures allergens, dust, and dirt are removed from the air. The air then passes through the cooling cool and the cold air blows out of the air vents into the cabin.

What are the symptoms of a clogged filter?

Clogged cabin filters can result in

  • Restricted air flow into the cabin (blower doesnt throw enough cool air into the cabin)
  • Higher strain on the engine (and lower power from the engine when AC is turned on)
  • Increased dust levels in the cabin

Depending on the make/model of your car, the service intervals vary for cabin filters. Most german made cars like VW, Audi, Porsche etc recommend cabin filter replacements at the time of every periodic service, i.e, every 15,000 kms. In other cars, depending on whether you drive your car in dusty traffic conditions daily or on open roads, it’s recommended to change them at least once every year or every 10,000 – 15,000 km.

Where is it located in the car?

In most cars, the cabin air filter is located behind the glovebox on the passenger side of the car. In some cases, the glove box will have to be removed to access the air filter. Also, in some cars like Fiat Palios and Puntos, the entire dashboard will need to be removed to access the cabin filter.


How to clean / maintain / replace the AC filter?

As an example, during one of the AC check-ups carried out for a customer’s 2012 Ford Figo, it was observed that the air flow had reduced noticeably and the cooling was not upto the mark. As part of the service, Cartisan technician removed the Cabin filter and replaced it with a new one. For the Figo, the cabin filter is located behind the infotainment head unit. The filter is made up of paper and is rectangular in shape and it fits into a vertical slot like housing.


The filter hadn’t been changed in over a year and dust that had accumulated on the filter was evident as shown in the images below. The technician tried cleaning the filter with a brush but due to the level of dust it was recommended to replace it instead with a brand new Ford genuine cabin filter.


You can get your car AC filter replaced at your doorstep through Cartisan for a nominal charge!

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