Cabin Air Filters
by Pat Goss
Folks I’m constantly amazed at how many of fail to take care of very basic things that keep your car going, and working the way it’s supposed to. One of the things we find in the repair shop all the time is we get cars in with either heating or air-conditioning problems. And one of the first things we check is right here. It’s the air intake at the back of the hood. Lots of times we find that it’s just packed with leaves and debris; twigs and things like that. Well, the next thing that we check is that we look at the ventilation system itself. Is there any kind of blockage in there? Here we have a rodents nest. Now if you find something like that in your car, you may have odors inside your car when the system is working. And you’re breathing in the results of the rodents…but if you have to handle this, where a mask, and wear protective gloves.
Now what we’re trying to do with all of this is, we’re trying to get air flow from the outside of the car into the cabin to keep us comfortable. That air has to move through one of two things. Here we have the heater core. This is what heats the cabin. And if we look at this, we see that there are very tiny openings. So it doesn’t take much to block this up. Now over here, kind of buried down in there, is the air conditioning evaporator. And it is very much like the heater core. Now, one of the more common problems that we find with the air conditioning systems is, it works really really well for a few minutes, then it shuts off…a few minutes later it comes back on. Well, what’s happening is, that you have restricted air flow, and the evaporator is freezing. And when it shuts down, it melts. Once it’s melted, the air conditioning comes back on. So rather than being a great, big, expensive problem, it might be something very, very minimal. It might be something like this: This is a cabin air filter. And this one is out of this 2014 Toyota. So just because your car is new doesn’t mean your filter isn’t dirty. So make it a point to check the cabin air filter in your car. Some are easy, do-it-yourself; others, not so much. Look in your owner’s manual.
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