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How your car’s cabin filter relieves your allergies

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You may not realize it, but the air in the cabin of your car gets stale — from outside pollutants, pollen, dust, tire particulate, and, if you’re a smoker, from smoke.

Today’s vehicles have cabin filters that filter out these contaminants through your car’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. If you’re prone to allergies or asthma, keeping your cabin filter fresh can make a significant difference in the quality of the air you, and your passengers, breathe while on the road.

Auto experts recommend changing the cabin filter (not to be confused with the air filter) every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. This can vary, depending on your particular vehicle (check your owner’s manual.) You may also need to change it more often if you live in a highly polluted, heavily trafficked, or dusty area.

So, how do you know when it’s time to change your filter? If you notice reduced flow when you turn on the fan, that’s a pretty good sign, as is more noise coming from the fan, notes cars.com. Does your cabin smell funny when you turn on the fan? That’s also a symptom that it’s time for a new filter because it’s likely that your fan is blowing all the contaminants still in your filter throughout your cabin.

Even if you don’t notice any of these symptoms, you should check your filter at least once a year. In many cars it’s easy to check, and easy to change yourself. The cabin filter is typically located under the hood or behind the glove box. You can remove the glove box from its fasteners, according to your owner’s manual, to change it.

Other cabin filters are under the dashboard or the hood. In that case, you’ll likely want your trusted mechanic to do the job.

Douglas Automotive : 123 E. Virginia, Crystal Lake, IL 815.356.0440 : 417 W. Main Street, Barrington, IL : 847. 381.0454 : 416 Northwest Highway, Fox River Grove, IL : 847.639.4552 : www.douglasautomotive.com

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