Does your car smell of wet dog? It might not be Fido’s fault. A musty odour could be a sign that your cabin air filter needs changing.
Cabin air filters (also known as pollen filters) keep the air in your car clean and whiff-free, but they can’t do the job indefinitely. If the air in your car no longer smells fresh the cabin air filter could be overdue a change. The filter should be replaced every 1-2 years, with annual replacement your best bet if most of your driving is in urban areas.
Replacing the air filter won’t just make your car smell better. Filters clean the air before you breathe it in, removing pollen, dust, exhaust fumes and harmful particulates. So there’s a definite health benefit to having a working cabin air filter.
All those small particles which the filter collects gradually reduce its effectiveness. If it becomes blocked then the air conditioning system suffers from reduced air pressure, stressing the components and increasing the risk of failure. A blocked filter could also make it harder for your Toyota’s air conditioning to demist the screen.
Your local Toyota Centre or Toyota Authorised Repairer can quickly and easily replace the cabin air filter for you. They won’t use reconditioned air filters, which may be a little cheaper than a new filter. Instead, they only ever fit brand new, hygenically clean replacements. The quality of the component will be beyond doubt, and you’ll have the benefit of a Toyota warranty.
When you have your cabin air filter replaced at a Toyota dealer, you have a choice of two types. For most drivers, the regular filter is more than up to the job of keeping the air you breathe clean and fresh. It’s made of high-quality, non-woven fabric, which effectively removes soot, dust, lead, sulphates and exhaust particles from the air. Even particles just a few tenths of a micron in size are captured.
For someone with allergies such as hay fever, or someone who often drives in dusty or heavily polluted areas, it’s worth upgrading to the enhanced air filter. This filter uses similar fabric but removes 25 percent more pollutants. The enhanced filter also has a layer of activated charcoal. This absorbs gases that can cause problems within sensitive nasal passengers.
As well as regularly replacing your cabin air filter, having your air conditioning system cleaned is another effective way to keep your cabin smelling dry and clean. We’d recommend having the air conditioning sanitised every two years, or whenever you notice that musty smell and the family dog isn’t to blame…