Dirty Cabin Air Filter Symptoms (9 Things To Be Aware Of)

It’s crucial to maintain your vehicle correctly. Your car won’t take excellent care of you if you do not take good care of it.

Car filters are a part of these essential car components. The in-cabin air filter in your vehicle might not seem the most important one, but if it isn’t replaced frequently, it can negatively impact the passengers and drivers.

Look at what we found, and you’ll learn more about dirty cabin air filter symptoms!

Dirty Cabin Air Filter Symptoms

1. Persistent Unpleasant Odors

Your vehicle’s in-cabin air filter may be to blame if you start smelling something foul whenever you get into your car but can’t get rid of it or identify the cause.

More than likely, this is the issue if the smell is unpleasant and worsens when you switch on your vehicle’s air conditioning.

Your filter may become blocked when dust and other particles accumulate, allowing mold and germs to grow. Your automobile will begin to smell bad, making driving unpleasant.

2. Inefficient Temperature Control

An inefficient temperature control system is one of the most obvious symptoms that the in-cabin air filter needs to be replaced.

Additionally, a clogged filter limits the quantity of air that can move through it. If you’ve recently observed that airflow is inadequate, even when the AC is turned up, it is time to change the air filter.

Similar to the last example, if you’ve found that your fans are noisier than usual while running, this may indicate that your filter needs to be replaced.

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3. Frequent Allergic Reaction

Do you or your companions have runny noses, watery eyes, or face redness due to allergies when inside your vehicle?

That said, it can be a clue that your in-cabin filter is now not operating correctly. Did you know that a pollen filter is another name for an in-cabin air filter?

So, when it stops functioning correctly, more dust and pollen may start to enter your automobile, which may be pretty uncomfortable for everyone within.

4. Whistling Noise From The Vents

A clogged air filter may generate odd noises when air tries to pass through the cabin air filter but is severely constrained by a clogged or defective filter.

Therefore, it is time to check the cabin air filter and clean or replace it if you notice vents making a whistling sound that was not present before.

5. Foggy Car Windows

Foggy Car Windows

Your vehicle’s cabin air filter will become clogged with water condensation, leading to mold growth.

As a result, the filter may gather condensation more often, blowing condensation into your car’s interior.

So, the cabin’s humidity level will rise significantly, which might result in interior windows that are foggy or even frozen if you reside in a cold location.

Therefore, it’s necessary to check the cabin air filter if you’ve noticed much more frosty or foggy windows recently.

6. Low Airflow Going In And Out Of Vents

The next problem you can see is a sudden decrease in the airflow via the vents. Again, this occurs due to the cabin air filter attempting to clean all incoming air.

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Therefore, less air will be able to move through the filter if it is used for an extended period and becomes blocked. It will result in a sharp reduction in airflow and could even cease blowing altogether.

As a result, you’ll start noticing that the quality of airflow coming out of your vents is decreasing and is not the same as when your cabin filter was still clean.

7. Noticeable Fan Noise

Your car’s AC system should make a gentle noise when air escapes the vents while it is turned on.

Also, your vehicle’s air cabin filter and AC system are in excellent condition if the fan makes a gentle, healthy noise. The filter is failing, though, if you start to notice an increase in fan noise.

In addition to making it harder for the air to penetrate and be effectively filtered, big particles that reach the air cabin filter also produce a lot of noise as the air travels.

As a result, you may always hear a loud noise when turning on the fan in your car. If you don’t fix the air filter, this noise will just get louder with time.

8. Cooling And Heating System Issues

Cabin air filters must be replaced when they are blocked. When blocked, the airflow for your vehicle’s AC systems is decreased due to this obstruction, which lowers HVAC efficiency.

Of course, it will result in a decrease in the vehicle’s ability to heat and cool. Additionally, the system will be under a lot of stress, which might result in a blowout.

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Further, less ventilation will also make it more challenging to regulate the temperature inside the car, which will be inconvenient for all occupants as the weather changes.

9. Decreased Vehicle Power

Unbelievably, your cabin filter may influence your air conditioning system, and the AC can significantly impact the car’s overall power.

You might need to increase the AC if your filter is blocked and your AC’s workload rises, as does the engine’s. Your car’s motor train, alternator, and other vital components might operate with less energy.

As a result, you could think that the vehicle is not up to pace when these components that provide horsepower fail.

However, if your automobile feels sluggish, it may not be a severe technical issue but something as straightforward as a blocked filter, which is simple to replace.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why replace cabin air filter, dirty air filter symptoms, and dirty AC filter symptoms.


The cabin air quality is crucial for everyone’s health and the long-term upkeep and efficiency of your vehicle.

Further, it’s critical to breathe clean, fresh air, particularly on long travels and especially on chilly or wet days when your windows remain closed.

Ensure the cabin filter is regularly examined or replaced to be on the safe side.

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