How Much Does a Car Air Filter Cost?

Your vehicle needs air filters for two main reasons. First is because your engine needs clean air for internal combustion. The engine air filter plays an important role to keep the engine running smoothly. The second reason is so that the vehicle’s cabin does not get polluted.

Both air filters are in your car to avoid contaminants that could affect the performance of your vehicle. Air filters keep pollens, dust, leaves, and even bugs away from the engine and the inside of your car.

Knowing when your vehicle’s air filters replaced really depends on how often you take your car out for a drive and where you usually drive. The bottom line is that the busier and more polluted the environment wherein you always drive, the more often you should have them cleaned and replaced.

Like the engine air filter, you should not ignore the cabin air filter. If your engine’s air filter takes care of your vehicle’s engine, the cabin air filter takes care of your passenger’s health and yours.

car air filter vector

The Cost to Replace Your Car Air Filters

Replacing your vehicle’s air filters should not really cost you much since it is considered as a simple maintenance service. This is very important because it can save you lots of bucks when it comes to having your vehicle repaired for damages caused by ignoring your dirty air filters.

What you have to keep in mind is that if you take your car to a dealership, it may cost you more since dealerships tend to charge higher than regular body shops. A good tip we can give you is to have other services done to your vehicle when going to a dealership or body shop aside from changing your car’s air filter to get the most out of what you will be paying for labor fees.

Labor rates all over the states could be different, but a simple maintenance service like changing your car’s air filter should only cost you around $36-$70.

Some body shops would allow you to bring your own air filter replacement, so here is a list of the top brands and models available on the market so that you have an idea on how much a cabin air filter cost.

Fram CF10374 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air FilterToyota, Dodge, Pontiac$13.65
Beck Arnley 042-2180 Cabin Air FilterMazda$15.18
Mann-Filter (CUK 29 005) Carbon Activated Cabin Air FilterMercedes-Benz$21.18
Cleenaire CAF4561C Activated Carbon Protection Against Bacteria, Dust, Viruses, Odors and Allergens Cabin Air FilterMazda$9.11
Mann-Filter CUK 2939 Cabin Filter With Activated CharcoalAudi/Volkswagen$13.83
Fram CF10285 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air FilterJaguar, Pontiac, Lexus, Scion, Toyota$13.97
EPAuto CP134 (CF10134) Premium Cabin Air Filter with Activated CarbonHonda, Acura$8.87
Fram CF10134 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air FilterHonda, Acura$8.87
EPAuto CP132 (CF10132) Toyota/Lexus Replacement Premium Cabin Air Filter includes Activated CarbonToyota, Lexus$8.87
 EPAuto CP285 (CF10285) Premium Cabin Air Filter includes Activated CarbonToyota, Lexus, Scion, Subaru$8.87

Your car AC filter price mainly depends on the year, make, and model of your vehicle. It should not really cost you more than a hundred bucks to buy a compatible air filter for your vehicle.

Where to get Your Car’s Cabin Air Filter Replaced?

Since changing your car’s cabin air filter is one of the simplest maintenance services you could get from a mechanic, you can visit most likely all body shops near you to have it done.

Here is a list of a few body shops that you can visit or schedule an appointment with.

LocationBody ShopContact Number
CAFountain Valley Body Works(714) 540-2111
MIUnique Body Shop(616) 534-0951
ALJim Burke Automotive(205) 286-9101
NCModern Auto Body Shop(336) 721-1855
VAJapanese Auto Masters(757) 468-1333
MOBell and Osborn Auto Body Shop(636) 278-6700
NEThorpe’s Body Shop(402) 339-4321

If you are from Virginia and is near Japanese Auto Masters, you would be happy to know that this body shop takes “making sure your cabin air filter is clean” seriously. It has a promo for the dirtiest cabin air filter of the month. If you happen to win this prize, it gets to do your oil change for free!

Now, that’s a good deal. But that should not really motivate you to leave a dirty cabin air filter in your car for too long. The owners of this body shop came up with this idea to spread awareness that the cabin air filter exists. Apparently, a lot of its customers ask what that is when they come to the shop.

More About Cabin Air Filters

The earliest recorded date when cabin air filters were introduced was in 1983. Vehicles marketed in that year did not have any HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system yet, but they were already introduced for the same use – to avoid dust and pollens from entering the cabin or the inside of the car.

During that time, the main reason why manufacturers came up with air cabin air filters is because of pollens. The passengers’ health was of importance. Up until now, it still is, but aside from pollens, cabin air filters now help keep other allergens and dust away from the cabin.

Nowadays, cabin air filters are made with materials that help eliminate more pollens and particles that could affect the passengers’ health. Here are the known types of cabin air filters.

  1. Ionic Air Filter – this type of air filter relies on voltage to charge the air with negative ions. Negative ions help purify the air or oxygen that goes inside the HVAC system of your vehicle.
  2. HEPA Air Filter – this type of filter claim to remove 99.97% of airborne particles. This is found to be more effective than using negative ions to filter air.
  3. Carbon Air Filter – a lot of companies now produce air filters with activated carbon. Aside from keeping dust and other airborne particles away from the cabin, this also helps reduce the bad odor in your car. It keeps the air inside your car remain fresh.
  4. UV Light Air Filter – this type of filter uses an ultraviolet technology to avoid viruses and microorganisms from repopulating. This is best to use if your top priority is the health of your passengers.

When Should You Replace Your Car’s Cabin Air Filter?

As stated, changing your vehicle’s cabin air filter will depend on your car usage and where you usually drive. Some would suggest changing it every 3000, 12000 or even 24000 miles, but it’s also best to check your car’s manual.

Here are some signs that you should make you consider changing your car’s cabin air filter right away:

  • Reduced air flow – If your cabin air filter is already full of dust and debris, air will have a hard time penetrating your HVAC system. So if you are feeling hot even if your AC is on its maximum setting, then take a look at your air filter right away!
  • Noise from the fan or AC – because debris can also be sucked in by your HVAC system, it’s possible that your cabin air filter will be damaged. If the particles get past the filter, it would create noise in the HVAC system.
  • Bad Odor or musty smell – if you got a cabin filter with activated carbon but your car suddenly smells damp, then you better get a new air filter.

Author Bio

Brad Dias

Brad Dias is a formula car racing driver, automotive enthusiast, and writer. He has been featured on industry leading websites like, Drive Tribe, Evo India, Virtual Racing School, and various other newspapers.
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