Replacing Cabin Filters when a vehicle is in for a service is usually part of the service schedule, but it is quite often overlooked, as many vehicle owners don’t know they exist or what they are for and therefore are not willing to pay for it to be replaced. “With a few key questions, for example: ‘Do you find that the windows are misting up, especially in the mornings? Are there unpleasant odours in the vehicle? Do you or any of your passengers suffer with allergies or asthma?’ the condition of the Filter can be determined. Ultimately, if it hasn’t been replaced in the last 12 months, then it is recommended to carry out this important component change to protect the health and well-being of everyone on board,” says Jon Roughley, Global Marketing Director for First Line Ltd.
The Cabin Filter was introduced to filter out dust and pollen from the air entering the vehicle. With about 100,000 litres of air blowing into the cabin every hour of driving, without a functioning filter in place, the concentration of pollutants would be up to six times greater inside the vehicle, compared to standing by the roadside.
Carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and un-burnt hydrocarbons are gases, which are generally invisible. Particulate matter is also usually invisible, although under certain operating conditions, diesel engines will produce visible particles, appearing as smoke. Petrol engines will also produce visible particles if they are burning engine oil or running “rich” following a cold start, for example. Fine particles can also be produced by tyre and brake wear, so imagine all this contaminated air getting drawn into the vehicle as it is driven. Without a fully functioning cabin filter, these can be seriously damaging to health, in fact, according to a VCA-Cars & Air Pollution article, 29,000 deaths a year in the UK are attributable to fine particulate pollution.
To aid workshops reach customers with this valuable message, First Line Ltd, under its globally recognised Borg & Beck brand, has produced a useful poster that can be displayed in the workshop’s reception area to inform motorists of the risks, should they ignore the advice to regularly replace the cabin Filter. It takes motorists through a three-step process entitled check, replace and advise.
Throughout the seasons the cabin filter works extremely hard. In spring, the pollen count is usually already high, but with freshly cut grass throwing up fine particles, it can increase further. In summer there is plenty of soot and fine particles polluting the air and in autumn there is higher humidity than in the summer, which means more dust and other particles clogging the filter, so that by the time winter arrives, it is highly likely that the cabin filter will need replacing if it has not been changed already during this cycle. Borg & Beck recommends therefore, that the cabin filter is replaced every 12,000 miles or annually, whichever comes first.
Which filter should be chosen?
Standard – Made from fully synthetic non-woven fabric, the standard cabin filter is designed to filter out particles as small as a few microns. The fibres are electrically charged and attract the pollutants such as pollen, soot, dust and any other fine particles to keep the air inside the cabin clean.
Activated Carbon – The advantage of an activated carbon filter is that they trap not only solid particles, but also harmful gases such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone. Through adsorption, activated carbon adsorbs unpleasant odours preventing them from entering the cabin, keeping the air clean and fresh. To provide maximum protection, Borg & Beck recommends that where an activated carbon filter is available, this should be the preferred choice.
If customers choose not to replace the cabin filter whilst the vehicle is in for its routine service, then they need to be aware of the possible consequences. Clogged filters will reduce the amount of clean air entering the cabin, which can lead to the windows misting, plus they will notice a greater level of dust building up, as it will be unable to be filtered out.
As a result, asthma and allergies may be triggered, the cabin can become stuffier – which can induce symptoms such as watering eyes, headaches, nausea – and leave the driver feeling fatigued, which will affect concentration and be dangerous. Problems with the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system can also develop, as it will come under pressure if the cabin filter is blocked. Micro-organisms will then begin accumulating in the cabin as moisture builds up in the captured particles and becomes a feeding ground for mould and bacteria, leading to the development of unpleasant odours. To promote best practice in your workshop simply get in touch and the team at First Line Ltd will send you one of their new posters, all you have to do is simply email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The complete Borg & Beck Filters range offers over 1,000 references providing comprehensive coverage for the entire vehicle parc, across Oil, Air, Fuel and Cabin Filters for cars and light commercial vehicles. All the filters within the range are constructed using high quality, resilient materials and premium quality filter paper is specifically selected against each application for ultimate filtration – so why choose anything else?