Cabin Air Filter Failure and Diagnosis

We rely on our cars more today than we ever have done; they are used for minor tasks and for the big moments in life. We all tend to look after our cars keeping them clean and tidy, getting them serviced yearly, but some parts are prioritised more than others. If the Cabin Air Filter is not replaced this can lead to an inefficient clean air flow and protection of the driver and passengers from a build-up of outside contaminants, eventually completely blocking the filtration process as the debris continue to build up, to avoid this there should be regular inspection and replacement. Often cabin air filters are overlooked and are not replaced as often as they should be. For full functionality all filters should be changed or inspected every 12,000 miles or after 12 months.

Cabin Air Filter work to block out any pollutants and irritants emitted by other vehicles on the road. This shields you and your passenger from nasty chemicals protecting your health on every drive as well as providing additional protection and help all year round.

Throughout the colder months, filters work to demist the windows and to keep them clear throughout our journeys providing us with better visibility guaranteeing you a safer drive. In the warmer months, a filters main job is to protect the driver and the passengers from pollen getting into the car causing sneezing fits or any other harmful pollutants entering your lungs.

Cabin air filters are not changed as regularly as they should be, often it will not impact on the driver handling and the benefits of change cannot be seen.  Like any part, Cabin air filters need replacing and can fail if not routinely checked.

Below we will highlight some of the common causes for failure.

Visible signs of damage

When removing a filter there are visible signs that can point to the cause of the filter failing. Often these are attributed to rough handling during installation. A visible sign is tearing across the pleats; suggesting a sharp object has been exposed to the non-woven material causing it to tear.

It is important that all filters are kept dry during installation avoiding anything that could potentially spill onto the material. Wet filters allow fungus and bacteria to grow; moisture can block the air intake of the car causing steamy windows causing the filter to be less efficient.

Incorrect handling of a product can have serious consequences, roughly handling can cause a filter to deform or for the bonding material to tear. Extra care is needed during the installation process to ensure gaps are not created allowing even the smallest contaminants to leak through.

Not all failures are caused by handling during the installation process, like any other filter it is subject to wear over time, it becomes blocked by leaves and dust reducing the overall efficiency, this can be reduced and avoided by regularly services and replacements.

Incorrect Filter

Care needs to be taken during the initial selection process, getting the correct filter matched for the application is crucial. If the incorrect filter is installed it can cause problems such as bending pressured pleats and gaps. All these issues reduce the efficiency of the filter causing pollutants and irritants to leak into the vehicle damaging the health of the driver and their passengers.

Our range comprises of around 750 different cabin air filters. Corteco offers the largest range of particle and carbon activated filters in Europe. Nearly one in two of all new cars equipped with cabin air filtration are already fitted with Freudenberg micronAir® filter protection. Each filter comes with individual fitting instructions, which includes advised fitting timings.

Head to to find out more about Corteco’s range of filtration products.

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Published on: June 28, 2022

Filled Under: Technical Articles

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