Thanks for visiting the Auto Care Plus Auto Care Corner blog. Today’s post will tackle a frequent question we are getting these days….Will my Cabin Air Filter block the Coronavirus?
Let’s talk about cabin air filters. There seems to be some confusion about them that we should be able to clear up. Much of the confusion starts because cabin air filters are relatively new. Not all vehicles have them, so some people confuse their cabin air filter with the engine air filter.
Every vehicle has an engine air filter that cleans the air going into the engine, but not all have a cabin air filter that cleans the air going into the passenger compartment. Easy to get mixed up.
The cabin air filter cleans out dust, pollen, spores and other pollutants. To give a point of comparison, a grain of sand is about 200 microns across. A cabin air filter can stop particles that are just 3 microns in size. It really does make the passenger cabin a much more pleasant environment.
When the cabin air filter gets dirty, you just need to replace it. Your owner’s manual may have a recommended interval for changing it. If not, we can inspect it and replace it if necessary but we see them last about 12,000 miles. We have most of these in stock.
You know, it’s ironic that many people who don’t realize they even have a cabin air filter and first find out they do when it starts to get smelly inside the vehicle especially when using the heat or AC.
Some cabin air filters are very easy to access when it’s time to replace them. Others, not so much. We may have to get behind the dashboard, and it takes some time.
A clean cabin air filter keeps out smog, allergens, viruses (including Coronavirus*) and other harmful pollutants. If it’s time, get it changed right away.
*Now let’s talk about Coronavirus protection. No one should be claiming that a cabin air filter by itself can protect you from inhaling this virus. You would also need to have a sealed cabin with positive filtered air pressure. So, running your HVAC system will help. But opening the door will introduce outside air into your vehicle. The good news is, Coronavirus isn’t just hanging around in the air. It is transmitted through the air in water droplets from humans sneezing and coughing at which point a cabin air filter can capture it much like the N95 mask does. Otherwise, the droplet will evaporate quite quickly and the exposed virus is actually much smaller than the N95 mask or a cabin filter can capture. So, the virus will end up on a surface where it can live for a short time. For this we offer a service where we use an ozonator device to sanitize the entire inside of your cabin, killing all viruses and bacteria.
At the end of the day, changing your cabin air filter is cheap insurance and helps purify the air you are breathing and blocking molds, etc from entering your lungs and on the off chance it might capture the Coronavirus as you are driving by someone who may be coughing or sneezing. Ultimately, just keep sanitizing your hands frequently and disinfecting high touch points in your vehicle will be your best defense. And just so you know, we sanitize all touch points both before and after servicing your vehicle.
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Talk to your Service Advisor at Auto Care Plus and have them get your vehicle in tip top shape for the coming summer driving season!
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