What Is A Cabin Air Filter And Why Is It Important?

Does your Volkswagen have a cabin air filter? If so, it pays to know what a cabin air filter actually does. They're disposable parts that need to be replaced once in a while.

The cabin air filter is one of the most overlooked disposable parts in a car. It's supposed to be replaced about annually, but a lot of car owners aren't even aware that they have one. If you're not sure what a cabin air filter is, read on to find out what it is and why it's important to have a functioning one in your car.

What Does a Cabin Air Filter Look Like?

The shape of a cabin air filter depends on your Volkswagen model. For example, the cabin air filter in some 2015-2019 Element and Golf models is square, while the cabin air filter in some 2006-2019 Jetta Wagon, Beetle, GTI, and CC models is an odd shape that looks like a rectangle with one corner cut off. Cabin air filters are generally square or rectangular, though.

The filter material is pleated, and it's usually tightly packed. The filter material is responsible for trapping the dirt and debris in the air before letting it into the cabin.

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Volkswagen cabin air filter #3A0-819-644: designed for 1995-1997 Passats

Why is it Important for Your Car to Have a Cabin Air Filter?

Some cars come with a cabin air filter, while others don't. The cars that don't require a cabin filter are designed differently from the ones that do. In these vehicles, the outside air simply isn't filtered before it enters the vehicle. Usually, older vehicles don't have cabin air filters. Almost all vehicles made within the last decade have them.

Essentially, a cabin air filter traps the dirt and debris in the air as it flows into the cabin from outside. It's an important part because the air outside contains a lot of dirt, debris, pollen, and other pollutants that cause respiratory and allergy issues.

How Does a Cabin Air Filter Work?

The cabin air filter is situated between the vehicle's fresh air intake and the air vents in the cabin. It's positioned in such a way that no air can enter the cabin without going through the filter first. It stays in a stationary position while the air flows through the small pores in the filter material. As the air flows through, the filter material traps the pollutants while letting nothing but the air through. Eventually, the air filter gets caked in the pollutants it has trapped over time and ceases to function properly.

How Often Does a Cabin Air Filter Need to be Replaced?

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Image Credit: H4 Torque

Cabin air filters typically go bad after about 15,000 miles. A general rule of thumb is to check your cabin air filter once a year, usually before allergy season (springtime). Even if the cabin air filter still has some life left, some people still replace it anyway so they don't have to worry about it for another year.

How Much do Replacement Cabin Air Filters Cost?

Replacement cabin air filters are pretty affordable. On average, they cost about 20 bucks. You can save some money on a replacement cabin air filter by ordering one from us, though. We carry genuine OEM Volkswagen parts, including cabin air filters, and we offer rock bottom wholesale pricing for them! A VW cabin air filter that typically costs $20 sells for under $14 on our website. Look up your Volkswagen model in our catalog of genuine OEM cabin air filters to see if we carry one made specifically for your car!