Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mini Cooper Repair Tip: Interior Air Filter Replacement

Have you changed your cabin air filter?

Most people realize that changing your engine's air filter once a year will allow your engine to breathe better! Most people don't realize that changing or up grading your cabin's air filter will allow YOU to breathe better!

When is the last time you changed your Cabin Filter?

Spring is just rounding the corner and the entire winter you have been operating your vehicle with windows closed. If you live in one of the hotter and more humid states you most likely operate your vehicle with windows closed and A/C on most of the year. Doing so will trap stale air and airborne germs, bacteria, and dust particles. If you are a smoker the situation is worst since these odors penetrate the headliner, carpeting, and upholstery. One of the biggest culprits for introducing contaminants is the shoes from the drivers and
passengers. Since on all vehicles the A/C intake system is near the passengers and driver foot well area, any dirt, dust, mud, and debris deposited into the carpet during the winter was eventually fired at your face the first time you felt a need to turn your A/C on high during late spring.
In the past, automotive air conditioning recirculation systems would filter the cabin air through a very porous foam type filter element. These types of cabin filter elements were not a serviceable item, access was virtually impossible, and the foam would typically deteriorated after about 6 years. The assumption was always that the air in your vehicle was relatively clean.
MINIs are equipped with a small A/C cabin filter element. The filters are designed to trap all dust and/or solid particles. This is a major improvement over the window screen style filtration of the 70's and 80's. Unfortunately most car owners are not aware that this item even exists and requires annual replacement, and more often in dusty areas that have high vehicle population. The only indication that you would experience is that the A/C does not seem to have the force that it did when the vehicle was new. Similar to a dirty engine filter, restriction reduces airflow and volume. I have discovered that to increase flow volume in some vehicles, dirty cabin filters had been removed and discarded without installing a replacement element. This does increase A/C pressure however it contaminates the ventilation system and clogs the A/C evaporator core.
Check our web site to see if a cabin filter is available for your vehicle. As an option, many applications offer an active carbon filter element that not only filters out solid particles, but also cigarette and pet odors. This is a great solution to the musky damp odor of a smoker's vehicle during A/C operation.
To see if your vehicle has a cabin filter check out our website.

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