Canadian Wildfire Smoke Clogs Car Cabin Air Filters

June 9th, 2023 by

With Canadian wildfire smoke lingering over much of the Northeast region, health officials are advising New Englanders to take precautions. Keeping your windows closed, limiting outdoor activities, and wearing an N95 mask help mitigate health risks, but there’s another measure that’s often overlooked. Changing your vehicle’s cabin air filter protects you and the passengers inside your vehicle from the poor air quality outside.

Poor Air Quality Infiltrates Vehicle Interior

Poor air quality of this magnitude poses a serious problem for young children, the elderly, and people with respiratory conditions.  While the air quality is predicted to improve in the next few days, now is a good time to swap out a clogged air filter for a clean one. According to automotive repair experts, a clogged cabin air filter not only obstructs air conditioning air flow, but also pushes the smoky air particles throughout your car’s interior.

Failing to change your air filter allows airborne contaminants to accumulate. “When there’s dangerous air quality like we’ve been experiencing here in Connecticut, the air filter is working extra hard,” says Don Shough, Parts Manager for Westbrook Toyota. Shough adds, “if your cabin filter looks dirty or dark in color, this indicates it’s filled with ash or dust and you should it replace it right away.”

Westbrook Toyota Dirty Cabin Air Filter Comparison

Don Shough of Westbrook Toyota shows a clogged cabin air filter, left, and a clean cabin air filter on right.

Cabin Air Filter Maintenance Tips

During normal air quality conditions, cabin air filters should be changed annually, depending on how much time you spend on the road or how many miles your vehicle has.  Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the air filter may or may not be easily accessible, but it’s usually located below the passenger-side dashboard underneath the glove box.  In some cases, the glove box needs to be removed to access it.

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind while driving in areas with poor air quality:

  • Keep the vehicle windows up.
  • Keep the air conditioner on.
  • Use the recirculate setting to limit intake of outdoor air

To schedule a free cabin air filter inspection, please visit  https://www.westbrooktoyota.com/service/schedule-service/ or call Westbrook Toyota’s Service Department at 860-388-6991.  Westbrook Toyota is also offering a “Clear the Air” 15% Discount on parts and service until 6/30/23 for Cabin Air Filter Replacement on Toyota models.

Posted in Local, service