Fighting HVAC Odors (VIDEO)

Fighting HVAC Odors (VIDEO)

The cabin air filter is an integral part of the heating & air conditioning system. Sponsored by The Group Training Academy.

Like many automotive professionals, you might have grown up with cars that were, let’s say, NOT the most current. They may have been a little worn, a little smelly, a little funky.

In most cases, we all learned to ignore and then embrace the smell of old dust, engine odors and whatever may have been dropped who knows how long ago under the seat. New car smell? We loved that old car smell.

Now, odors are unacceptable. Today, most cars and light trucks built in the past several decades have a cabin air filter to keep foul odors out, as well as to reduce microscopic dust particles outside from getting inside the car.

The cabin air filter is generally considered an integral, but often overlooked part of the heating and air conditioning system. The filter removes contaminants and debris from the outside and prevents them from entering the cabin, ensuring the interior air is clean and free of dust and, in some cases, inert allergens.  But they’re not just designed for comfort – a dirty cabin air filter can clog and limit airflow, and cause odors and lead to A/C inefficiency.

Though nearly 95 percent of the vehicles on the road have them, many drivers still don’t realize they have them and some techs aren’t sure how to replace them.

As in real estate, you need to remember those three important words: location, location, location. Most cabin air filters are located behind the glove box or under the dashboard, but some are under the hood by the windshield. To be honest, the actual replacement of the filter is simple – just slide or lift out the old one and replace it with a new filter of appropriate size and quality.

In reality, however, you might find the procedure to have a few more steps. Most manufacturers recommend replacing cabin filters at least once a year – or more often in harsh conditions – so check the owner’s manual or look it up with your technical service provider. You also might find technical service bulletin that address both the how and the why of regular service.

Once you’ve determined where the filter is and the method for replacing it, simply removing it from the vehicle and showing the customer, can be a powerful maintenance technique. Explaining the manufacturer’s recommendations and the benefits of replacing it while showing the grimy, dirty filter gives you an educational opportunity and provide real value to your customers.

Toyota, for example, published a TSB dealing with HVAC odors, which recommends replacing the cabin air filter as a preventive maintenance step and many manufacturers offer research that prove cabin air filters are more than just nice to have. 

Regular replacement of the cabin air filters helps to protect against airborne contaminants, encourage better airflow through the vehicle and improve defroster and AC performance. Those are benefits your customers and their cars will appreciate.

For more information on replacing cabin air filters, visit purolator.com.

I’m Doug Kaufman – Thanks for watching.

This video is sponsored by The Group Training Academy.

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