How to Upgrade Your Car’s Air Filtration System

Breathe Easy: Upgrading Your Car’s Air Filtration System

The air you breathe in your car can be surprisingly polluted. Dust, pollen, smoke, and even exhaust fumes can sneak into your cabin, causing everything from sniffles to allergies. Upgrading your car’s air filtration system is a simple and effective way to improve the air quality you and your passengers breathe. This article will guide you through the process, from understanding the different types of air filters to choosing the right upgrade and even tackling the installation yourself.

Understanding Your Car’s Air Filters

There are two main air filters in your car:

  • Engine air filter: This filter prevents dirt and debris from entering your engine, protecting it from damage and ensuring optimal performance. Upgrading an engine air filter typically involves replacing the standard paper filter with a high-performance option, like a washable oiled- gauze filter.
  • Cabin air filter: This filter cleanses the air entering your car’s ventilation system, removing dust, pollen, allergens, and even some odors. Upgrading your cabin air filter can significantly improve the air quality inside your vehicle.

Why Upgrade?

There are several reasons to consider upgrading your car’s air filtration system:

  • Improved Air Quality: Upgraded cabin air filters, particularly those with activated carbon layers, can trap dust, pollen, and allergens more effectively than standard filters. This can be a lifesaver for allergy sufferers and those living in polluted areas.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Cleaner air means a more pleasant driving experience for everyone. Reduced dust and allergens can minimize allergy symptoms, while odor-reduction capabilities can keep your car smelling fresh.
  • Engine Protection: Upgrading your engine air filter to a high-performance option can improve airflow and engine performance. These filters can also trap finer particles, offering better protection for your engine.
  • Longer Lifespan: Some high-performance air filters, particularly oiled-gauze engine air filters, are designed to be washable and reusable, saving you money on frequent replacements.

Choosing the Right Upgrade

When selecting an upgrade, consider your needs and budget:

  • Engine Air Filter:
    • Standard paper filter: Affordable and readily available, but needs regular replacement.
    • High-performance filter: Offers better filtration and potentially improved airflow. Options include oiled-gauze filters (washable and reusable) and dry filters (increased filtration but require more frequent replacement).
  • Cabin Air Filter:
    • Standard filter: Removes dust and large particles.
    • Allergen filter: More effective at trapping pollen and other allergens.
    • Activated carbon filter: Offers the best filtration for dust, allergens, and even some odors.

Finding the Right Filter

The easiest way to find the correct filters for your car is to consult your owner’s manual or search online using your car’s year, make, and model. Most auto parts stores also have filter lookup systems to help you find compatible options.


Upgrading your car’s air filters is often a DIY project. Consult your owner’s manual or search online for specific instructions for your car model. Here’s a general breakdown:

  • Engine Air Filter: Locate the air filter box (usually near the engine) and follow the manual’s instructions to remove the old filter and install the new one. Ensure the bmc filters air is inserted correctly with the airflow arrows pointing in the right direction.
  • Cabin Air Filter: The cabin air filter is usually located behind the glove compartment or beneath the dashboard. Refer to your manual for specific removal and replacement procedures.

Tips for Success:

  • Schedule Regular Replacements: Even upgraded filters need to be changed periodically. Refer to your owner’s manual for recommended replacement intervals for both engine and cabin air filters.
  • Invest in Quality Filters: Don’t skimp on quality. Opt for reputable brands known for their filtration performance.
  • DIY or Seek Help: If you’re comfortable with basic car maintenance, upgrading your air filters is a manageable DIY project. However, if you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to seek help from a mechanic.

By upgrading your car’s air filtration system, you can breathe easier on the road, improve passenger comfort, and potentially extend the life of your engine. With a little research and effort, you can enjoy cleaner air and a more pleasant driving experience for everyone.

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