I know the cabin or A/C air filter is to filter out pollutants, etc. like the ones in home A/C so you have more comfortable & cleaner air into the car.
But is it really necessary to have & replace or just a nice convenience (and thus extra hassle to maintain) in modern cars? I believe old cars 2 decades or more back didn’t have these right?
Just asking this because
(1) I don’t care that much about really clean air coming into car, and more importantly
(2) I just replaced the cabin air filter in my Suzuki Forenza. I didn’t know it had one until I did some research. Manual didn’t really point it out, and the dealer & mechanics never mentioned it whenever I brought in for service. So all this time, I think I’ve been using the original filter for 7 years (60k miles), or if not then at least half that (assuming dealership did their part to replace the filter at the right time for 30k or other interval service). The original filter mentions to inspect & replace as needed and using a dirty one can damage the blower or something like that.
So what’s the worst that can happen if you just keep using same old cabin air filter and never replace it? Will it kill your heating & A/C system or parts of it? Or just really dirty air over time?