The few times I’ve been to a Jiffy Lube type place to get the oil changed, they take the cabin air filter and show it to me (with leaves and stuff on it) in the waiting area, saying they recommend a new one. I say “No thanks, how bout I just clean it myself?” and they say, “Oooh, no, that’s really bad, you don’t want to do that and put it back in.” I have heard this a few times.
Really? Why not? What’s the worst case scenario. Seems unlikely they’re making these filters out of asbestos and messing with them shakes up the particles. One time I vacuumed the filter and that seemed to work pretty well.