Cabin air filters


When having my oil changed at the local Jiffy Lube the guy recommended, very strongly, that he have the cabin air filter changed, at a cost of $49.99.

My son, easily duped, said, go ahead.

I told my son he was totally nuts.

Is there any real value to haveing a cabin air filter changed? He did have the regular air filter changed, which he does periodically. I called the Jiffy Lube up and they have agreed to refund the cost of the cabin air filter.


Some people think that the intake air filter, the cabin air filter,… need to be changed at every oil change because Iffy Lube or what ever other lube place tells them that they need changing. These places also make more money on these services than on changing oil. Do these facts tell you anything?

If I did not change my own oil I would have a trusted general auto shop do it for me. It might cost a little more, but you have a knowledgeable person looking over the car every few thousand miles. I would rather pay the money for this than unnecessary parts. Ask friends and colleagues for the name of a good shop.


As I am forced to state very often, you have neglected to consult the ultimate authority on this topic, namely the car manufacturer’s Maintenance Schedule that is sitting in your glove compartment. While the recommended mileage for changing a cabin air filter varies from ~9k for Subarus to ~30k for many other makes, the fact remains that a clogged cabin air filter will lead to a fogged-up windshield, due to poor air flow. If you don’t believe me, read the relevant section of your Owner’s Manual.

And, of course, if anyone in your family has allergies and/or asthma, a functioning cabin air filter is very important, and it can’t function properly if it is in need of changing.

Addendum: If I were you, I would be more worried about the possibility of Jiffy Lube destroying my engine/transmission/differential as a result of their frequent screw-ups than I would be about paying under $50. for something that can impact positively on your safety (a clear windshield) or your health (the ability to breathe filtered air).

There are usually several reports each month in this forum about engines, transmissions, and differentials that have been ruined by Jiffy Lube. You may have been lucky so far, but your luck could run out if you continue to patronize that place for service.


Well I do change my cabin filter, but I don’t let any quick oil change place near my car, much less let them tell me when service is due. VDC is right as usual.


It DOES have to be changed…I change mine twice a year. And they’re pretty filthy when I do.

$49 is pretty steep…Takes me all of 5 minutes to change…and I buy it for about $11.