Pollen filter - worth replacing?

Hi, we have a 98 CR-V manual trans AWD. Does the pollen filter really work? We have a dealer coupon 15% off to replace it. Thanks.

Well if you live in a dusty area or have allergies I would suggest replacing it. In fact I recommend replacing it anyway as it will become blocked and you will not have as much air coming in the cabin when the heat or A/C is on. That can damage the heater fan. It also protects the A/C and heater coils from some dust.

Now why would you go to the dealer for this kind of service when it is not covered under warranty? Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car. They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies. They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent.

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee. 

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.  Or just do it yourself.

I replace the one in my 4runner and my wifes new Lexus about every 6 months…and it’s FILTHY. I’m now looking at replacing every 3 months. If you don’t want to keep replacing it…then pull it out. Having NO filter is better then having a extremely dirty one.

If you have no particular pollen allergies, just remove the filter and do not replace. Most of us have driven our entire lifetimes without a pollen filter in the ventilation system.

This filter serves the same purpose as the filters do in a forced air furnace. It is hard on the blower moter in a forced air system to operate it with a clogged filter. The same is true with the heating and air conditioning system on a car. These aren’t hard to change. Our 2003 4Runner gives very clear instructions in the owner’s manual as to how to access and replace the filter. It’s less than a 10 minute job.

I do think that they do some good. I noticed a difference in the air quality in the 2000 Ford Windstar that I used to own that had an air filter and the Ford Aerostar the preceded the Windstar that did not have an air filter.

If the AC system in this particular vehicle tends to retain moisture, running without the filter might make it very moldy.

p9larkin:No one’s brought this up: w/o pollen filter, nothing to keep leaves, etc, out of heat box (heater/ac housing), which is the irregularly shaped plastic box that goes from the far right side of car (under dash) and ends a little before accellerator pedal- usually black. Since by the very nature of A/C operation you get condensation; there’s a drain hole at bottom of heat box that lets condensation drip

out onto ground which you must’ve seen in Summer. Leaves, etc. can clog this hole allowing water to fill heat box playing heck w/heater/ac components in box and can end up soaking/staining your carpet. Water under carpet will sit and milldew like crazy- BIG MESS. Usually mechanic can unclog hole but sometimes not- too much debris. Now heat box must be removed to get the job done. BIG BUCKS! I have a Chrysler product you can’t get pollen filter for and often have weirdo musky smell. Remember: $$$$$. KS

I know about not having one in an 87 Mazda B2000 and all kinds of stuff used to blow out of the dash vents. Kinda like the kid who used to blow milk all over the place if you said something funny in the cafeteria. It wasn’t me. I was the one who could burp out seven syllable words. If only I could spell them.

Back in the day when most cars did not have A/C, not having a filter meant dried up debris would blow in your face the first time the heat was turned on in the winter. Now with all cars having A/C, and the fact that most run just about all the time in practically all settings but off, will cause debris to get stuck on a constantly wet coil. This makes a great breading ground for Mold and nastiness that you seriously don’t want to have constantly blowing in your face from a vent a foot away. Definitely change the filter, and don’t just remove it.

Thanks, youse all, for your replies. We’ll be replacing it (per answer, now I will go to Parts & look at their sketch, after seeing if I can find it in the CR-V & replace it myself if possible, which I wasn’t planning to do).

-We had a reputable indy repair person whose service went downhill, so for us it’s better just to go to dealer, for only slightly more bucks. We don’t live in Cambridge, so dropping it off at T & R’s won’t do.

Only replace it yourself if you have decent skills. You have to remove half the dash and the first time it took me a good 30 mins. to do. Now it is quicker, but I still cut my hand every time (luckily I only replace it every other year). If you don’t have allergies, I would leave it out.


Yeah, refaller’s probably right- might be a pain in the neck. If you do do it yourself maybe get a GOOD respirator and bring along some patience. If the dealer does it maybe you should park not under trees in fall/winter. You wouldn’t believe how much of a difference it makes regarding how fast filter gets dirty. Even though they give replacement intervals they don’t mean much- it’s not like engine air filter whose

published replacement intervals are relatively consistant w/how dirty it actually gets. If pollen filter gets too clogged it will slow air flow through heat/ac system per triedaq and Mr. Meehan. Still, don’t forgo it: $$$ and Health.