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What Is the Difference Between the Engine Air Filter vs. Cabin Air Filter?

Your vehicle uses all kinds of filters to keep the bad stuff out of your vital, internal systems. Specifically, filters are known to help with the flow and fluidity of air or fluids. There are two important types of filters in your car that you should know about: engine air filter and cabin air filter.



Engine air filters can be round, coned, or panel-shaped, depending on the type of vehicle you own. They are usually found under the hood, near the front of the engine, and protected with a covering. This air filter is responsible for keeping dirt and dust from the engine intake. Engines work in very tight spaces, at high speeds, and under scorching temperatures. Even the slightest hint of dirt can wear down your engine's major components and cause irreversible damage. This filter will eventually clog and need to be swapped out for a new one. A clogged engine air filter can reduce performance, increase emissions, and drop fuel economy.



Cabin air filters are almost always panel-shaped and located under the dashboard on the passenger side. These filters are situated between the outside and the passenger cabin. Instead of keeping contaminants out of your engine, this filter protects YOU. Aside from debris, this filter catches dust, pollen, mold spores, and other allergens. Although this filter has no correlation to engine performance, it can affect the air quality inside your car. Neglecting to change an old or clogged cabin air filter can result in musty smells, a bad headache, and sometimes very sick passengers.


Changing both filters is relatively simple, especially for our expert team at Prospect Lake Auto Care. On some cars, you don't even need tools to get to do the job! Replacing cabin air filters is slightly more complicated than engine air filters since they are hard to reach. Next time you are due for a tune-up, make sure to ask your tech to check both filters! If you're experiencing any symptoms of a clogged filter, please have them replaced ASAP. For any filter replacements, please give us a call or visit Prospect Lake Auto Care today!

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