Canadian Wildfire Smoke Clogging Car Cabin Air Filters

June 8th, 2023 by

With Canadian wildfire smoke lingering over much of the region, health officials are urging New Englanders to take precautions. Keeping your windows closed, limiting outdoor activities, and wearing an N95 mask help mitigate any health risks, but there’s another measure not often mentioned.  Changing your vehicle’s cabin air filter protects everyone inside your vehicle from the poor air quality outside.

Poor Air Quality Infiltrates Vehicle Interior

Poor air quality of this magnitude poses a serious problem for young children, the elderly, and people with respiratory conditions.  While the air is predicted to clear in the next few days, now is a good time to think about swapping out a clogged air filter for a clean one. According to automotive repair experts, a clogged cabin air filter not only obstructs air conditioning air flow but also pushes the smoky air particles throughout your car’s interior.

Failing to change your air filter allows airborne contaminants to accumulate. “When there’s dangerous air quality like we’ve been experiencing, the air filter is working extra hard,” says Tom Albin, Parts Manager for Westbrook Honda of Westbrook, CT. Albin adds, “if your cabin filter is dirty or dark in color, this is a sign it’s filled with ash or dust and you should it replace it right away.”

Canadian Wildfires Clog Cabin Air Filters

Tom Albin of Westbrook Honda shows a clogged cabin air filter, left, and a clean cabin air filter on right.

Cabin Air Filter Maintenance Tips

During normal air quality conditions, cabin air filters should be changed every year, depending on how much time you spend behind the wheel.  Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the air filter may or may not be easily accessible, but it’s usually located below the passenger-side dashboard below the glove box.  In some cases, the glove box needs to be removed to access it.

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind while driving in areas with poor air quality:

  • Keep the vehicle windows up.
  • Keep the air conditioner on.
  • Use the recirculate setting to limit intake of outdoor air

To schedule a free cabin air filter inspection, please visit or call Westbrook Honda’s Service Department at 860-577-2754.  Westbrook Honda is also offering a “Clear the Air” promotional rate of $64.95 (regular price: $102) until 6/30/23 for Cabin Air Filter
Replacement on Honda models.

Posted in Service