Did you know that Honda Access once offered an optional Air Refiner for the Honda Civic and other cars in the Honda lineup? Here’s everything you need to know about this functional JDM accessory.
The Honda Access Air Refiner was an optional dual-action dome light and air refiner accessory that could be ordered from Honda Access in the ’90s via their catalog and installed either at a dealership or on your own. For whatever reason, lots of Hondas did not come with cabin air filters. Perhaps Honda did not see it necessary to equip these Golden Era Honda’s with air filtering since air is so clean in Japan. At the very least, it’s an accessory.
With JDM specific accessories all the rage nowadays, while the popularity of this very specific accessory hasn’t increased all that much since it’s quite unique, expensive, and really just takes up headroom, it’s still a sought after JDM accessory nonetheless. Here’s why the Honda Access Air Refiner is still an uncommon find and why it’s so special.
It was super expensive back in the day and still expensive to buy one today.
If you didn’t already know, Honda Access Corp is an offshoot of Honda founded in 1976 whose sole purpose is to develop, manufacture, and sell automobile and motorcycle parts and accessories FOR Honda. Their accessories are sought after because they are high-quality and functional and Honda Access still makes accessories today.
Here’s a page from a Honda Access catalog from around 1998.
And here’s a small galary of said Air Refiner.
Sharp eyes will notice the price, 25,000 Yen which translates roughly to $225. That wasn’t all that expensive back then and still isn’t today. A quick search on eBay reveals that these Air Refiners can be had for between roughly $160-$300 a piece which might sound expensive but considering how much these originally cost, is a downright bargain for what you’re getting.
How does the Honda Access Air Refiner work?
Some people misunderstand how the Honda Access Air Refiner works, thinking that since it’s over 20 years old, it probably won’t work, let alone filter anything. Well, that’s where you’re wrong.
The Honda Access Air Refiner uses activated carbon (or activated charcoal) filters. I’m not going to pretend I know EXACTLY how charcoal filters clean the air but air is drawn in via a pair of induction ducts, pushed through tiny carbon filters, and subsequently pushed out, blowing clean air. This video below does a better job of explaining the science behind it more than I ever could.
Activated Charcoal filters mean you don’t need a fresh induction of air from outside to filter since you’re really only purifying the air inside your immediate vicinity.
While you’re not going to filter out toxic level chemicals you WILL be able to filter out unwanted smells from food, body odor of other passengers, dust, pollen, and other tiny airborne particles. If you often eat in your cars, smoke, suffer from allergies or drive in traffic often, this is where you’d use your Honda Access Air Filter.
And since it’s such a simple technology and carbon filters don’t really go bad over time, as long as you don’t use them, Honda Access Air Refiners can and oftentimes do still work.
Here are a couple of videos I found on Instagram showing just that!
This one’s my favorite, some dudes vaping into the filter, showing the Honda Access Air Refiner filtering their vape clouds.
And here’s a closeup of the Honda Access Air Refiner in action. The fans are a little loud but I bet you can rebuild them if they do go out. And check out those lights!
How about those dual dome lights?
The stock Honda Dome lights are notorious for being super dim. With them on in the dark, your head more than likely blocks what little light that tiny festoon bulb puts out. With the Honda Access Air Refiner you get two super bright lights too. And, since most people mount them where the dome light is, you get a brighter dome light plus air filtering.
Honda sure as heck does not make replacement charcoal air filters but guess what, you can make your own! Or that’s at least what one person on Honda-Tech did, linked here.
So, that’s a little bit about the Honda Access Air Refiner. Not many people bought these and those that did hardly ever used them. If you come across a deal on one, scoop it up ASAP.
What do you think about this uncommon JDM accessory? Do you have one of your own? Let me know in the comments below!