You may not be prepared to do auto maintenance jobs like changing oil or replacing spark plugs, but changing your vehicle’s engine air filter is an easy job you can do. Doing this job yourself can save you a lot of money. Many oil change businesses charge large amounts of money to change an air filter.

The vehicle’s engine air filter ensures that clean air reaches the engine. Clean air is essential for the vehicle to operate efficiently. Without an air filter, the air intake system would fill with insects, leaves, dirt, and other debris, and damage the engine.

When the engine air filter is dirty, it prevents the proper amount of clean air from reaching the engine, which can lead to a variety of problems for your vehicle. If your car has a dirty air filter, you may notice poor engine performance or lack of power, poor fuel economy, or the check engine  light coming on .

If you experience any of these symptoms, the top thing on your troubleshooting list should be to check your engine air filter. It is a good idea to check the air filter every time you change the oil.

You should change the engine air filter annually or every 12,000 miles. If you live in a dusty area, you should change your engine air filter more often. Keeping the air filter clean keeps the engine free of dirt. In conclusion, a clean air filter is the engine’s first line of defense to keep it free of dirt and to keep it working properly.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step one

Open the hood of the car and find the engine air filter cover. It is a black plastic box that sits on top or on the side of the engine. You will see a large hose sticking out of the side.

Step two

Open the air filter cover and remove the old air filter (be careful when removing the cover as there may be a bundle of cables and electrical components connected). The air filter cover can be attached with screws, fasteners, clamps or wing nuts. Observe what type of fasteners are used and select the appropriate tool to remove them. To open the air filter cover, simply remove the fasteners, remove the top of the air filter cover, and remove the air filter. With a rag, remove any dirt and debris from the cover.

Step three

Inspect the old engine air filter to make sure it is dirty and needs to be changed. Look inside the folds; if you see a significant amount of dirt, that means it’s time to change your air filter. You can also tap the filter and if dust or other particles fall out, that’s another sign that it’s time to replace your engine air filter. 

Step four

Place the new engine air filter in the filter box. Insert the filter with the rubber edge facing up. Make sure to install the filter in the correct place. 

Step five

Replace the top of the cover and replace the fasteners. And that’s it! You have replaced the air filter and saved a lot of time and money by doing the work yourself.

The content in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We recommend that you consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns related to any of the topics discussed here. Under no circumstances will we be responsible for any loss or damage caused by the trust you place in the content.