Did you know that your car has a filter that filters air before it reaches the engine? All vehicles have this type of filter and it should be replaced every 30.000 miles or once per year. If you live in an area where sand and dust are common, you should change it more frequently. Now, we will explain how to change engine air filter on any car within minutes.
An air filter filters air and removes dust particles and debris. It will prevent them from reaching the engine and causing damages. Over time air filter will become clogged and it will decrease the amount of air an engine needs. When this happens your engine may lose power, be unable to start properly or something worse. If you don’t change the air filter of years, it can start falling apart and clog the intake manifold and other components. Air filters are made from cotton, gauze or paper and they always have rubber seal all around.
How to change engine air filter
Below you can see a detailed guide on how to change engine air filter on any vehicle. Due to the fact all vehicles have air filter and it is designed as a part of regular maintenance, you can use this guide on all cars and vehicles in general.
Things you will need:
- New air filter
- Vacuum cleaner
Secure the car and open the hood
How to change air filter car safely? The first thing to do is to secure your car and open the hood. Always use the parking brake and never start the engine while you are changing the air filter. It is located in a plastic housing on the top of the engine or in the front of the engine bay. In addition, if you have KN filter it will be round piece of mesh located on the end of the intake manifold. These air filters can be cleaned and reused.
Remove the air filter cover
Use a screwdriver to remove the plastic cover that covers the air filter. Some vehicles have 4 screws while others have 2 screws and 2 brackets. Once you remove the cover, you will see the air filter. Memorize its position and how it is located in the air filter housing. You will have to insert the new air filter in the same position.
Remove the old air filter
Air filters are held in place by the housing itself and not by additional screws or anything similar. Simply pull the old air filter to remove it from the housing. In most situations you won’t need any additional tools and you will see that the air filter is coming out easily. If the air filter wasn’t changed for a long time, you can use a screwdriver to pull it out of the housing.
Vacuum the housing
Air filter prices are more than just affordable so you should change them each 30.000 miles. But, before you simply insert a new air filter it is advised to vacuum the housing and the air intake, as much as possible. It is crucial to remove the dust and particles that are under the air filter. They can be sucked in the engine and cause all kinds of issues. Air filter acts as a barrier so it will prevent all the dust and particles from reaching the engine, but the particles that are below the filter won’t be filtered, obviously, meaning they will be sucked in the engine.
Use a piece of cloth to wipe the housing
You should wipe the housing, the interior, and exterior using any dry piece of cloth. This step is required in order to make sure the dust and debris are removed from the housing and you are making sure they won’t reach the engine. It also makes it impossible for the dust to fall on the new air filter.
Place the new air filter
Almost all air filters have a rubber seal all around. That rubber seal will have to fell into the housing perfectly and make the airtight connection. This is the main reasons why you should remember how the old air filter was positioned. If you forgot, make sure that the new air filter clicks in place perfectly and there are no gaps around it. Almost all air filters have just one position in which they can be installed and you will have to find it each time you change this component. Once you are done, move to the last step.
Screw down the air filter housing
The step we have here is obvious. Place the air filter housing cover back and screw it down. This component is made from plastics, so don’t over tighten the screws or you can damage the housing. Once that happens the dust will penetrate the housing and can be sucked by the engine without filtration (if the crack is located after the air filter). In other words, car will use non-filtered air which is the last thing you want.
Start the engine
It is a nice feeling knowing that you completed an important task within seconds. The last step is to start the engine. You should feel the engine starting easier than before and you should get better throttle response. Also, now your engine will rev much better and will provide a better performance, especially at higher RPMs. You are ready to go.
Now you know how to change the engine air filter on any vehicle. The guide is the same regardless of which car you have and which type of fuel it uses. Air filters are a mandatory part of service and it must be replaced after 30000 miles or sooner if you drive in harsh environment. If you don’t change it, your engine will start losing power and it can end up with an expensive repair. On the other hand we have the overall affordability of air filters that makes them cheap prevention.