In order for the air filter to do its job of passing clean air through your car’s system, it needs to be installed correctly and cleaned regularly. Luckily, replacing your car air filter is inexpensive, quick and easy – just follow our step-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Get the Right Replacement Filter
The first step in replacing your car’s air filter is to purchase the correct replacement filter. Consult your owner’s manual to find out what type of filter you should purchase. Alternatively, you can also check your current filter and purchase a matching one, or check your auto parts store website to correctly identify the filter that corresponds to your vehicle’s airbox.
Step 2: Find the Air Filter Housing
Next, you’ll want to locate the air filter housing after parking the car and opening the hood. The air filter housing is typically square or rectangular and made of black plastic, and usually located along a duct that stretches from the front of your vehicle, and sits near the engine.
On older model vehicles with carburetors, the filter housing unit typically sits under a round plastic or metal cover.
Step 3: Remove the Old Filter
The next step is to remove the filter cover. But before doing so, make sure to wipe any dirt off of the cover so that it doesn’t fall into the housing when you open it.
Next, you will need to loosen the hose clamp that keeps the air conduit sealed – to do this you must undo the screws that hold the air filter cover. Then, remove the cover from the air conduit, making sure that you lift it so that the cover is removed from the lower part of the housing.
At this point, you will see the actual filter itself, which is made of cotton, paper or gauze, which you can simply lift and remove out of its housing.
Step 4: Clean the Air Filter Housing
Use a clean rag to clean the housing and the seal of any dirt, dust or debris. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any dirt from the housing.
Step 5: Install the New Filter
Finally, replace your old air filter with the new one that you purchased, taking care that the filter’s rubber rim is facing up when you insert it into the housing, and that the edges of the housing are sealed by the filter’s rubber rim.
Step 6: Replace the Cover
The final step is to replace the cover of the air filter housing unit back onto the air conduit, then pressing the entire piece down onto the air filter unit’s lower half. Take care that the cover is secure and straight. Finally, tighten the screws or clamps back into place.
You should check your air filter regularly, and replace it about once a year (every 50,000 km) to keep your car breathing well, and running smoothly for years to come.