An important component in keeping your engine running efficiently is the engine air filter. This filter acts similarly to the air filter in your home. It prevents dirt and other small particles from entering your vehicle’s engine.
Your vehicle’s engine requires oxygen to burn the gasoline in the cylinder. Dirt and other small particles can clog a filter making the engine work harder to pull in air, almost like trying to breathe through a straw. This can affect gas mileage and the engine’s longevity. It is recommended to replace this filter once every year or 15,000 to 30,000 miles, whichever comes first. Replacing an engine air filter is usually very simple and can be done by hand or with basic hand tools.
The first step is to find your vehicle’s airbox. The airbox is often located towards the front of the engine bay on the driver’s side. It will have a larger diameter tube running from the box into the engine’s throttle body. Google is your best friend if you are unsure.
Air boxes are held together using a variety of fasteners. The two I have come across the most are clamps and bolts. Most clamps can be unlatched by hand or a small pry tool, expect four or five of these clamps to be located horizontally around the box. Other types of vehicles use bolts to hold the top and bottom of the air box together. The bolts will usually have an 8mm or 10mm bolt head. To take them off twist, counterclockwise with the correct size socket and ratchet.
Many air boxes have a mass airflow sensor located in the upper part of the airbox. This should be unplugged to better access the filter box. They are usually held in with a push tab.
Air boxes can be difficult to get apart and it can sometimes take a few tries to get them apart. Always be careful and take your time with any DIY repair. A quick google search for your car’s make and model can help you remove stubborn air filter boxes.
With the airbox separated you should be able to remove the air filter. place the new filter in the airbox and replace the top. Replace any bolts or clamps you removed and you’re done.