You may not be ready to tackle car maintenance jobs like changing the oil or replacing spark plugs, but changing your vehicle’s engine air filter is an easy job that you can do. Doing this job yourself can result in big savings. Many quick lube shops charge up to $25 or more to change an air filter.
Your vehicle’s engine air filter ensures that clean air reaches your engine. Clean air is paramount to your vehicle running efficiently. Without an air filter, the air induction system would become full of bugs, leaves, dirt, and other debris and damage your engine.
When your engine air filter gets dirty, it prevents the proper amount of clean air from reaching the engine which can lead to a host of problems for your vehicle. If your car has a dirty air filter, you may notice poor engine performance or lack of power, reduced gas mileage, or your Check Engine light may come on.
When you experience any of these symptoms, top on your list of troubleshooting should be checking your engine air filter. It is a good idea to check the air filter at each oil change.
You should change your engine air filter annually or every 12,000 miles. If you live in a dusty area, you should change the engine air filter more frequently. Keeping your air filter clean keeps the engine free of dirt. Bottom line – a clean air filter is your engine’s first line of defense to staying dirt free and running properly.
Replacing your air filter with a high-quality Champion air filter ensures maximum engine performance. Featuring coverage for 95% of the U.S. car market, you are sure to find a Champion air filter for your vehicle.
Open your car’s hood and find the engine air filter housing. It’s a black plastic box that sits on top of or to the side of the engine. You will see a large hose sticking out of its side.
Open the air filter housing and take out the old air filter (use caution when removing the housing cover as it may have a wiring harness and electrical components attached to it). The air filter housing can be fastened together with screws, clips, clamps, or wing nuts. Take note of what kind of fasteners are used and select the appropriate tool to remove them. To open the air filter housing, you simply remove the fasteners, remove the top of the air filter housing, and take out the air filter. Remove any dirt or debris that is in the housing by wiping it out with a rag.
Inspect the old engine air filter to make sure that it is dirty and needs changing. Look inside the pleats, if you see a lot of dirt, it is time to change the air filter. You can also tap the filter and if dirt falls out, your air filter is past its prime and needs replacing.
Place the new engine air filter in the filter box. Insert it with the rubber rim facing up. Ensure that it is seated correctly.
Put the top of the housing back on and put the fasteners back on. That’s it! You have replaced your air filter and saved a bunch of money by doing the job yourself.