How to Change Your Air Filter

  1. Obtain the correct replacement filter. It should be the same as the one you will replace. Consult your owner’s manual or auto parts store if you need assistance finding the right part.

  2. Secure the vehicle. Park the car on level ground and apply the parking brake. Shift into first gear (manual transmission) or Park (automatic transmission), and turn off the ignition.

  3. Open the bonnet (hood). Release the bonnet with the lever inside the car. Move the exterior bonnet catch for final release. Lift the bonnet and secure it with the prop rod.

  4. Locate the air filter unit. The air filter unit is usually situated on top of the engine.

    • On older cars with carburettors the filter is usually under a bulky, round cover made of plastic or metal.
    • Newer, fuel-injected cars tend to have a square or rectangular air filter housing can be found slightly off centre between the front grill and the engine.
  5. Remove the air filter cover. Loosen the hose clamp that seals the air conduct. Undo all the screws holding the air filter cover. Some models have wing nuts; other air filters are just clamped on with a quick release system. Keep screws and other parts together and in a safe location so you can find them later. Pull the cover out of the air conduit and lift it up so it comes off the lower part of the housing. Consult a mechanic if you don’t know how to lift the cover.

  6. Take out the air filter. Now you can see a round or rectangular filter made of cotton, paper or gauze. Filters have a rubber rim that seals off the unit’s interior. Simply lift the filter out of the housing.

  7. Clean the air filter housing.Connect the air hose to the compressor and use the compressed air to blow out the dust, or use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any dirt.

    • Seal the air conduit with removable adhesive tape. It only takes a minute and that way you won’t get any dirt into the engine whilst cleaning.
  8. Replace the filter. Replace the old filter with a new one. Simply insert it into the housing with the rubber rim facing up. Make sure the edges are sealed by the rubber rim.

  9. Replace the cover. Carefully insert the cover back into the air conduit and then press the entire piece down onto the lower half of the air filter unit.

    • Make sure it’s on straight and securely; otherwise you could alter engine performance. Tighten all the screws or clamps and recheck that you have put everything firmly back together by rocking the unit gently with both hands. Shut the bonnet securely.
  10. Check the filter regularly to keep your car breathing at maximum efficiency by keeping the dust out.

  11. Change the filter every 50,000 km (30,000 miles), or about once a year. If you drive in a dusty area, it will need replacement more often. Your owner’s manual or periodic maintenance guide should have recommendations for your car.

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