While you might not be ready to dive into complex car maintenance tasks like oil changes or spark plug replacements, changing your engine’s air filter is a straightforward job that you can handle yourself. Not only is it a DIY-friendly task, but it also offers significant cost savings. Many quick lube shops charge upwards of $25 for a simple air filter replacement.
Your vehicle’s engine air filter plays a crucial role in ensuring that clean, debris-free air reaches your engine. This clean air is essential for your vehicle’s efficient operation. Without an air filter, the air induction system could become clogged with bugs, leaves, dirt, and other contaminants, potentially causing severe engine damage.
When your engine air filter becomes dirty or clogged, it restricts the flow of clean air to the engine, leading to a range of potential issues. You might notice symptoms like reduced engine performance, diminished power, lower gas mileage, or even the illumination of your Check Engine light.
If you experience any of these signs, one of your first troubleshooting steps should be inspecting and possibly changing your engine air filter. It’s a good practice to check the air filter at each oil change to ensure your engine is running at its best.
Typically, you should replace your engine air filter on an annual basis or every 12,000 miles. However, if you reside in a dusty area, more frequent replacements may be necessary. Keeping your air filter clean is vital to keeping your engine free of contaminants. In essence, a clean air filter serves as your engine’s initial defense against dirt, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently.
Opting for a high-quality Champion air filter guarantees optimal engine performance. With coverage for 95% of the U.S. car market, finding the right Champion air filter for your vehicle is easy.
How to Replace Your Vehicle’s Engine Air Filter Step by Step
Step One Start by opening your car’s hood and locating the engine air filter housing. This housing is typically a black plastic box situated either on top of or to the side of the engine. It will have a large hose protruding from its side.
Step Two Carefully open the air filter housing and remove the old air filter. Be cautious during this step, as the housing cover may have wiring harnesses and electrical components attached to it. The method of fastening the air filter housing can vary, with options like screws, clips, clamps, or wing nuts. Take note of the type of fasteners used and use the appropriate tool to remove them. To open the housing, remove the fasteners, lift the top of the air filter housing, and extract the old air filter. Clean out any dirt or debris inside the housing by wiping it with a rag.
Step Three Inspect the old engine air filter to determine if it’s dirty and needs replacing. Examine the pleats inside the filter; if you see a significant amount of dirt, it’s time for a replacement. You can also lightly tap the filter, and if dirt falls out, it’s a clear sign that your air filter has reached the end of its usable life.
Step Four Insert the new engine air filter into the filter box with the rubber rim facing upward. Ensure it is seated correctly.
Step Five Replace the top of the housing and secure it with the fasteners you removed. That’s all there is to it! You’ve successfully replaced your air filter, saving money by tackling the job yourself.