How To Change an Engine Air Filter

Last Updated on 21 July 2023 by Lucas

Changing your engine air filter is an important part of regular maintenance for your car. It’s a relatively simple task that only takes a few minutes, and will keep your car running smoothly. Plus, it’s easy to do—you don’t need any special tools or skills. Just follow these steps and you’ll be done in no time!

Locate and Open the Air Filter Housing

Now that you’ve found the air filter housing, it’s time to open it up and take a look inside. Depending on your vehicle, the process of opening the air filter housing may vary and require different tools. Before attempting to open it up, check to make sure that your new engine air filter fits in the housing properly by comparing its size and shape with your old one. Once you have confirmed fitment is correct, use a clean cloth or rag to wipe down any surfaces that will come into contact with the new air filter before installation. This helps to ensure that any dirt or debris present around the area does not get transferred onto your new engine air filter and instead stays where it is now.

Remove the Old Air Filter

Unscrewing the old, dusty part, you can feel its years of wear and tear. Carefully take out the air filter from its housing and discard it in an appropriate container. To ensure proper installation of the new air filter, it is important to clean the inside of the housing first. Here are four steps to help you remove the old air filter:

  1. Loosen any screws holding down your vehicle’s plastic engine cover with a screwdriver or ratchet wrench if necessary.
  2. Locate and remove clips holding down your vehicle’s air box lid or top panel if necessary.
  3. Take out any rubber seals around the edge of the air box lid and set aside for reuse with your new filter.
  4. Lift up on one side of your vehicle’s dirty, old air filter to remove it from its housing completely while taking care not to damage any components around it such as wiring harnesses or hoses nearby so that you can enjoy clean air and improved performance from your newly installed replacement filter!

Inspect the Old Air Filter

Carefully inspecting the worn-out part, you can appreciate its years of use. Check the air flow to get a better sense of how clogged it might be. If there is an accumulation of dirt and debris, this may indicate that regular cleaning has been neglected. In some cases, the filter may need to be replaced sooner due to excessive buildup or signs of damage. While examining the old filter, take note of any odd smells or visible wear and tear that could point to a bigger problem with your car’s engine. Make sure everything looks normal before replacing the air filter with a new one.

Install the New Air Filter

Gently slide the new part into place and give it a secure fit to ensure your car is running as smoothly as possible. Before doing so, check fitment to make sure you have selected the right air filter size for your car. Next, clean out the housing where the new part will be installed. This ensures any debris or dirt from the old filter won’t get stuck in your engine and cause damage:

  • Measure length & width of existing air filter
  • Compare measurements with new air filter
  • Use a vacuum cleaner or compressed air to remove dust & dirt
  • Wipe down area with a damp cloth to remove excess debris

Secure the Air Filter Housing

Securely lock the air filter housing in place so your car runs smoothly. First, check that the seal of the air filter is tight and secure, then verify that it fits snugly into the housing. Make sure you tighten all screws or clips to ensure a secure fit. If necessary, use appropriate lubricant to help get the filter properly secured. Once everything is tightly in place and sealed correctly, you can be sure your new engine air filter is ready for use.

Additionally, make sure to inspect any other components around the air filter such as hoses or clamps for signs of wear or damage as these may need to be replaced at some point too. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the condition of your car’s engine air filter over time so you can replace it when needed without worrying about damaging other components in your car’s engine bay.

Reset the Maintenance Light

After securing the housing, resetting the maintenance light will let you know when it’s time to check your car’s condition again. To reset the maintenance light, first refer to your car’s owner manual for specific instructions. You may need to review guidelines on how to properly check fluid levels and other components of your engine. Depending on the model of your vehicle, there are a variety of methods for resetting the maintenance light. Generally, pressing and holding certain buttons simultaneously while turning the ignition key is required. Once this process is completed, you should be able to see that the “Check Engine” or “Maintenance Required” lights have been turned off from your dashboard display.

Dispose of the Old Air Filter

Carefully remove the old air filter and dispose of it responsibly, so you can keep your car running smoothly and safely. It is important to properly dispose of the old air filter due to its hazardous materials. Make sure to check with your local recycling centre for proper disposal or filter recycling options in order to avoid polluting the environment. You can also contact a professional who specialises in car maintenance for help with this process. Once you have disposed of the old air filter, you can replace it with a new one that will help your engine run more efficiently and last longer.


You’ve just changed your engine air filter! Now your car is breathing easier and you’re good to go. You may have noticed that the old filter was very dirty – this is normal after a few thousand miles of driving. Make sure to check your air filter every now and then so it stays in tip-top shape.

It’s also important to remember to reset the maintenance light on your dashboard once you’ve finished changing the air filter. This will ensure that it doesn’t keep reminding you that something needs to be done when it’s already been taken care of. Congratulations, you did an awesome job!

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