How to Change the Air Filter In Your Car

How to Change the Air Filter In Your Car

Jan 30, 2024

Man changing the air filter in a car

It’s essential for the air filter in your car to be clean and functioning well because it affects important aspects such as fuel efficiency, engine longevity, and vehicle performance. The main function of an air filter is to remove contaminants like dirt, dust, and debris, so the cylinder and pistons in the engine don’t get damaged and the engine can keep performing well. Knowing how to check your air filter and replace it if necessary is a relatively simple process and doing it yourself can save you money.

When Should I Check My Air Filter?

If you want to find out how to change the air filter in your car, it may help first to know when it should be checked. In general, your car’s air filter should be checked every year or 15,000 to 30,000 miles, whichever comes first.

How often you check the filter can also vary depending on a few factors. For example, the make and model of your car and the usual type of driving conditions you travel in can affect the longevity of the air filter. Driving on unpaved or dusty roads tends to reduce the lifespan of an air filter.

Most often, however, you can learn how to change the air filter in your car just by taking it out of the housing and checking it. Keep reading to find out how to inspect your air filter and replace it if necessary.

Locate the Air Filter

The first step is to park your car on a flat surface with the hood securely open, ensuring the gas springs are working well. This way, you can see how to check your air filter safely without the hood closing suddenly. It’s usually fairly simple to find the air filter as it’s housed in a black rectangular or cylinder-shaped box on the side or top of the engine.

Open the Housing and Remove the Filter

Man looking for the air filter in a car engine

The next step in understanding how to change the air filter in your car is to open the housing so you can remove the filter itself. Use your hands to flip down the plastic latch or a screwdriver if it’s fastened with screws or clamps. Take extra care while opening the housing as there may be electrical parts or wiring attached to it. After you’ve opened the housing, carefully remove the air filter from the container and examine its condition. Take note of how the old air filter was installed so you can reinstall the new filter the same way.

Inspect the Air Filter

The next part of knowing how to change the air filter in your car is to check if the filter looks faded or if debris is falling out. Over time, dirt and dust in the air tend to accumulate in the filter and prevent a sufficient amount of air from flowing into the engine. Besides checking the exterior of the filter, also inspect the interior. If it looks clogged, dirty, or has a debris buildup, it’s time to replace the air filter. It’s usually best to replace the filter with a new one at your earliest convenience as a clogged filter can cause damage to the engine.

Clean the Housing

Now that you know how to check your air filter and determine if it needs replacing, the next step is to clean the housing interior. It’s generally advisable to use compressed air or a vacuum cleaner to clean it before installing the new air filter. Anyone who knows how to change the air filter in their car correctly will usually clean the housing to prevent any leftover debris from contaminating the new air filter.

Install the New Filter

Install the new air filter while ensuring the direction, alignment, and placement are the same as the old filter. Close the housing for the air filter and carefully secure it, ensuring all screws and clamps are tightly sealed. Finally, start the engine of your car and make sure it’s running smoothly with no unusual noises.

In Conclusion

Checking and replacing the air filter in your car is a simple yet integral part of car maintenance. Now that you know how to change the air filter in your car, you can ensure that your engine continues receiving clean air. Remember to put safety first and keep the hood open securely with quality gas springs when you inspect the air filter. Lift Supports Depot offers an extensive range of durable gas springs. Our custom search page will help you find the right products for your vehicle.