Aaron Widmar
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5 Easy Steps to Replace Your Engine’s Air Filter

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Car engine air filter replace DIY instructions old vs new dirty difference comparison
Photo: The News Wheel

You don’t need to be a professional mechanic to perform basic maintenance on your car. For simple tasks like changing air filters, all you need is a helpful guide — like this one! Here’s how you can replace an engine air filter on your car, truck, or SUV in five easy steps. It’ll save you about $30 and only takes a couple of minutes.

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Car engine air filter replace DIY instructions buy new package
Photo: The News Wheel

Step 1: Purchase a new filter

You need a brand-new filter to replace the old one you’re throwing away. You can buy it at any car part store for around $15. To determine the correct filter model — since there are a hundred different ones — you can use the reference guide provided at the store. Look up your car’s manufacturer, year, and model; that’ll give you the correct product number.

car hood open latch handle release location
Photo: The News Wheel

Step 2: Pop the hood

Let your car cool off for an hour before popping the hood and going to work. It’s dangerous to work on your car when it’s been recently driven since the engine is still hot. Once it’s cooled off, lift the hood and find the old air filter. Its housing looks like a black plastic box sitting near the motor with a large duct running out of it.

Car engine air filter replace DIY instructions location hood find
Photo: The News Wheel

Step 3: Remove the old air filter

Unclasp the metal locks on the housing and remove the entire filter. If it’s been a while since the filter has been replaced, it’ll be dirty and filled with debris. Chuck that thing in the trash!

Car engine air filter replace DIY instructions vacuum compartment dusty maintenance
Photo: The News Wheel

Step 4: Clean up

Before you shove the new filter in, take a moment to clean out the housing. Use a vacuum to remove any debris that’s settled in the crevices.

Car engine air filter replace DIY instructions
Photo: The News Wheel

Step 5: Slide the new engine air filter in

Insert the new filter with the rim facing up, and make sure the rubber rim seals all edges. It should fit as snugly as the old filter did. Then, snap the cover back into place and replace all screws or clamps.

Your car needs clean air just as much as we do. Air filters keep your car’s engine free of bugs and dust, so replace yours every year to keep air flowing and your car running smoothly and fuel efficiency high.

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