Changing an Air Filter

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated February 17, 2012)

A surprising number of car owners have almost no idea on how to do some simple car maintenance, and this can come back and bite them in a variety of ways. One of the more common ways that this happens is by having their fuel consumed in a less than efficient manner, which can cause them to need refilling more often than they would normally like. An easy way to help prevent this is by learning how to replace an air filter. Changing an air filter is amazingly easy to do, and is something that every car owner should learn how to do.

Not only will changing an air filter yourself help you save money at the gas pump, it will also help you save money when you go in for other mechanical repairs. Here are the instructions. All you need to do is follow them, and you will soon have a new air filter in place.

  1. Park and pop. The first thing that you need to do in order to change an air filter is to actually park the car. This means that you need to place the vehicle into park, shut off the engine, and then pop the hood. Step out of the vehicle and go open the hood of the vehicle.
  2. Allow the vehicle to cool down. Allow the vehicle to completely cool down if you have been driving recently before you do any real work on the engine. Engines can get to be very hot, and this is more of a safety measure than anything else. Take advantage of the cool down period to gather any and all tools that you will need. All the tools that you should need to do this job are a couple of medium sized screwdrivers; one should be flat head and the other Philips.
  3. Identify the air filter. After you have grabbed the tools, come back to the engine and see if you can identify the air filter case. On most of the newer cars these will be typically a large nonmetallic box assembly that often looks like a breadbox. For an older car, or on most trucks, the air filter has a tendency to look like a large wheel that has been laid on its side.
  4. Remove the cover. Once you have identified the air filter, go ahead and remove the cover of the assembly. Usually these case covers are held in place with a few clips that have been spaced evenly around the cover. Once you have either flipped the clips open, or removed the screws that hold some together on older vehicles, remove the cover.
  5. Remove the filter. With the cover of the air filter case of, you can now remove the filter itself. Sometimes you will need to use a flat head screwdriver to help you remove the filter. The filter is made out of paper, so be careful while you do this. If the filter is not completely dirty (if it simply looks dirty, go ahead and replace it) then you can put it back.
  6. Put everything back. Replace the dirty or damaged air filter with a new one, and then begin putting everything back together. This should be done in the reverse order of how you removed it. At most this step should only take you about ten minutes.
  7. Take a look at your engine. While you have the hood of the engine open, take the opportunity to look at the rest of your engine. Inspect things like the battery posts, belts, and fluid levels. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, replace it or repair it as quickly as possibly.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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