How to Replace the Air Filter in Your Car

Changing your vehicle’s air filter is an extremely easy way to save $30 or so per year versus having a mechanic or auto dealership do the same thing. And the great thing is, it literally takes about 5 minutes to do. I have been quoted between $35-40 for the parts (an air filter) and the labor from an auto shop to replace the air filter in my car.

That doesn’t sound bad on the surface, and if you’re not a DIYer or scared of opening your car’s hood, you might jump at something like that. Don’t! I was able to purchase the exact same air filter at a local auto parts store for $7 and replace it in minutes.

I’ll show you how to replace your air filter.

how to replace car ail filter

Steps to Replace an Air Filter in a Vehicle

  1. Find the air filter housing. It is shaped like a round pan in older vehicles or a square box in newer ones (your manual will show you what it looks like if you’re not sure). You’ll have to un-screw or un-latch the housing to open it.
  2. Pull out the old filter. Look for dirt. If it’s a brown or dark grey color, it probably needs to be replaced. If it’s white a light grey or yellow, it probably still has some life left in it.
  3. Vacuum or wipe out the filter housing. To remove any dirt/debri and allow for air flow.
  4. Pop the new air filter in and re-latch the housing.

You’re done! If you do it once, it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to be able to do it again.

How Often Should you Change an Air Filter?

It’s usually recommended that you change the air filter every 12-15 months. I put a recurring calendar reminder to do it every year.

Why Do you Need to Change the Air Filter?

The auto’s engine breathes through the air filter, which filters out dirt and other nasty stuff so that it can’t reach the engine. Replacing it can result in improved gas mileage and quicker acceleration.

How to Change Air Filter Video

Here’s a very simple and easy to follow video on how to change your car’s air filter:

Auto Maintenance Discussion:

  • Have you changed your car’s air filter before?
  • Did it surprise you how easy it was?
  • What other auto maintenance do you do on your own?

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