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Replacing Your Car Air Filter 101

on May 21, 2021
Visual for Blog - Car Air Filter

Replacing Your Car Air Filter 101

on May 21, 2021

While it is important to take your vehicle to a licensed mechanic for major and minor repairs and maintenance on your car.  There are some things that you can do by yourself to keep your vehicle running smoothly and to help you save money.  

One of those DIY vehicle tasks is replacing the air filter on your vehicle.  Now, believe it or not, there are actually two different air filters on your vehicle.  There is the engine air filter and the cabin air filter. Today, we are going to teach you how to replace both types of air filters by yourself, starting with the easiest one, the car cabin air filter.

Cabin Filter Car

A cabin air filter is important because it helps the air that you breathe inside of your vehicle cleaner.  Nobody wants to drive or sit inside of a vehicle, breathing in bad air into your lungs.  Vehicles typically have tight space, so it’s important to keep a fresh air filter.  So, the first thing you will want to do is search online for the correct cabin air filter part needed for your vehicle.  You can do this by looking up your vehicle’s make, model, and year to determine the correct air filter number.  

Once you determine the correct air filter part, drive on down to your local car part shop, or even a big box store such as Target or Walmart and purchase the cabin air filter.  A cabin car air filter is typically only $10- $20.  Next, you will want to find the car cabin air filter compartment.  It’s usually on the dashboard of your vehicle either underneath or above the glove box.  This compartment is usually hidden very well, so feel free to consult your car’s owner’s manual to find it.

Moving on, once you have found the cabin air filter compartment, you will want to open it up by pinching the entrance and sliding it off of your vehicle.  You will want to take the old air filter out of your vehicle by sliding it out.  

While pulling the old filter out, pay attention to the direction of the airflow arrow on the side of the filter.  It’s extremely important to remember this orientation so you can match it up with the new filter that you purchased. Feel free to take a dry rag, and clean up the compartment once the old filter is removed.  

Now, it is time to slide that fresh new filter into the compartment.  Take your time to slowly put the air filter into place so it doesn’t get stuck.  The brand-new filter should fit into the compartment with ease.  

Finally, close it all up, and you are finished!  Just simply reattach the compartment access, and clean up!  Always remember to replace your vehicle’s air filter at least once a year to avoid harmful debris from spreading into your car. 

Engine Air Filter

Now, let’s jump into the steps required to changing your engine air filter, which cleans the air that enters your engine and helps protect your vehicle’s parts from dust.  The engine air filter is slightly trickier than the cabin air filter system because it requires you to go under the hood of your vehicle.  Nevertheless, it’s an easy process to do yourself.  

You should change your vehicle’s engine air filter, every year or 12,000 miles because having a clean engine air filter will prolong the life of your engine and help increase fuel efficiency.  

The first step in the process of replacing your engine air filter is to look up your vehicle’s year, make, and model to find out the exact engine air filter that you need.  You can also go to a local car part store, and one of the associates typically has a book that can help you with figuring out which air filter is compatible with your vehicle.  

The next step is to purchase the air filter from your local car part shop, which will typically cost you between $13-$25 dollars depending on the vehicle and air filter that you purchase.  

Now, it’s time to go home and get ready to do the replacement by lifting up the hood of your vehicle and locating the air filter box.  It’s usually a big black box that is made out of plastic sitting on the side of your engine but can sometimes be located on top of the engine. 

Next, you will want to open the air filter box and remove the old dirty filter.  It’s easy to open up the filter box by just unclasping the metal clips that hold it down.  Then you should be able to remove the dirty filter with ease!

Finally, all you need to do is take your new filter, and place it into the filter box, making sure it fits nice and snug, close the box and snap on the clips, and you are finished! 

Air Filtration 

Not only do you save money from the mechanic by doing these engine and car cabin air filter replacements yourself, but you are also saving your vehicle from any unwanted engine damage.  

In the event that your vehicle does suffer from a malfunction, you should be protected with an extended auto warranty from DriveSmart.  We pay for all the repairs for you, so you never have to worry about paying out of pocket again. 

Written by: Stephen Lubas

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