How to Replace Your Engine’s Air Filter

Installation is the reverse of removal. Install the air filter in place, making sure it’s seated properly on the carburetor, and then install the nut in place and turn it clockwise to tighten. Don’t over tighten it, just hand tighten it.

How to Replace Your Engine's Air Filter

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The engine’s air filter works as a gate to filter any air going inside the engine. In classic cars equipped with a carburetor, the engine air filter is located right on top of the carb, where you can visually inspect it without even having to take it apart. Replacing the engine air filter is considered one of the most basic pieces of maintenances; it’s recommended to be replaced every 5,000 miles or less. The longer you wait to replace the air filter, the dirtier it gets, which restricts the air going into your engine, thus affecting the combustion process. The dirtier the air filter gets, the more your engine performance will decrease. Restricting the air going into your engine by driving with a clogged air filter can also affect your fuel consumption, as the engine works hard while receiving less air. If your car isn’t performing as well as it usually does, and if you feel a slight drop in fuel consumption, replacing the air filter is the perfect place to start. Read on to learn how to replace the engine air filter.

Tools Required:

• Socket set
• Flathead screwdriver
• Engine air filter

Classic Vehicles Step 1 – Remove old filter

Locate the air filter in the center of your engine, right on top of the carburetor. Remove the nut on top of the air filter by rotating it counter-clockwise. Be careful not to drop the nut. Pull the air filter straight up and remove it.

Classic Vehicles Step 2 – Install new filter

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Install the air filter in place, making sure it’s seated properly on the carburetor, and then install the nut in place and turn it clockwise to tighten. Don’t over tighten it, just hand tighten it.

Newer Vehicles Step 1 – Disconnect air intake tube

On newer vehicles the engine air filter is located inside a closed air box. Locate the air intake tube going from the throttle body to the air box, and then use your flathead screwdriver to loosen the clamp connecting the tube to the air box. Pull the tube away from the air box to disconnect it. This will ensure the tube doesn’t break when you open the air box.

Newer Vehicles Step 2 – Remove old filter

On most American vehicles, the air box is secured by a series of three or more metal clamps, which you can disconnect by pulling them away from the air box. However, if your air box is secured in place by a series of bolts, then use your socket to remove the bolts.

Pull the air box cover up just enough to be able to remove the filter.

Newer Vehicles Step 3 – Install new filter

Install the new filter in place, making sure the it’s seated properly with the correct side up, like the old filter was seated. Tighten the bolts or close the metal clamps to secure the air box cover in place, and then connect the air intake tube and tighten the clamp to secure it.

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