Changing your auto air filter is a simple part of regular auto maintenance.

It takes only minutes and may not even need tools.  At most, you may need is a flat head screwdriver, and of course, the new air filter.  These easy to follow instructions will walk you right through changing you air filter quickly and without difficulties.

A stopped up air filter will adversely affect the performance of your automobile on many levels. From gas mileage to decreased engine power, your car may slowly be choking itself if you haven’t been keeping a clean air filter.  This cheap and easy job can be done right at home, or right in front of the auto parts store if necessary.

Find and Open the Air Filter Housing Unit

Open your hood and be sure you have it safely propped up.  Look for your air filter housing.  Most likely it will look like a black plastic case with metal clips located on the sides.  Most will also have a black tube that inserted to the plastic case.  To open the air filter housing, flip the metal clips down.  If they are too tight, you can use a flat head screwdriver to pop the clip open.  Occasionally you will have an air filter housing that has a nut on top, and in those cases you will also need to remove that.  Be sure that if you do have to remove any nuts, don’t lose them!  It sounds silly, but take care to put the nuts somewhere safe where they won’t get knocked over.  If they roll away, it’s like hunting for a needle in a haystack, especially if you’re working near grass.

Removing the Old Air Filter

Your air filter will be either round or rectangular.  Before you jump right in and pull it off, take a minute or so to take a really good look at exactly how it sits in the housing.  Take note of details, like which side faces upward, etc.  Then, very carefully lift it out.  Make sure that nothing fell off of the dirty air filter into the box.  All kinds of stuff, debris you might think too large to be in there, will be caught in the filter.  You don’t want to leave any of this debris behind when you discard your old filter.

Install the New Air Filter

Now we want to put our brand new, clean air filter in place.  Make sure you install it exactly like the old one.  Make sure that you press the filter’s rubber gasket securely into the groove in the housing where it should fit.  If you have placed the filter in the housing upside down, the top of the case will not close properly.

Re-secure the Air Filter Housing

With the new air filter properly installed, you can work backwards to re-secure the housing.  Remember, if the housing case seems unwilling to close, double-check that your air filter is not in upside down.  Be sure to secure all nuts and metal clips.  And now you are done!

Self Satisfaction

You did it.  It only took minutes and you have performed a very important step in routine auto maintenance.  You have saved yourself some of your hard earned cash by doing the job yourself and you’ve saved on gas money.  The Columbia SC Auto Repair Pro and your friends here at Sanford’s Auto Service are proud of you.  And remember, when the auto repair or auto task is too much for you, we are here, waiting to serve you and all of your automotive and mechanic needs.