How to change your car air filter

A clean air filter keeps your engine breathing clearly, so take the time to check it for damage and replace if necessary.

The air filter is one of those important items that’s easy to forget, but it’s incredibly important to your car’s health, performance and fuel economy.

It traps the debris and dirt in the air that would otherwise be sucked into the engine so it needs to be checked and looked after. Here’s how to change it…

You should change your air filter approximately every year. The best rule of thumb is to replace it when you have an oil change. Check your handbook for the correct air filter and visit your local main dealer or car spares shop for a replacement.

Next, open the bonnet and locate the filter – but only do this when the car is engine is cold. The air filter is normally in a large, black ‘air box’ near the left or right hand side of the bonnet. If you’re not sure, check your car’s handbook.

Unclip the lid, make a note of which way round the filter is, take out the old one and take a look.

The filter should be clean and clear of debris. If it retains its original colour – the filter part is usually light beige – it should be OK for a bit longer.

If it’s covered in dirt, then you should change it. All you need to do here is drop in the new filter, making sure it’s the right way round. Replace the air box lid, fasten the clips and you’re done. It’s that simple.

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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