Air Filters in your vehicle
No matter what level of car know-how you happen to have, knowing about replacing your air filters and how they work is a simple way to learn more about your vehicle and save money in the process. Keep reading to learn about the two air filters in your car, and how to inspect and change them.
The Engine Air Filter
The first filter that your car uses to regulate the air quality is attached directly to your engine under the hood. Believe it or not, this filter replacement is one of the easiest tasks you can perform yourself. (Source). Here’s how:
- Pop open your front hood and look for the air filter box. On the top or side of your engine itself will be a big black box, with a large hose sticking out of the side. This is the home to your engine’s air filter.
- Open the air filter box. This is super easy! Simply undo the metal clips holding the component closed and open it up. Inside, you’ll see the air filter – which looks like a square tray with accordion-like folds in the middle (see picture below).
- Inspect the filter. Take out the air filter and hold it up to the sunlight. If there are no places where the light is clearly seen through the middle of the filter, it’s definitely time for a replacement. Any significant amount of dust and dirt probably means a replacement is in order.
- Purchase a new filter. You can get a new air filter for about $10 at any auto store and find out what kind of filter you need for your vehicle’s make and model with the directory of parts in the air filter section.
- Place the new filter in the place of the old one and ensure that it sits snugly in it’s place. Re-clasp the air filter box clips and ta-da! Your engine will now have access to fresh air.
The Cabin Air Filter
The second filter you should be aware of is your cabin air filter. Although a little harder to access, your cabin air filter is what regulates the air you are breathing through the vents and is usually located behind the glovebox. You can also replace and inspect this component yourself with no special tools or engine knowledge required (Source). Below are the steps:
- Take out everything from your glovebox.
- Look into your owner’s manual to see how to unfasten and remove your glovebox. Usually, there is a pin on the side of the box that can be removed and then the box itself can be carefully taken out.
- You should be able to see the air filter right away once the glovebox is removed. Sometimes, this can be an extremely dirty component of your vehicle, so wearing gloves is a wise option.
- From here, carefully remove the filter so that no dust or dirt gets into the air or interior of the car. Pay attention to the small arrows that should indicate the direction of airflow, so that when you put in the new filter, it is positioned correctly.
- If possible, vacuum and then wipe down the area so it is free of any excess debris, before installing the new filter. Make sure they match and you have the right filter for your car’s make and model.
- Replace the glovebox and it’s contents and you’ll be good to go!
Looking for trustworthy mechanics?
Knowing these small tips for car maintenance is certainly helpful, but a lot of us do not have the time or confidence to really become the car experts we’d like to be. MicroMech is a mobile mechanic service – meaning we send expert mechanics straight to your doorstep or office parking lot – where they can perform over 500 maintenance services. MicroMech is different because our technicians never upsell and you never have to leave home. We aim to be trustworthy, transparent, and efficient.
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