Air Filters, do they really need changing

How to replace your car Air Filter

Yes they really do need changing, let air filter properly!

I’m sure you have all been there, you take your car in for a regular check up or it’s annual MOT and you find out that it’s set you back £40 for an air filter change amongst other things. What’s more shocking is that most air filters cost under £10. Heck if I paid £40 for an air filter change id expect to get one that I can wash and re-use (yes they do make these kinds of air filters).

What’s happened here is that the mechanic has charged you for a few hours work when it’s really a 15 minute job. It’s really something you would do whilst on a lunch break it’s that simple. Well no more, it’s time you took control of your car and swapped over your air filter yourself. There really is no excuse for not doing this job yourself it is so simple and will save you some cash.

The good thing about this job is that it requires little work and it’s just a simple pull the old air filter out and put the new one in. Air filters come in all shapes and sizes depending on what car you own.

Air filter

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Do Some Research!

It’s important to know how many air filters your car has and at what intervals you should replace your air filters. Air filters serve an important feature in your car as they help “air filter” around the car. There main function is to stop important parts of your vehicle getting particle damage whilst allowing air to flow through the car. One air filter most people forget about is your cabin air filter, bare in mind this is what helps you have clean air whilst you drive, so it’s vital you change it (No one likes stale air!). Some older cars may use other types of filters like transmission and fuel filters, make sure double check if these need doing too.

As always make sure you read your owners manual and find out how many filters your car has and how often they should be replaced.

Why do I need an Air Filter

If your wanting your engine to work it requires air. Now the air which flows into your car must be as clean as possible for the engine to run efficiently. Problem is that the air outside is full of rubbish that does not burn cleanly or evenly at all. There are plenty of particles in the air like sand, dirt, salt, pollen, leaves and even bird feathers. You don’t want that stuff in your engine, so the air filter is designed to catch all of this.

The air filter is quite good at it’s job the only problem is that it needs renewing often to allow more air flow through your car. Check your car owners manual for the time intervals. This is usually around 12,000 miles (I say 30,000 miles), you can always double check your air filter if it looks clean then it may not needed a replacement so soon, it all depends on where you drive your car.

Dirty Air Filter

A Bad Air Filter from:

But why should I change my Air Filter Regularly


Prolonged engine life.

Over time, dirt and other particles that may enter through a faulty air filter can cause serious damage to your engine’s internal parts. It is much better to spend around £10 on a new air filter than hundreds if not thousands on a new engine.

Increased fuel efficiency (£££).

Remember, your engine needs air to run efficiently. So it makes sense that a reduction in the amount of air means your engine needs to use more fuel to get the same force to run your engine.  So if you have traveled thousands of miles that air filter is bound to be on the dirty side. So save yourself some money at the pump by changing your air filter regularly.

Reduced Emissions.

Reduced air flow can also mess with your car’s emission control systems which in turn will spew more bad stuff into the atmosphere. Be aware that you car needs to pass an emissions test to pass it’s MOT these days so best to make sure everything is working correctly. Oh and to do your bit to reduce your carbon foot print of course.

How to Replace Your Air Filter

Purchase Your Air Filter

Before we begin you need to make sure your purchase the correct air filter. The easiest way to get the correct air filter for your car is to visit a site like Euro Car Parts. Search with your vehicle registration number and look for the appropriate air filters that are on offer. Most air filters are around the £10 mark. Double check with your owners manual to make sure your purchasing the correct one. In most cases air filters are marked with a manufacturer model no, normally google can help you locate the correct product.

Open your bonnet (hood) and locate and remove your air filter housing box

Its not too hard to find the housing for your air filter its normally positioned to the left or right of the engine and has a hose leading out of it, in some cases the filter is actually under the engine cover. In most cases you just need to loosen the clasps to get to the air filter in other cases you may need a hex/torx set or a wrench depending on the car setup. Double check your owners manual if your lost. Just don’t try to force it off, make sure you take your time here.

Air filter housing

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Replace Your Old Air Filter With Your Brand New Air Filter.

Just pop out your old air filter, clean the housing unit to remove any loose dirt. Before you put your new Air Filter in the housing make sure there are no faults with the new air filter. Once happy place the Air filter in the housing unit. Now just re install the housing unit.

how to replace your air filter

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It wasn’t so hard now was it! Just make sure you regularly check your air filter to ensure that maximum air is filtering through your car. We hope you had great success in changing your air filter and hope that now your more comfertable doing simple car repairs.

Regards, Beat The Mechanic team.