How to Inspect Your Vehicle’s Air Filter
Your engine’s air filter is a lot like your car’s lungs. In order for it to run efficiently, function properly and pass clean air through the system, the filter must be cleaned and installed correctly. To that end, auto maintenance and repair specialist The Humble Mechanic offers his tips for inspecting your engine’s air filter.
Hey everybody, it’s Charles from HumbleMechanic.com. Today, I’m going to give you some tips on inspecting or replacing your engine air filter.
Checking and replacing the car’s engine air filter can be a really easy DIY (project). Think of your engine is a giant air pump. Air is pumped in and then pumped back out. In order to keep dirt and debris from entering our engine, we have a filter.
It’s incredibly important to make sure that engine air filter is installed properly and is clean. Otherwise, it won’t do its job to filter the air. And air filter that’s incorrectly installed can let dirt or debris past it.
You can also change the way air enters the engine and cause an incorrect reading from your vehicle’s computer. A dirty or clogged air filter can cause the engine to work harder than it really needs to.
While there can be any number of ways an engine air filter is installed in your car, they can generally be removed with basic hand tools.
Before we remove the air filter for inspection, we want to make sure the area is clean from debris. Either vacuum or blow out any leaves dust or dirt so we can prevent that from getting into the air filter housing.
Next, remove the bolts, screws or clips that hold the air filter box together. Some vehicles may require a connector to be unplugged or a clamp to be removed. Next we want to lift the top portion of the air filter housing off and inspect the filter from the top. We want to look for any damage, especially around the outer edge.
Next, we’re going to remove the air filter and inspect it for debris. If we’re simply inspecting the filter, we want to be careful not to cause any damage to it. Another way we can look for dirt and debris in the filter is take it from about two feet and drop it. Then, inspect how much debris comes out of it. A clean air filter generally won’t have much debris coming out of it.
This filter has about 18,000 miles on it. A dirty or clogged air filter may have a lot of debris that comes out of it.
Before installing a new filter, or if it’s not quite time for a replacement yet, we want to look at the bottom side of the air box. If there’s any dirt, debris or leaves, we want to make sure we remove that as well.
When installing the air filter, make sure that it’s fully seated in the air box. I like to run my finger around the outer edge and make sure that it’s sitting properly. If we don’t install it properly, we may cause damage to the filter. Taking a second or two to follow around the entire edge of the filter is going to be well worth the time.
When we’re putting the air filter box back together, we want to make sure it’s fully seated as well. Tighten the screws or bolts, or put the clips on. If we disconnected any connectors or removed any clamps, we want to make sure those get installed as well. It’s also going to be a really good idea to document when you inspected or replaced your engine air filter.
When it comes to when to inspect or when to replace, a yearly inspection is a good idea, and then replace as needed or follow the recommendation in your vehicle owner’s manual.
Alright, there you have it. I hope those tips help you check or replace your vehicle’s engine air filter. If you want to see more of my videos, head over to HumbleMechanic.com. Alright guys, hey, thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.