When and How to Change Your Car’s Air Filter

December 23rd, 2012 by

Middletown Honda Changing your vehicle’s air filter regularly is one of the most inexpensive and easiest ways to prolong the life of your vehicle. The air filter is part of your vehicle’s intake system. Essentially, it allows your car to breath, since it needs a specific mixture of air and fuel to be able to run. All of the air that enters the engine passes through the air filter, and it catches dirt and things to keep them out of the engine. A clogged filter will reduce your car’s performance, lower your gas mileage, and can damage your engine over time.

Changing your air filter regularly is quick, simple, and cheap, but how often should you do it? Check your owner’s manual for an exact interval, but most cars need their air filter replaced about every 12,000 miles or twelve months.

  • To change your filter yourself, start by parking your car in the shade and turning it off. Open the hood and prop it up. Allow the engine to cool off before you begin.
  • Gather your tools — you’ll need two medium sizes screwdrivers (one standard, one Phillips) and a butter knife.
  • Now find the air filter casing. It will mostly likely be the largest non-metal part and will be about the size of a breadbox, near the center, top of the engine.
  • Open it up — the majority of casings will be held shut with metal clips on each side. Use your screw driver or a butter knife down between the casing and clip and pry the clip loose. Repeat until all the clips are pried away. Some cases are held shut by screws, in which case you’ll have to unscrew them. Open up the case.
  • Pull out the filter and inspect it. Hold it away from yourself and look into its crevices. Look for a lot of accumulated dirt. Then look at it from the front. Check to see if the paper is dirty in the center. If you find a lot of dirt, get a new one, but if it looks fairly clean, reinstall it.
  • Bring the old filter with you to the store to make sure you get the right one. It’s okay to drive short distances without an air filter. Once you get the new one, pop it back in and close up the casing.

For more Maintenance Tips, Keep in Touch with Middletown Honda

Middletown Honda is located in Middletown, NY and has an onsite service and parts department available for all your maintenance and repair needs. Our sales department is open seven days, so stop by and see us soon.