How to clean and replace your air filter

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Stuck air filters can reduce your gallons per gallon and make your car rough because your engine can’t breathe! Don’t let that happen. Learn how to fix it here.

See us all Autoblog Ranched Video from professional detail dealer Larry Kosila for more tips on car diagnostics, fix and modification. While you’re at it, watch a video series of Larry’s other car cleaning and maintenance Autoblog Details!

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Instructions (video transcript):

[00:00:00] – [Larry] Stuck air filters can reduce your per gallon mile and make your car idle and rough because the engine cannot breathe properly. A new filter is easy to install and it will give your car the performance you lost Here’s what you need to do: a replacement air filter, a vacuum and a flathead screwdriver. I’m Larry Kosilla, pro-detailer and trainer for the last 15 years, but when there’s what’s under the hood, I’m that student. Follow me, because experts teach me how to diagnose, repair and repair cars AutoblogOf Wounded.

[00:00:30] If you regularly drive in dusty or dirty environments, replace your filter more frequently. Although OEM quality filters are a perfect replacement, you can consider performance filters and long life options. Performance filters use a synthetic material that allows better air flow than a standard paper filter, thus improving the power and performance of your engine. Filters come in all shapes and sizes, some horizontal, vertical and even conical.

[00:01:00] Similarly, washable filters can be reused and can last longer than paper filters in servicing. Spencer, replacing the air filter seems pretty self-explanatory, but can’t I just shake it out or do I actually have to change it? – Well the paper material, after a lot of moisture and rain and everything else, gets stuck, it has a lot of debris and the paper starts to get bad, so you don’t really want to reuse it. Replace what you want to do once a year or every 15,000 miles. You can replace it with a brand new one that you can find locally, or they can create a washable filter

[00:01:30] Which are from the performance industry, but you can reuse them I think for 100,000 miles they are good and there is a method of how to do it. – [Larry] Visit your local auto parts store and see your make, model and car of the year and find your replacement filter. Open the hood and locate your air box. In modern, fuel-injected vehicles, the filter surrounds itself like a plastic box. It’s usually easier to find, as it will be attached to a flexible hose running on top of your engine. Most boxes have plastic clips or metal tabs

[00:02:00] Put the filter in place. You may need to use a screwdriver to open these clips. Although each car and engine may have a different shape, color or size of the filter, the basic principles are the same. Be sure to be careful when removing the cover as the tabs tend to bend, break or fall under the engine bogie. As you close the clips, push the plastic air box back to reduce the pressure on the filter crown. Slide the old filter and set it aside.

[00:02:30] Before replacing a new filter, vacuum the bottom of the air box with vacuum and not with compressed air, as you do not want to blow dust around without installing a filter. If you don’t use a washable filter, now is the time to install a replacement, attach the clips, reinstall the boot, and guess what? You did. However, if you have a washable filter, generously spray the filter cleaner on both sides and soak it for 10 minutes to loosen the dirt, but do not let the cleaner dry.

[00:03:00] Next, rinse the filter outward with cold, low-pressure water from the clean side to flush out the dirt. Continue until all traces of the cleaner are gone. After cleaning, shake off excess water and allow the filter to dry completely. Never blow out filters that can be washed with compressed air, as you will ruin the paper inside. If it is a sunny day, leave the filter out to speed up the drying process. Do not apply the oil until the filter is completely dry.

[00:03:30] Apply the oil to the top of the filter crown on each plate, holding the tip about three inches away. Touch any dry area until you have a uniform coating, then let the oil simmer for about 20 minutes. Excessive oil, or not giving the filter enough time to dry completely, can actually cause the mass airflow sensor to fail, so follow the instructions carefully. The air filter is like the lungs of your car. If it gets stuck, your car will bark

[00:04:00] And having trouble performing. Change your filter often to keep your car running smoothly. For more videos on car repair, visit I am Larry Kosilla from As always, thanks for watching!

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