How to Clean A Car Air Filter With 5 Simple Steps?

Car Air Filter

Keeping your automobile clean on the exterior preserves the paintwork, and cleaning it on the interior makes it a more pleasant place to stay. Keeping it clean beneath the hood might help it function better and save you money.

If you want to take the next step in automobile cleanliness, consider cleaning your air filter. Filters keep dust, dirt, and debris from entering the engine through the air intake pipe, and they must be cleaned on a regular basis to keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently.

We demonstrate how to clean a car air filter so that you may save money and do it yourself. We’ve also gone through the fundamentals of air filter maintenance, so you know when and how to tackle the task.

What do you need to prepare when cleaning a car air filter?

Tools Required

  • Bucket
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum

Materials Required

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Warm water

How to clean a car air filter?

Your car’s filter might be dry or oil-coated, and the procedure is somewhat different for either. The following is how to clean a dry filter:

  1. Locate the air filter and remove the cover – The air filter is usually rectangular in form and positioned at the top of the engine, to one side, within a plastic housing. It may be spherical and sit on top of the carburetor on earlier vehicles. Screws, wing nuts, or simply snapping on and off will be used to secure the housing.
  2. Shake off loose dirt – After removing the filter, shake it away from the engine to remove any loose dirt or debris, such as leaves or insects.
  3. Vacuum or wash the filter – Vacuuming is the quickest choice, but washing is more thorough. To vacuum, use the hose attachment and gently go over each side of the filter. Examine your work for any missing pieces. To clean the filter, swish it around in a pail of water and cleaning solution, then rinse clean. Before replacing the filter, make sure it’s entirely dry because a damp filter might damage the engine.
  4. Clean the cover – Use the vacuum attachment, a moist cloth, or both to clean the filter housing. As with washing the filter, ensure sure it’s completely dry before replacing it.
  5. Replace and secure – Replace the filter, lid, and any screws or wing nuts to finish the procedure.

If the filter is oiled, which is less frequent, proceed with the instructions above except step three. Spray an oil-filter cleaning solution onto the filter and soak it for 10 minutes. After that, carefully rinse the solution from the filter and allow it to dry. Depending on the type of filter, it may need to be coated with a specialist oil. Once the oil has been absorbed, replace the filter.

When should you change the air filter in your car?

It’s normally advised that you change your automobile air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or every 12 months, but check your owner’s handbook to see what’s recommended for your specific vehicle. It will also be determined by the driving conditions and the amount of dirt sucked into the filter.

According to YourMechanic, if you observe any of the following changes in your car’s performance, it may be time to replace the filter.

  • Gas mileage dropped unexpectedly.
  • Acceleration loss
  • Ignition issues (a dirty air filter can lead to fouled spark plugs)
  • The engine does not sound correct.
  • Idling rough
  • The engine check light illuminates.

How often should you clean a car air filter?

Ideally, you should clean your car’s air filter every 15,000 miles or so. Stick to the servicing schedule recommended in your car’s handbook for the air filter. If you reside in a rural region with more dirt and dust on the road, you may need to clean the air filter more frequently.

Even if you don’t drive much, we recommend cleaning the air filter at least once a year as part of a regular service to ensure the engine’s performance and efficiency. Replace the air filter every three years, since they can get brittle and stop working properly over time.


You have now learned everything there is to know about cleaning an automobile air filter. As long as you follow what you’ve read, you shouldn’t have any problem dealing with unclean automobile air filters.

You may save this article for future use. Please leave a remark if you have any views or questions about this issue. Our readers are always welcome!

Also, please feel free to share the information in this post with your other vehicle owner friends so that they may benefit from clean car air filters as well.

Joyce He

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