The air cleaner keeps airborne dust and dirt from flowing into the engine. If allowed to enter the engine, dust and dirt combine with engine oil to create an abrasive compound which can drastically shorten engine life. Accordingly, the engine should never be run for a prolonged period without the air cleaner in place. A dirty air cleaner blocks the flow of air into the engine and can artificially richen the air/fuel mixture adversely affecting fuel economy and can even lead to damage to the catalytic converter.
The air cleaner should be checked periodically and replaced at least every 15,000 miles (25,000 km), more frequently in dusty driving conditions. Be sure the replacement air cleaner provides a proper fit and is not loose so that air is able to flow around the air cleaner instead of through it.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION2.0L (VIN M) and 2.5L (VIN U)
See Figures 1 and 2
- Remove the air cleaner cover by removing the wing nut(s). For some early model 2.5L engines, it will be necessary to first remove the top of the cleaner assembly by releasing the fastener clip(s) to access the wing nut(s).
- Remove the old air cleaner element.
- Wipe remaining dirt from the air cleaner housing.
- Install the new air cleaner element
- Install the air cleaner cover, then install the wing nut(s). If applicable, install the top of the air cleaner assembly fastening the retaining clip(s).
2.3L (VIN D, A and 3) See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6
- Remove the upper and lower duct clamps.
- Disconnect the intake duct-to-oil/air separator hose if equipped.
- Remove the air duct from the throttle body and air filter housing.
- On some models, remove the 2 air filter housing-to-cover hold-down clips, then separate.
- On other models, unscrew the air cleaner wing-nut and lift the lid off.
- Remove the air cleaner element and clean the air cleaner housing to remove any remaining dirt. Inspect the element for dirt, dust and/or water, and replace if necessary.
- Install the new air cleaner element into the air cleaner housing.
- Install the air cleaner housing cover.
- On models with the wing-nut, tighten the lid down secure.
- On all other models, install the 2 hold-down clips to the cover.
- Connect the upper air filter duct with clamps to the air filter housing inlet and throttle body.
- Connect the intake duct-to-oil/air separator hose.
- Install the upper and lower duct clamps.
2.4L (VIN T) 3.1L (VIN M) See Figure 7
- Disconnect and remove the air cleaner retaining screws, then remove the upper air cleaner assembly and position is aside.
- Remove the air cleaner filter/element. Inspect the filter/element for dust, dirt, or other contaminants, and replace if necessary.
- Position the filter/element to the upper air cleaner.
- Install the upper air cleaner to the lower air cleaner, then install the retaining screws.
3.0L (VIN L) and 3.3L (VIN N)
- Remove the air cleaner cover, by unlatching the retaining clamp(s).
- Remove the air cleaner element.
- Wipe the inside of the air cleaner housing to remove dirt. Inspect the element for dust, dirt and/or water and replace if necessary.
- Install the air cleaner element.
- Install the air cleaner cover by fastening the retaining clamp(s).