GM Malibu/Cutlass 1997-2000

Air Cleaner (Element)

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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 of time 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 and can even lead to damage to the catalytic converter.

The air cleaner should be checked periodically and replaced at least every 30,000 miles (50,000 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 & INSTALLATION



  1. Loosen the clamp holding the upper air cleaner to the duct at the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor.
  2.  
  3. Remove the upper air cleaner screws, the remove the upper air cleaner cover. Rotate or remove the upper air cleaner from the MAF sensor and duct.
  4.  



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Fig. The upper air cleaner cover is retained by four screws

  1. Remove the air filter/element from the lower air cleaner housing. Inspect the air filter/element for dust, dirt, or other contaminants, and replace if necessary.
  2.  



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Fig. The air filter simply lifts out of the lower air cleaner housing



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Fig. The lower air cleaner box should be cleaned out if there is any debris present



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Fig. This air filter was excessively dirty, which contributes to poor mileage and acceleration

To install:

  1. Position the air filter/element into the lower air cleaner housing.
  2.  
  3. Install the upper air cleaner cover to the air cleaner housing.
  4.  
  5. Install the retaining screws and tighten to 26 in. lb. (3 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Fasten the clamp holding the upper air cleaner to the duct at the MAF sensor.
  8.  

 
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