Volkswagen Golf/Jetta/Cabriole 1990-1999

Air Cleaner

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A restrictive, dirty air cleaner filter will cause a reduction in fuel economy and performance and an increase in emissions production. The air filter element should be replaced according to the maintenance interval chart in this section, or more often in dusty conditions.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Fox

On CIS and CIS-E equipped models, the air cleaner element is mounted directly under the fuel distributor/air flow sensor assembly. When changing the filter element, the lower portion of the airbox stays in place and the distributor/sensor assembly is lifted up to access the element. It is not necessary to disconnect any fuel lines or wires, but use caution not to stretch the fuel lines and electrical connections.

On Digifant-equipped engines, the air cleaner element is contained within the airbox.

  1. On models with CIS and CIS-E fuel injection, loosen the hose clamps to remove the rubber boot from the top of the air flow sensor.
  2.  
  3. On models with CIS and CIS-E fuel injection, loosen the clamp that secures the air boot to the throttle body, and slip the boot from the throttle body flange. This will make it easier to lift the upper portion of the airflow sensor/airbox assembly to retrieve the filter element.
  4.  
  5. Unsnap the cover retaining clips, starting with the hardest ones to reach. The last clip released will be difficult to unsnap, so it should be the easiest to reach.
  6.  
  7. Lift the cover enough to remove the air filter element. Be careful not to stretch the fuel lines and electrical connections.
  8.  


NOTE
Any loose dirt, then examine the element. On CIS and CIS-E equipped engines, there may be fuel stains on the element. Dry stains are not a problem but if the element is wet with fuel, the fuel distributor is leaking. describes how to pressure test the system. It should be noted that a small amount of oil on the filter element from the crankcase ventilation system is normal. If the filter element is excessively soaked with oil, inspect the crankcase ventilation system.

To install:

  1. Clean the inside of the air box and install the new element with the open pleats facing downward. Make sure the rubber seal fits properly into the groove in the airbox.
  2.  
  3. Lower the cover and secure the clips, starting with the least accessible clip.
  4.  
  5. On CIS and CIS-E equipped engines, install the air boot to both the throttle body and airflow sensor. When installing the boot, make sure the boot is fully seated all the way around the lip before tightening the clamp.
  6.  

A1 Platform

All A1 platform Cabriolet models are equipped with Digifant fuel injection. The air cleaner element is contained within the airbox, located in the front portion of the engine compartment on the driver's side of the vehicle.

  1. Unsnap the cover retaining clips around the perimeter of the airbox, starting with the hardest ones to reach. The last clip released will be difficult to unsnap, so it should be the easiest to reach.
  2.  
  3. Lift the upper portion of the air box from the vehicle, and set it aside.
  4.  
  5. Remove the air filter element.
  6.  

To install:

  1. Install the air filter element, with the open pleats facing downward.
  2.  
  3. Position the top half of the airbox, and snap the cover retaining clips, starting with the hardest ones to reach.
  4.  

A2 Platform


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Fig. On 2.0L 16v engines, the air cleaner element is located under the fuel distributor/airflow plate assembly



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Fig. On normally aspirated diesels, the air cleaner is mounted directly to the intake manifold

  1. On models CIS-E equipped engines, loosen the hose clamps to remove the rubber boot from the top of the air flow sensor.
  2.  
  3. On Digifant-equipped engines, loosen the clamp and remove the air duct from the air filter housing.
  4.  
  5. Unsnap the cover retaining clips, starting with the hardest ones to reach. The last clip released will be difficult to unsnap, so it should be the easiest to reach.
  6.  
  7. On Digifant-equipped engines, lift the cover off and remove the air filter element. If the air flow sensor is mounted to the cover, it's not necessary to disconnect the wires.
  8.  
  9. On CIS-E equipped engines, lift the fuel distributor/air flow sensor assembly enough to remove the filter element.
  10.  
  11. With the paper side down, drop the element just a few inches repeatedly on a flat surface to shake out any loose dirt, then examine the element. On CIS-E equipped engines, there may be fuel stains on the element. Dry stains are not a problem, but if the element is wet with fuel, the fuel distributor is leaking. describes how to pressure test the system.
  12.  
  13. Wipe out the inside of the airbox and install the new element. Make sure the rubber seal fits properly into the groove in the lower portion of the airbox.
  14.  
  15. Replace the cover and secure the clips, starting with the least accessible clip.
  16.  
  17. When installing the boot on the CIS-E air flow sensor, make sure the boot is fully seated all the way around the lip before tightening the clamp.
  18.  

A3 Platform


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Fig. A3 VR6 airbox; diesel engines similar



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Fig. Pull up on the bottom of the air cleaner housing clip to release it-



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Fig. -then unhook the clip from the notch on the upper air cleaner housing



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Fig. Remove all vacuum lines from the housing



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Fig. Squeeze the arrowed clips to release the mass air flow sensor wiring harness



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Fig. Once all fasteners have been removed, lift off the air cleaner cover



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Fig. Remove the air cleaner



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Fig. If the filter is clogged with dirt, replace it

On all A3 platform vehicles, the air cleaner element is located within the airbox, on the passenger side of the engine compartment. It is not necessary to disconnect any wiring or hoses from the airbox in order to remove the air cleaner element.

  1. Starting with the clip that is most difficult to reach, disengage all of the clips that secure the upper portion of the airbox to the lower portion.
  2.  
  3. Lift the upper portion of the airbox, and remove the filter element. Be careful when lifting the upper portion of the element; excessive force may damage vacuum and electrical connections.
  4.  
  5. Using a clean rag, wipe any accumulated dirt and dust from the inside of the lower portion of the airbox.
  6.  

To install:

  1. Carefully install the new filter element into the lower portion of the airbox. Make sure to install it in the proper direction (open pleats face downward).
  2.  
  3. Starting with the clip that is the most difficult to reach, secure the clips around the perimeter of the airbox.
  4.  

 
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