How to Replace Your Car's Air Filter

The engine air filter, or air filter, cleans the air entering your engine and protects its sensitive parts from debris and dust. Your engine air filter is located under the hood.

The air filter box should be easily identifiable and simply opened by releasing latches or tabs by hand. Some air filter boxes may require a screwdriver or socket set to open.

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How to Change Your Engine Air Filter

How To Change Your Cabin And Engine Air Filters

1. Safety First

Park your vehicle on a flat, dry surface. Open the hood and secure it.

2. Locate and open housing

Locate the air filter housing. Open the air filter housing. The housing is likely secured with clamps that can be undone with your hands, but sometimes you might need a screwdriver or small ratchet to open the housing.

engine air filter being removed from the housing

3. Remove old air filter

Remove the old air filter and any debris. Note how the old air filter is installed. You’ll want to replicate this when installing the new air filter.

person showing how to install an new air filter

4. Install the new air filter

Install the new air filter. Match the direction and placement of the old housing. Close the air filter housing and secure it the way it was before. That’s it. That’s all there is to getting fresh air into your engine.

When it’s time to change your car’s air filter or cabin air filter, visit your neighborhood AutoZone.

If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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