Air Cleaner Assembly
The vehicle's air cleaner assembly keeps the engine free from the dust and dirt that outside air may bring into the engine compartment. The assembly contains an air filter that sifts the air as it passes through. To ensure proper air cleaner operations, it must be in tiptop condition so it won't restrict airflow or allow dirt to get in and cause premature engine wear. This is the reason vehicle manufacturers recommend removal, cleaning, and inspection of the air cleaner every 6 months or 7,500 miles, whichever comes first. But if you frequently drive in dusty places, air cleaner maintenance should be done more often.
If you're planning to clean or replace the air cleaner, here are the steps on how to remove the assembly:
What you'll need:
- Shop towel
- Filter element
- Low-pressure compressed air
Preparing the vehicle
Step 1: Park your car on a solid, level ground and shut the engine off. Make sure the engine has cooled off completely before starting with your DIY task.
Step 2: Put the hood release lever and prop the hood open.
Accessing the air cleaner assembly
Step 3: You may need to disconnect ducts, hoses, as well as the vacuum tube that block your access to the assembly or the case cover. Depending on the type of hose you have to deal with, you may need a wrench or a screwdriver.
Step 4: The air box is secured by retaining clips on its top and on either side of the air cleaner lid. Unfasten these clips, starting on the one that holds the top of the air box, and then proceed to the clip on either left or right side, which secures the assembly in place.
Taking out and checking the air filter
Step 5: Now that the clips have been unfastened, lift the lid of the air cleaner assembly and take the air filter out of its housing.
Step 6: Carefully inspect the air filter for any tear or perforation. Also check the housing of your air cleaner for dirt or dust that may have sneaked through the filter. The proper way to do this is to turn the flashlight on and direct its light on one side of the air filter and look through it. If you see any holes, get a new filter and have the old one replaced or clean the air filter if it's reusable.
Blowing air through the air filter
Step 7: With your low-pressure compressed air system, hold up the air filter and allow compressed air to blow through the filter until you completely rid it of dirt and dust.
Step 8: Wipe the surfaces of the air cleaner assembly clean and cover the assembly with a shop towel.
Reinstalling the filter
Step 9: Put the newly cleaned filter back in its position or install the replacement filter in the case or housing and reinstall the cover. See to it that the lid is securely fitted back into its place as air leaking around the top of the air cleaner assembly can allow air and dirt to bypass the filter and get into your engine.
Step 10: Reconnect all the vacuum tubes, ducts, and hoses that you've disconnected when you start with the task. Make sure they are fitted properly and snugly.