Changing the air filter – Here’s how!


Dirty air is not good for the engine – and since the latter is the heart of every vehicle, you should change the air filter regularly. How it works? We’ll tell you in this post. You can also find out here which symptoms indicate a dirty air filter, when cleaning is sufficient and how often you should replace the air filter. Of course we also have step-by-step instructions for changing the air filter up our sleeve! Let’s go!

Why change the air filter?

So that you can better understand why you should change the air filter at regular intervals, we will first explain what the air filter is for:

That’s what the air filter does

Combustion engines burn not only fuel, but above all oxygen. To ensure that the engine is not damaged by contaminated air, the air filter cleans these:

  • The filter catches the dust particles from the air and prevents them from entering the engine.
  • In addition, the filter ensures that neither twigs nor stones can get into the engine and destroy it.
This is how an air filter works – it protects against dust and dirt.

If the air filter is full of dust and dirt, then this is also noticeable. And how? We’ll tell you now!

Please change air filter! Those are the symptoms

If your car is struggling with a dirty air filter, then it sends you corresponding signs – which you should by no means ignore:

  • Your car’s engine loses power.
    • In particular, the acceleration decreases significantly.
  • You hear noises coming from the air filter box.
  • Even if the fault memory displays a message such as “air mass value implausible”, this indicates a clogged air filter.
  • At the latest when the filter no longer withstands the visual inspection and is damaged, it is time to change the air filter!

Now you’re probably asking yourself: In most cases, isn’t it enough to clean the air filter instead of changing it? The answer is: it depends. How to clean the air filter – you will find out immediately if you read on!

Cleaning the air filter: how it’s done

If your air filter is too dirty and the engine performance decreases as a result, you can also clean it.

Air filter_clogged
Air filter dirty or even clogged? You can clean the filter!

To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Remove the air filter.
  • Then you clean it with a compressed air spray.
    • Make sure that you spray from the inside out.
    • Otherwise you will only spread the dust and dirt further in the filter.
  • Alternatively, you can too knock out carefully.
    • However, you have to be careful not to damage the filter.

However, if you notice that the air filter is damaged in the meantime, then you cannot avoid changing it – especially since you have already removed the filter anyway and have already done half the work. Clean or change filters? Not only damage speaks for an exchange instead of a cleaning. When and how often you should change the filter – we’ll tell you now.

How often to change the air filter?

You should change your car’s air filter regularly. The vehicle manufacturer determines how often and when this should be done:

  • After a certain running time or distance, the air filter must be replaced.
    • You can find information about this in your car’s manual.
  • The car inspection is a good opportunity to replace the air filter.
In comparison: new and old dirty air filter

Of course, you will also incur costs here. What expenses you have to reckon with – we’ll get to that now. Ready? Here we go!

Change air filter – costs

The cost of replacing the air filter can vary widely; It is therefore better to inform yourself in advance at the workshop of your choice. The following table gives you an initial cost overview – so that you have an idea of ​​how much it costs to have the air filter changed:

New air filter Around €5 to €20
labor costs in the workshop Around €20 to €50
All in all: Around €25 to €70

You see it: In contrast to other repairs, changing the air filter is relatively inexpensive. However, the change itself is not a masterpiece – anyone who can handle a screwdriver can do it. You can now find out how it works!

Step-by-step instructions for changing the air filter

Changing the air filter is not only child’s play, it’s also incredibly quick: we’ll show you how air filter on an Audi A6 Avant 2.5 TDI can renew within 2 minutes. Just watch the following video to see how it all works:

And because it is known that twice as much is better, we are happy to list the individual steps for a successful air filter change below:

  • open the hood
  • remove the cover
  • Take out the fresh air intake duct
  • Disconnect the air mass meter connector
  • open clamp
  • Pull off the vacuum hose
  • release clamps
  • Remove the air filter cover
  • Check the air mass meter network for contamination – clean if necessary
  • Remove air filter
  • Clean air filter box
  • Insert new air filter
  • Reassemble in reverse order

You now know how to change the air filter. Do you still have questions? Or have you perhaps already replaced the air filter yourself? Let us know in the comments – we’re excited!


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