Your car sucks in stuff. It likes dirt and dust and other microscopic particles that we cannot legally discuss. But the air filter is there to make sure these particles do not enter your motor. Because of its dust fighting, the air filter gets dirty and sometimes needs a swap. For an old V8, it's super simple. For a 4 bangin' Ford Focus, it's also simple. So...here...we...go.
What You Will Need
A Flathead Screwdriver or Quarter Inch Ratchet Set
This is all about preference. Some people prefer a screwdriver. Most everybody else in the world prefers a ratchet.
A New Air Filter
Yeah, you gotta replace that old one if it's too far gone.
Gotta suck all that dirt out.
1. Locate your air filter. I have a 2003 Ford Focus and mine is located on the driver's side about 8 inches from the firewall. See the pic to the right.
2. Remove the filter cover. The filter cover will probably be held in place with screws at each corner. Remove all four screws with either your screwdriver or the ratchet. Once the screws are removed, you can gently lift the cover off of the filter compartment.
3. Remove the old air filter and examine it. Sometimes air filters can simply be blown or washed out. If it looks like it has seen better days or been sneezed on by Bigfoot, just replace it; most of them are cheap anyways.
4. Use the vacuum and remove any dirt that may be in filter compartment. You can see in the Dirty Air Filter pic that there is dirt in the compartment. Go ahead and clean it out.
5. Put the new filter in. It should go in exactly like the old one came out. If it doesn't, you may have the wrong filter.
6. Replace the cover and screw it back on.
7. Sing "I Can Feel It Coming in the Air Tonight..." You have to. You know want to do that drum solo.
Four Banger Ail Filter Change
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: We here at Dirty Shop Rags are experienced automotive veterans and many of us have worked professionally on vehicles. Hell, one of us is even ASE certified (it's a big deal). However, this article is meant to serve only as advice. We do not take any responsibility for you and your safety or any damage that might be caused to your vehicle. Please consult your local certified technician before attempting any work on your vehicle.