Have you ever wondered what you can do to save money on car maintenance? The answer is easy, just do it yourself. Save yourself time and money by doing simple DIY repairs and changes right from your driveway. Today, I'll show you how to change the air filter in a 2006 Ford F-150. But first, do you know how vital it is to keep a clean air filter?
Importance of An Engine Air Filter:
The first thing we have to take care of is the engine. The engine is protected by the air filter chamber. The filter chamber protects the engine from water entering and accumulating in the engine bay, thus protecting it from corrosion and abrasion. Within the chamber you will find the air filter, which acts like a kidney to the vehicle. It prevents road debris such as grime, dust, leaves and other pollutants from entering the engine and allowing oxygen to pass through.
Do you remember the last road trip you went on, and the massive amount of bugs that hit your windshield in just one day? If it wasn't for the air filter preventing airborne pollutants from invading your engine, the amount of debris would be exponential.
How Often To Check/Change Air filter?
We cannot stress how important it is to have a clean air filter. A clean air filter allows more oxygen to enter the engine, allowing it to work more efficiently with little effort. If your vehicle has a congested air filter, you not only risk the dangers of motor damage, but you deprive the engine of oxygen, resulting in decreased mileage per gallon and loss of horsepower. The worst case scenario would be having a plugged filter that prevents your vehicle from running, not to mention the hundreds of dollars you'll have to shell out for any further damage.
With that being said, it is recommended that you check your filter every three months, and change it once every twelve months or every 12,000 miles; whichever comes first. There are a few variables to keep in mind, such as the amount of time you spend on the road and air quality in the areas that you frequent. If you are an avid motorist who enjoys rock crawling and sweeping through dry lake beds in the desert, you'll more than likely have to replace your filter more frequently in comparison to city commuters.
Rule of thumb: Check the air filter manufacturer and Owner's Manual for reference.
Types of Air Filters:
There are hundreds of brands of air filters, some claiming they are better than others. They are made from various materials such as paper, foam, cotton, synthetic. Not only are there different materials but some are reusable, while others are a one-time use. The cost will depend on the brand and material it is made from - approximately anywhere from $15 to $60. It all boils down to preference. Will you take the time to be environmentally friendly and clean your filter, or are you more likely to toss and replace? In this video we will be using a K&N reusable filter. Keep checking back on the blog and we'll show you how to clean one!
Let's get started!
Step 1: You can begin by checking the Owner's Manual for the location of the air filter chamber. Some cars require a simple tool like a screwdriver. Be sure the vehicle is off before we begin.
Step 2: Open the hood of your vehicle. Some vehicles have the latch on the driver's side door, under the dashboard, or sometimes under the driver seat. You can now scan the engine until you locate the filter chamber.
Step 3: Unlock the clasps on the chamber by flipping them up. You are now ready to take out the air filter tray.
Step 4: Pull out the old filter. Take out the old filter from the tray and insert a clean filter, ensuring the filter is seated properly. Slide the filter back into the chamber. Be sure to lock the chamber by closing the clasps.
Step 5: Close the hood. That's it! You're done.
Don't be afraid to take your car's health into your own hands. There are many items you can change and fix from the comfort of your own home. You can save yourself the time and money it would take to bring your car to a mechanic or dealership.
Be sure to check back for other DIY car maintenance blogs!
-We'll keep you on the road longer