DIY Car Filter Maintenance

DIY Car Filter Maintenance

Auto maintenance can be complicated, and that’s why much of it is best left to a professional mechanic. That said, there are a few aspects of car care that you can handle yourself—and you should!  For example, you can check and change at least three of your car’s filters: you just need to know their replacement schedules and procedures.


You can expect to change your oil filter about once every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.  The process involved with changing your oil filter can be a little complicated for the average person, but with a little determination almost anyone can manage it. Actually, the most complicated aspect is figuring out how you are going to raise your car off the ground; you are going to need to get underneath to find the oil drain plug.

Once you do, you will pull the drain plug to drain the oil from the pan.  This will empty the engine, which will make it easier to find the oil filter.  You will remove the oil filter and replace it and then restore the drain plug and fill your engine with new oil.

Replacing your oil filter is important, of course, because this is what lubricates the engine.  Without oil, your engine will burn too hot and break down too soon.


You should look to replace your air filter about once every 12 months or 12,000 miles.  Essentially, you could check it whenever you change your oil, since you’ll already be under the hood.  The air filter is easy to change because it is usually very easy to find. You simply open the air filter plastic manifold cover, which is typically located towards the front of the hood.  Unclamp the hooks holding the filter in place and remove the air filter.

Replacing your air filter is important because your internal combustion engine needs oxygen to operate. Dirty air means less efficient engine operation.


You can expect to change your fuel filter every 2 to 5 years (between 20,000 and 60,000 miles) depending on the make of your vehicle.

Fuel filters are not easy to replace, but you can still figure it out.  Their location is different depending on the type of car—near the fuel tank or near the engine, for example; some autos have the fuel filter contained within the fuel pump.

Categories: Automotive

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