How to Replace a Breather Filter

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
Towel or rag (damp)
New breather filter
Flat and Phillips head screwdriver
Crankcase breather element (depending on the car)

Replacing your car’s crankcase breather filter sounds more difficult that it really is. Difficult or not, it should be done when you get a tune-up and failing to do so can be bad for your car’s performance. Because minor car maintenance can still add up to a major price tag, it is always good to know that you can do it by yourself. Follow these steps to do-it-yourself.

But before you attempt the project, please learn that every car is a little bit different, so it is important to be familiar with your car needs before attempting this project. Consult your owner’s service manual, look it up online, or even go talk to someone at your local auto parts store. It is a simple project as long as you know what you are getting yourself into ahead of time. There is nothing worse than stopping mid project because you stumbled across a tool or part you need that you do not have.

Steps 1: Find Your Filter

Locating the air filter housing is simple if you have your owner’s service manual handy. Once you have located it, loosen the fasteners holding the housing cover together. The type of fastener will vary from make and model and year-to-year. They can be wing nuts or clips or some other form of fastener.

Step 2: Remove Old Air Filter

Now that you have loosened the fasteners, you can remove your filter. You should look and see how the filter is place in the housing and how it fits. Once you have made these observations, you should be able to pull it out easily.

Step 3: Clean Housing

Now that you have space to work with, clean the inside of the breather filter housing. You can use a damp rag, sponge, or towels. Don’t use anything too wet, though, and try not to let anything get into the air duct. Some, but not all, cars have a crankcase breather element. If your car has one, check to see if it is greasy or dirty and replace it if it is.

Step 4: Find Breather Filter

Just as you did with the air filter, use the owner’s manual to find your crankcase breather filter. If it is encased in a housing, remove the clips to access the filter. You need to determine if the filter is the only thing needing replacement or if the inner holder goes as well. Use a screwdriver to separate the two if you only need to replace the breather filter. Remove the old filter

Step 5: Install New Filter

Installation is simple. Attach the new breather filter with retaining clips. Just make sure the placement is correct. Put the filter back into its housing, then reattach the cover on the filter hosing. Make sure everything is securely in place before operating your car.

Now that you have completed the process, you see how easy replacing a breather filter is. You may have gotten a little dirty in the process, but it was certainly a simple process. Now you know how easy it is to do-it-yourself.