Replacing My Own Car Air Filters

Every time I go to Valvoline for an oil change, they offer to replace my engine air filter and cabin air filter. After owning my Subaru for 5 years, I decided it was time for me to learn how to change my car air filters myself. Especially since it seemed so easy when I watched the Valvoline employees do it.

Engine Air Filter Housing with Clips Undone

Prep Work
In preparation for changing my car air filters, I turned to YouTube. I was working on a 2014 Subaru Impreza and liked this video for replacing the cabin air filter and this one for replacing the engine air filter. My Subaru owner's manual refers to the former as the HVAC system A/C filter and the latter as the air cleaner element.

The instructions seemed pretty straightforward, so I went on AutoZone’s website to find the part numbers I needed. The 2014 Subaru Impreza cabin air filter is part number CAF1869P and the engine air filter is part number PSA9997. They cost $11.99 and $16.99, respectively. You could also go with the standard engine air filter, which is part number SA9997, for $11.99.

Changing the Filters
I started with the engine air filter under the car hood. The process was exactly as described in the video. I triple-checked to make sure that everything fit back together snugly once I had put in the new filter and snapped the clips back on.

Filter Partially Removed from Its Housing

2 Year Old Engine Air Filter

Then I moved onto the cabin air filter, which is located behind the glove compartment. I had to watch the part of the video on detaching the glove compartment a few times. Essentially, you just have to push one side in at a time until you hear a click, and make sure you hold the detached side in place until the other side is detached, otherwise it might click itself back into place. Other than that, it was a straightforward process and putting the glove compartment back was easy.

Inside View of Glove Compartment

Close-Up of Glove Compartment Side to Detach

2 Year Old Cabin Air Filter

What I Learned
According to the maintenance schedule in my owner’s manual, I have been letting Valvoline change my car air filters way too often. On top of that, they charge $59.99 a pop for the cabin air filter, and $22.99 for the engine air filter. I saved about $55 for something that took maybe 10 minutes and will definitely be faster next time, now that I know what I’m doing. Definitely worth the time investment, if you can swing it and have the interest.


Popular Posts