Changing the air filter on your car is generally a very easy DIY job. Air filter housings are normally in a very accessible part of the engine bay and are designed with speed and ease of servicing in mind, so if you’re new to car maintenance and are looking for a DIY job to cut your teeth on, an air filter change could be the ideal job to start with.

On our Project GTi (a 2005 mk 5 VW Golf GTi) the air filter is located inside the plastic engine cover which is a little unusual, however it’s still extremely easy to change.

What You’ll Need:

  • Philips screwdriver
  • Vice grips or large pliers
  • New air filter

air filter change

How long will it take?

This will vary greatly from car to car and on your own ability but on this particular car it should take roughly 15 or 20 minutes

Check out the video below:

…or if you prefer to take your time, read our step-by-step guide:

First, undo the the clip which joins the convoluted air intake pipe to the engine cover and separate the pipe from the cover.

air filter change 2

Undo the electrical plug from the air flow meter at the back of the engine cover.air filter change 3

Undo the two large metal clips holding intake pipe to the left rear of the engine coverair filter change 4

The engine cover should now just lift off, there will be a little bit of resistance as it’s held in place with rubber grommets.air filter change 5

With the engine cover removed, just be aware that the airflow meter is also built in to the cover and take car not to damage it.air filter change 6

The air filter is located in the engine cover itself and is in two parts. Undo the 8 Philips screws holding the two parts together.air filter change 7

The cover will then come apart revealing the filter element air filter change 8

With the new and old filters side by side you can clearly see the dirt and discoloration in the old filter. While you have the filters next to each other, double check all the dimensions match.air filter change 9

Place the new filter in the housing and make sure it’s seated correctly on all sides before screwing the two parts of the engine cover back together again. air filter change 11

The rest of the re-fitting procedure is just the reverse of removal. air filter change 1

For more motoring DIY videos check out our Youtube channel or more Project GTi articles