Replacing an Air Filter: How To and My Replacement Choice

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So this week I decided to get educated about a car maintenance issue and work on replacing an air filter in my car. It was the PERFECT way to dip my toes into auto matinenance because it was ridiculously easy. No, seriously. It was!

What prompted me to do this? My allergies. I live in one of the top 12 WORST cities in the nation for allergies, and I am definitely feeling that right about now. The inside of my house is not too bad thanks to the air purifiers we have, but I also spend a fair chunk of my day in my car. The air in my car is just as pollen-filled as the outside air. But FRAM, a company that makes air filters, has just released the FRAM Fresh Breeze cabin air filters, made with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda that are specifically designed to help keep pollen particles, as well as road dust, out of the air you are breathing while inside the vehicle. And all this for right around $17. Heck yes!!!!

But I had a second motivation for replacing an air filter, as well. As a mother to two girls, I think I am especially sensitive to instances where I see stereotypical gender roles being enforced or played out. After having a great conversation with my daughter about what boys can’t do (grow babies in their bodies) and what girls can’t do (NOTHING!), I was feeling pretty darn smug. My daughters are going to be SO independent!!!

And then I realized something: while I’m being a good role model to them in theory, I am making some BIG mistakes in practice. There are certain chores or problems that I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS leave for Tim to fix. Now, I’m mature enough in my views of how to run a household that I know a division of labor is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it is just more efficient to know that you are in charge of x and someone else is in charge of y. But some of these tasks that I never do aren’t because I’m just trying to be efficient. It is because I don’t know how to do them, and I assume that Tim, as a guy, does. Car maintenance is one of those chores.


shopping for a FRAM: replacing an air filter

I recently spent some time hanging out in an aisle I don’t think I’ve ever visited before in Walmart, and I found the exact air filter I needed to help me breathe a little easier. If you’d like to see my full shopping experience, check out my Google + album.

Once we got it home, Tim and I installed the air filter together. And now I’m going to show you how we did it! Please keep in mind that every car is somewhat different. We have a Toyota Corolla, and here’s how it works on our car:

1. Remove the glove compartment. I didn’t even know this could be done! But all it takes is unscrewing a few screws. So simple.

replacing an air filter: remove the glove compartment

2. Remove the old air filter. All you have to do is pull it out. You will see it just sitting there. Think of removing it as similar to taking food out of the oven. Just slide it out!

replacing an air filter: remove the old air filter

3. Get grossed out by how nasty your old air filter looks.

replacing an air filter: old dirty air filter

4. Get even more grossed out when you take a closer look.

replacing an air filter: close up look of dirty air filter

5. Insert your new FRAM Fresh Breeze air filter. Again, it is just like putting a pizza in an oven. Super simple.

replacing an air filter: choosing FRAM Fresh Breeze for new air filter

 6. Put the glove compartment back in. All done!

Taking just a few minutes to change out our air filter is already making a difference. Everyone in my family seems to have allergy problems (even poor little Layah!) so I’m relieved to have fresher air in the car while we travel in it.

My plan is to replace it once a year. It should be replaced every 15,000 miles, and that isn’t quite how many miles we usually put on the car in a year (we live close to where we work and go to school!). But I’ll just go ahead and replace the air filter every spring now, as soon as I start to feel the effects of all that pollen in the air. That will be all the reminder I’ll need to take action! And hopefully the air filter won’t look as nasty as the one I just replaced. We’ve had our current car for almost 3 years now, and we’ve never replaced the filter. And who knows how long ago the previous owners replaced it, if ever! GROSS!!!

Right now FRAM is offering a $3 mail-in rebate off the purchase of a Fresh Breeze air filter! I’ll certainly be filling it out! Don’t forget to print your form, too. And be sure to follow FRAM on Facebook to keep up with other great offers they have to help keep your car in great shape.

Confession time: Do you know how to change your air filter? Did you even know you had an air filter? How long has it been since yours was changed???

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and FRAM #cbias #SocialFabric. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own. 

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  1. says

    This is an awesome post. I used to change my own tires, rotate them and change my own oil. Now that I have a “new” car I take it in for those things. I sometimes miss working on my vehicle and I worry that because I don’t do those things, Lil will miss out on them. Thanks for reminding me that there are still things that I can do, that aren’t super intrusive.

  2. says

    Wow, look at your old filter (looked like mine)! FRAM Fresh Breeze has helped me this allergy season, I do not sneeze and cough as much while riding in my car! So happy our air quality has improved.

  3. stephanie hodges says

    I change our air filters out in my truck and car. Our filters are all clean ability-re-useable. so just wash them with solutions and air out. I like to know how to take care of my vehicles and know information so I don’t get the “male-sexism” when I take it into the shop.

  4. renee says

    I didn’t know there was an air filter until the end of last summer when my a/c started acting up. My husband pulled out the manual and lo and behold discovered there’s an air filter that hasn’t been changed in six years! Then he changed the nasty, furry thing!

  5. Mary D says

    I’ve never changed the air filter. Never even thought that I could, honestly. I’ve changed headlights though and even my oil so I bet I could do this!

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