Your air filter should be checked frequently and replaced whenever it looks dirty. It’s one of those things that every self respecting jeep owner should be doing themselves, as it’s just too easy and cheap to spend the time to take it in. Your driving habits, where you live, how often you get your jeep dirty, or even if you have a snorkel.. these things will all change how often you need to change your filter, so I cannot give you a time frame. Just check it once a month or so and see how it looks. It would also be a good idea to check after each wheeling trip. A new air filter can be had for about $10-$15 at your local auto parts store. I generally buy the “Motomaster” brand, which is the Canadian Tire brand up here in Canada. I would stay away from the expensive ones myself (K&N, Fram, etc). They cost much more, and generally will not filter any better, if not worse.
- Just your hands
- New air filter
- 5 minutes
1: Pop the latches on your hood and find your air box.
2: Undo all 5 latches that hold your air box in place. Here is a picture of what they look like.
3: You can then lift up on the box to unseat it, and push it towards your firewall. I find a good place to “wedge” it while you are changing the air filter is up on the corner of your fuse box. If you look at the fill size version of this picture, you will see what I mean.
4: Grab a hold of your air filter and remove it. Inspect the underside (the dirty side) and make a mental note of how dirty it is. If the top of the air filter isn’t perfectly clean, replace it. If you bend the air filter and cannot easily see daylight through it, replace it. If you’re unsure if it’s too dirty.. might as well replace it, they are cheap. In this picture it looks like it’s getting close to replacement time, but it’s not that bad. I believe I have had this one in for a couple months, but I’m honestly not that sure.
5: Once you’ve put your air filter back in, do up all five clips. The one beside your fuse box can be a pain in the ass to do. Try this out: Place your right hand on top of your air box, and reach your thumb and index finger down and grab a hold of the clip’s top part. It’s kind of an uncomfortable position, but I find it the best way to do that one up without using a pair of pliers. Drop your hood, do up the latches and you’re done.
As I stated before, there’s no set rule on when you should replace your air filter. If you off-road plenty, at least check it after every trip. If you have a snorkel, despite what the snorkel manufacturers say, it gets dirty a *LOT* faster.. so check it often. You may also notice that you seem to get a gravel down in your air box with a snorkel from your front passenger tire if it sticks out past your flares. Your engine will still get plenty of air if you turn your snorkel head inwards on the highway/road/trail, and it will keep it from swallowing gravel. Not to worry though, gravel clunking around in the bottom of your air box won’t hurt a thing.