When you’re on a tight budget, it’s always worth your while to find little ways to save some cash throughout the year. This is especially true when you own a car that needs annual maintenance in order to stay in running order. Fortunately, regular maintenance tends to be simple, and with a few tools, a little research and finding the right auto parts on sale, you can save big over time by doing smaller tasks yourself. Typically, it costs between $69 and $100 to change an air filter, but nearly half of that cost can be attributed to labor alone. Installing your own air filter cuts that price drastically, and demands nothing of you but a little effort, a quick pit stop, and the cost of the material itself.

Minimal Effort

Fortunately, you don’t need to be an experienced home mechanic to change your filter. It’s a simple, straightforward process, and you can generally find out how to replace cabin air filters online, via detailed step-by-step guides published by professionals who know what they’re talking about. These outline the tools you’ll need for the job and sometimes even include graphics so you know exactly what to do every step of the way. Though the process is likely to change depending on the vehicle, it’s a fairly standard task:

  1. Get your car into a safe, dry space on flat land.
  2. Access the air filter compartment – often behind the glove box.
  3. Remove the old air filter and any debris it leaves behind.
  4. Place the new air filter in the appropriate place.
  5. Replace the glove box or any other parts removed to access the filter.

Just like that, your change is done, and you’ve saved a huge chunk of cash on this minutes-long task by doing it yourself.

A Short Stop

Even if you’re the busiest person on the face of the earth, you probably have plenty of time to change your own cabin filter. Even for first-timers, it’s likely to take no longer than 5 minutes from beginning to end – the space of time it takes to have a snack. In this space of time, you could save yourself up to $50 in labor costs, which certainly adds up over time.

Cost of Materials

Because there are no special tools involved in the changing process (aside from a screwdriver to remove the glove box with in some vehicles), the only cost you need to worry about when performing this task on your own is the cost of the air filter itself. The cost of a cabin air filter will, of course, vary based on size, brand and other factors, but most standard cabin air filters tend to fall between the range of $34 and $44. This is less than half of what it would likely cost you to have your filter replaced by a professional mechanic, which only serves to highlight the importance of doing a bit of DIY work.

Learn More About Auto Maintenance

If you’re new to home auto maintenance, then you probably have plenty of questions. How do you replace an air filter? How do you change a tire? Do you have to replace all spark plugs at once? You can get the answers to all these questions by heading in to your local auto shop and quizzing the expert employees working there. Get the answers, tools and materials you need today and start saving on more than just cabin air filter changes.


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