How to Change an Air Filter on a Subaru Forester


The Subaru Forester’s air filter removes particles and debris from the air that passes through the engine. The air mixes with fuel to ignite and power your car, so to ensure maximum fuel mileage and clean emissions, it’s important to have a clean air filter. If your Forester starts to have poor gas mileage or runs less smoothly than it once did, it may be time to replace your air filter.

Things You'll Need

  • Owner’s manual
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • New air filter
  • Turn the Forester’s engine off and allow the vehicle to cool for 20 minutes. This will prevent any potential burns while you work under the hood.

  • Open the hood of the Forester by pulling the hood release inside the vehicle. Locate the air filter housing, which is on top of the engine. In the Forester, the air filter housing is a black, plastic rectangular case with clips around the perimeter. The housing case will also be labeled, but in older vehicles the label may be worn. So you may need to refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location and diagram.

  • Use a flat-head screwdriver and pry open the clips surrounding the housing. They will just pop open with a little bit of force. Open the housing and pull the dirty air filter out of the housing and discard of it.

  • Remove the new air filter from the box or plastic bag. Place the new filter in the air filter housing. Close the housing top and press each clip back down until you hear it click into place.

  • Close the hood of your Forester. Pull back up on the hood to ensure the latch closed correctly.

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