When To Replace A Subaru Engine Air Filter

One of the most important things you can do for your engine is to replace the engine air filter on a regular basis. This prolongs the engine's life, as well as increases fuel efficiency and reduces emissions.

Unfortunately, changing the engine air filter is a task that's easily forgotten by many car owners. If you're not sure whether your engine air filter needs to be replaced yet, we got you covered with this guide. We'll show you how to check your engine air filter.

How Long do Subaru Engine Air Filters Last?

Subaru fitlers

Subaru engine air filters typically last 15K-30K miles. It's a wide range because several factors determine the lifespan of an engine air filter. The biggest factors are:

  • The quality of the air: An engine air filter that's used in dirty and dusty conditions will clog up faster than an engine air filter used in an area with clean air. If you take your Subaru on dirt roads often, then expect to replace your engine air filter before it hits 15K miles.
  • The quality of the air filter: Most aftermarket air filters don't last as long as OEM air filters. It's because they're built with flimsy filter material and they don't have as many deep pleats as OEM filters do. If you want your engine air filter to last a long time, get an OEM filter.

Signs of a Bad Engine Air Filter

You can either check the engine air filter at every other oil change or wait until you notice some of the symptoms of a clogged filter. The most common symptoms are:

  • Decreased fuel efficiency
  • Difficulty starting the engine
  • Rough idling
  • Triggered service engine light
  • Reduced horsepower
  • Black smoke coming from the exhaust (in older, non-fuel injected vehicles)
  • Gasoline smell (in older, non-fuel injected vehicles)

How to Check the Engine Air Filter

Subaru filter change

Image Credit: Engineering Explained

Luckily, checking and changing the engine air filter is something most car owners can do on their own. Here's a general overview of how to check the engine air filter:

  1. Pop open the hood.
  2. Find the air filter box. In Subarus, it's usually on the passenger's side, near the front.
  3. Either pop open the tabs on the air filter box cover or unfasten the bolts holding the cover in place. Remove the air filter box cover.
  4. Take the air filter out.
  5. Hold the filter up to the sun or a bright light. Can you see any of the light shining through? If yes, then the filter still has some life left. If there's no light shining through, then replace the filter because it's no longer good.

It's a good idea to have a replacement air filter available when you check the old one. That way, you can replace the old filter immediately if it fails the diagnostic test. If you want to save some money on an OEM engine air filter, skip the dealership and order one online! We offer genuine OEM Subaru engine air filters at wholesale pricing. Get yours today!