Doing your own service on a vehicle can be a hassle. However, there are two service items that you can perform on well-engineered vehicles like the Honda Fit very quickly and without any tools. Better yet, there are no recycled parts to return to the store and you don't have to go to an auto parts store to get what you need. Here is how you can change the engine air filter element and the cabin air filter element for under $25 total.
Where To Get Parts
We suggest buying the parts you need to change the cabin air and engine air filter elements online. We specifically like Amazon. The reason is that Amazon has a tool that you can use to ensure the parts fit your exact make, model year, and trim. Read the reviews. You will often find handy tips and you will see which of the choices buyers liked best.
Honda Cabin Air Filter Element aka AC Filter
The simplest air filter to change on a car like the Honda Fit is the cabin air filter. Sometimes this is called the "AC filter" but we don't like that term, since it also works with the heat, and any air entering the cabin. The cabin air filter in almost every modern car is located behind the glove box. Designers put it there so that service technicians could access it without using any tools.
The first step is to empty out all that junk from your glove box. This is a great time to get rid old stuff no longer needed, maybe replace the batteries in your flashlight, and to check that your vehicle registration is in the box and up to date if your state requires such paperwork. Or just dump the whole mess on the floor. Your call.
Next, pinch the sides of the glove box. There are rubber stoppers on each side and when you pinch it, the box can lower down further and reveals the inner workings of your dash. Look straight in and you will see a white plastic cover. Pull that out and the filter assembly will come with it.
Next, remove the old filter, but keep it oriented the same way it was when it was inside the frame. That way, you know exactly how the new one should go in. Open your new filter and check the air flow direction. It is also shown on the frame of the filter housing. Insert it the same way it came out and then pop the glove box back in place.
Honda Engine Air Filter Change
Anything under the hood may seem scary, but the engine air filter element is really easy to change. In a car like the Hona Fit, it is located at the top front of the engine bay and there is nothing in the way of it. Again, Honda engineers designed it this way so that technicians could access it easily and without any tools. You will see some small metal spring clips. Snap them back. Then the air filter housing can be removed or moved aside. In the case of the 2007 we use in our example, it is super easy to remove.
Next, simply lift out the filter element. Honda's design only goes back in one way, so there is no risk of installing it improperly. Place the housing back in its spot, snap back the spring clips, and you are done.
Why Do Mechanics Charge So Much For This?
Mechanics have to make a living, and dealerships have every right to hire and employ skilled people to work on your car. However, unlike many of the things they do, this work is unskilled and requires no tools.
We have seen shop bills for as much as $60 to change these filter elements - each! Since the parts are around $10 each, the shops are charging you $50 for literally sixty seconds of work. Do it yourself, and be sure you keep your work neatly organized so that you know when that filter was last changed. Mark up your owner's manual and keep your parts receipts for the next owner to see. they will be glad to see you maintained your car properly. That can add value to your car at trade-in time.
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