How to Change the Air Filter in Ford Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Replacing the air filter in the Ford car is an easy job that can be done in just a few minutes. The air filter is designed to keep particles and contaminants from getting into the Ford car engine system and clogging it up. The filter is placed in the air filter housing, which is enclosed to give the engine another layer of protection against outside dust and debris. You can replace the filter during a car's scheduled tune-up (about every three to six months) and save the time and expense of having a mechanic change the filter Ford car you as a separate maintenance job. Some of the newer models of the Ford car including some of the hybrid engines, place the air filter on the top center or the top front of the engine, inside a black plastic housing.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Air Filter in a Ford F-250 6.0 Diesel

Get the right part. Ask a worker at the local auto supply store to confirm that the filter you've found on the shelf is correct.

Pop the hood. Make sure the engine is off. Find the air filter assembly in the rear of the engine bay under the hood to the left of the motor.

Check the restriction gauge. Find the gauge in the upper housing of the air filter assembly. Look for the "change filter" line, which will show how much dirt has collected in the unit.

Release the toggle clamps and remove the top of the air filter housing.

Take out the used filter, pulling it out and away from the engine.

Install the new filter. Push down and in toward the engine to compress the air filter seal.

Replace the air filter housing top.

Items you will need

  • New air filter for Ford F-250 Super Stroke

 How to Change the Air Filter in a Ford Windstar

How to Change the Air Filter in a Ford Windstar

Release the hood latch and prop the hood on the hood rest rod.

Locate the air box. This is a large cylindrical chamber most likely located on the left hand side of the vehicle. There is a large release clamp in the center of the air box chamber. Release the clamp by lifting it up.

Move the air cleaner housing outlet to one side. If you cannot move it enough, you may need to use a screwdriver to loosen the band clamp near the motor block and take the housing outlet off altogether.

Remove the old air filter and inspect the interior of the air box to ensure there is no debris. If there is, vacuum it out with a shop vacuum or wipe it out with a rag.

Insert the new conical air filter and replace the air cleaner housing outlet. At the bottom of both the air box and the air cleaner housing outlet is an alignment tab. Be sure to align that properly or you will not be able to close the clamp. Also if you removed the housing outlet, tighten the band clamp and ensure it is on correctly in order to align the tabs at the bottom of the air box clamp.

Inspect the closed air box and tube to make sure there are no areas that will allow unmetered air to pass through into the motor. This would result in a vacuum leak and will trip a check engine code.

Close hood.

Items you will need

  • Straight edged screwdriver

  • Shop vacuum

 How to Change the Air Filter in a Focus

Open and safely support the hood of your Ford Focus. Locate the air filter assembly, which is locate on the driver's side of the engine compartment between the battery and the fuse box. It looks like a big rectangular box with a thick hose leading out of it into the middle of the engine compartment.

Remove the cover from the air filter assembly. It may be held in place by several screws or by clamps that you can pull off with your fingers. Don't try to remove the entire assembly from the engine compartment; just unfasten the cover and remove it.

Take the old air filter out of the air filter assembly, being careful not to dislodge any dirt, dust or other particles that may have accumulated in it. If these filter into the air filter assembly they could damage your engine.

Place the new, clean air filter in the air filter assembly, taking care to ensure that it's oriented the same way the old air filter was. Replace the cover on the air filter assembly and screw or clamp it back into place.

Check to make sure the air filter assembly cover fits tightly in place, and that you haven't left any screws or clamps unfastened.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver Clean air filter

 How to Change the Air Filter on a Ford E150 Econoline Van

Locate the air filter case. On the Econoline E150 van, the air filter box is on the driver's side in the front. This is usually a black shiny box with a hose hooked up to it leading into the engine compartment.

Use your fingers to release the clips holding the cover on the box. In some rare cases, these clips may be hard to unsnap, so use a flat tip screwdriver cautiously. You do not want to damage the box or the clips.

Open the lid after releasing the clips and remove the old air cleaner. The air filter should be clean and free from any clogs or debris. If not, you need to replace it with the new one.

Remove the dirty air filter and use a clean rag to wipe out the inside of the box. There may be leaves or dirt inside the box that needs to be removed with the rag.

Place the new air filter inside the box and replace the lid. Make sure to get the clips back on to seal the box.

Items you will need

  • Econoline E150 van air filter

 How to Change an Air Filter on a Ford Ranger

Turn your engine off for safety. Open the hood.

Disconnect the air inlet hose from the air filter housing (V-6 Rangers only). Loosen the clamp around the hose, then pull the hose away from the housing.

Flip open the clamps securing the top portion of the air filter housing (four clamps on all models). Remove the filter housing cover.

Lift the old air filter from the filter housing and discard it.

Place the new filter (exposed side down) into the filter housing compartment.

Replace the filter housing cover, and flip down the clamps to secure it.

Reattach the air inlet hose (V-6 only). Tighten the clamp to secure the hose.

Items you will need

  • Motorcraft air filter (part No. FA-1658)

 How to Replace an Air Filter on a Ford Escape

Locate the black plastic air filter housing on the driver's side of the engine compartment, behind the battery.

Unfasten the two metal clips on the top of the air filter housing and pull the housing apart to access the air filter.

Remove the old air filter and place the new filter in the housing.

Snap the two metal clips closed on the housing.

 How to Replace an air Filter in a Ford Explorer

Turn off the car's engine before attempting to change the filter, the filter acts as a barrier against the engine backfiring. Don't start the car unless the air filter housing has it's lid in place.

Find the air filter housing unit. Look in the front, passenger side corner of the Ford Explorer, it will be just behind the windshield washer fluid reservoir.

Loosen the clips that hold the housing unit closed. Remove the lid and set it aside.

Remove the old filter from the housing unit. Clean the unit out making sure to remove large pieces of debris.

Replace the air filter with a new one that is compatible with the year make and model of your Ford Explorer. Use a K&N filter, part number 33-2366, for Explorers manufactured during the years 2002 to 2007.

Put the lid back on the filer housing unit. Don't catch any part of the filter between the lid and the base or unfiltered air can leak into the engine. Reclamp the clips to secure the lid in place.

 How to Replace an air Filter in a Ford Taurus

Turn off the car engine and prop open the hood. Keep the car off while working on the filter, as it acts as a barrier in the event that the car backfires.

Locate the air filter housing compartment on the driver's side of the car, near the middle of the side frame. Look for a black box that is tilted toward the center of the car and has a tube leading to the engine.

Open the lid on the Ford Taurus air filter housing by loosening the clips that hold the lid in place. Lift the lid off of the housing.

Take the old filter out of the case. Look at the filter to see if it is grimy, if you cannot see the original color of the filter it needs to be replaced. Discard any debris in the box.

Replace the new filter with a K&N 33-2150 for a 2007 Ford Taurus 3.0L V6. Find exact part numbers for your model and year at K&N or at your local auto supply store.

Put the lid back on the air filter housing box. Secure the lid in place by refastening the clips or screws.

Items you will need

  • New air filter