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How to change the air filter in a 2002 to 2006 Nissan Altima

Nissan Altima air filter housing
Nissan Altima air filter housingArt Heberger

The engine in your Nissan Altima – and any other gasoline engine – needs air to burn the fuel. But, before the air gets into your engine, foreign particles should be removed, so auto manufactures use an air filter in the air intake to remove all the dust and debris that would otherwise act as abrasives on your engine parts, wearing them prematurely. However, if everything captured by the air filter restricts the air flow; that could cause fuel mileage and engine performance problems. That’s why Nissan recommends you change the air filter on your Altima every 3,750 miles or three months. Air filters aren’t expensive and take about three minutes to replace on Altimas in this year range.

  • Push down on the two clips securing the upper air filter housing to the lower housing.
  • Lift up the upper housing, exposing the air filter.
  • Remove the air filter – note the orientation of the filter so you can put the replacement back in the same way.
  • Clean any dirt and debris that you find out of the upper and lower air filter housings. If you have a vacuum that can handle things that could potentially be wet, that would work best.
  • Install the replacement air filter. If it doesn’t have an arrow showing which side goes down, just put it in the same way the old one came out.
  • Seat the upper air filter housing on the lower housing by sliding the tabs in the upper housing into the slots in the lower housing.
  • Push the front side of the housing in place and secure it with the clips.