The air filter in your BMW is the only line of defense the engine and turbocharger have against sucking in harmful debris. The air filter will get covered in debris over time as it pulls air from outside, reducing the engine's airflow and its capability to keep harmful particles out. Even the smallest particles of dust and dirt can affect your engine if they are let in, and keeping track of your filter's health is as simple as knowing how many miles it has.
Changing the air filter on your F30-chassis BMW is as easy as it gets. The airbox is right at the front of the engine bay, and you need only a flathead screwdriver to get to it. Replacing the air filter is the perfect DIY job to get yourself or someone you know started maintaining their vehicle themselves.
BMW models and years applicable:
This DIY applies to all models of the BMW F30, including the "M" applications. There are too many models to list individually, so if you're questioning if this fits your car, go to fcpeuro.com and enter your vehicle into the "My Garage" tool on the upper left-hand side of the page.
How much will it cost to replace the air filter on my F30 BMW?
There are two air filters to choose from for your BMW. The first is the stock 3-series filter. It is a standard paper filter with an extra layer of gray, fibrous filter material on the bottom, and it will run you about $30.
The second filter is the one used on M applications. It is essentially the same paper filter, but without the extra gray filter material for slightly improved airflow for more "performance." This thinner filter will set you back around $20.
How long will it take to replace the air filter on a BMW F30?
The air filter is front and center in the engine bay, making this job as easy as it gets. Even without any DIY experience, you should have the new filter installed within 20 minutes, and you can easily cut that time in half if you know what you're doing.
Parts required to replace the air filter on a BMW F30:
Tools required to replace the air filter on a BMW F30:
Steps required to replace the air filter on a BMW F30:
Step 1: Remove the airbox cover
The top of the airbox is mounted to the chassis in three places. These three spots sit on rubber grommets. However, before lifting the cover, unclip the cable attached to the back of the top of the airbox.
Pop the cable's three clips out of the airbox cover and let it lay behind it. Then, work on pulling the cover, up and off, the three grommets. There is a grommet on either side of the cover, and the third is at the front.
Next, disconnect the intake tube from the airbox. To do that, use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the clamp on the tube. Then, disconnect the mass airflow sensor. Press in on the MAF plug's tab and then pull it off of the sensor.
Push the intake tube down and off of the airbox cover once you disconnect the sensor and loosen the clamp. Lastly, undo the four clamps on the airbox. There are two on the front and two on the back.
Now you can lift off the airbox cover and reveal the air filter.
Step 2: Replace the filter and refit the airbox cover
Remove the air filter from the airbox and toss it in the trash. Look at the airbox and clean out and dirt and dust inside. Clean it the best you can, though there is no reason to go overboard with it.
A wet rag is enough to clean it out. After that, fit your new air filter.
Fit the airbox cover over the filter and press it onto its grommets. Reconnect the intake tube to the airbox and secure it by tightening the clamp. Then, plug in the mass airflow sensor.
Check around the filter's edge to ensure the cover is seated correctly on it, and then snap the four clamps into place. And lastly, refit the hood cable into the back of the airbox cover.