How to Change the Air Filter in a BMW X3

Updated on April 18, 2018

This a detailed guide on how to change your engine air filter in a BMW X3. The car in the photos is a 2006 model but the process is the same for any year, and for that matter, just about any late-model BMW crossover or car. Only the accessibility of the air box under the hood, the filter type, and the clip locations will vary.

This job should only take about 10-20 minutes and does not require any tools. Ordering your filter online (links below) and replacing it yourself will save you money and keep your engine breathing nice clean air.

The location of the air filter box on a 2006 X3.
The location of the air filter box on a 2006 X3.

Replacement Procedure

This really should go without saying, but just in case: never do this with the car running.

1) Working around the sides of the air box, unclip each of the clips holding the top to the bottom of the airbox.

There are 5 clips holding the top of the airbox down as indicated by the red arrows.
There are 5 clips holding the top of the airbox down as indicated by the red arrows.

2) With the clips loose, you can then lift up on one side the air box top to separate the halves. You can then access the air filter. Lift it up and slide it out. Note that air flow comes in the bottom of the box, through the filter and out the top and into the engine. Thus below the filter is the dirty side and the top is the clean side.

Unclip each of the clips holding the box together.
Unclip each of the clips holding the box together.
With the clips unlatched, lift the corner of the airbox to reveal the air filter.  You can lift the filter up and slide it out.
With the clips unlatched, lift the corner of the airbox to reveal the air filter. You can lift the filter up and slide it out.
The removed filter sitting on top of the air box.
The removed filter sitting on top of the air box.
The bottom dirty side of the filter.  This filter is about 8 months old and not quite ready to be changed.  It's a bit dirty but not too bad.
The bottom dirty side of the filter. This filter is about 8 months old and not quite ready to be changed. It's a bit dirty but not too bad.

3) Use a rag or a vacuum to wipe out the dirt in the bottom half of the air box. The top half of the air box should be clean since only filtered air reaches it, but if you see any dust there at all go ahead and clean it out.

Looking inside the air box with the filter removed.  You can see the accumulated dirt.  It's a good idea to take a rag and wipe out the inside of the air box so that your new filter doesn't have to eat that dirt.
Looking inside the air box with the filter removed. You can see the accumulated dirt. It's a good idea to take a rag and wipe out the inside of the air box so that your new filter doesn't have to eat that dirt.
Wiping out the dirt in the air box before re-installing a new filter.
Wiping out the dirt in the air box before re-installing a new filter.
Look at all this dirt that was in the bottom of the air box.  Once cleaned out, install the new air filter back into the air box and latch each of the clips back again to close.
Look at all this dirt that was in the bottom of the air box. Once cleaned out, install the new air filter back into the air box and latch each of the clips back again to close.

4) Install the new clean filter back into the air box. Make sure the soft foam seal is at the top and the longer paper part of the filter is down. The foam seal should seat easily into the bottom half of the airbox. Close the top half of the box making sure the seal all the way around is seated properly and not being pinched or crimped anywhere.

5) Re-attach each of the clips all the way around the air box so it once again forms a nice airtight seal between the top and bottom halves.

Grab yourself a beer and toast a job well done and feel good knowing your car is now breathing freely again with good clean air.

How Often To Change Your Air Filter

This depends on your driving conditions but it's usually recommended to change the filter every 30,000 miles. If you drive off road or in dusty conditions you may want to check your filter more often. I replaced mine 8 months ago (about 10,000 miles) and I'm pretty surprised at how dirty it is already. Given how relatively cheap it is to replace I probably will be changing mine every 20,000 miles or so.

Air Filters and Ordering Online

It's easy and cheap to order new air filters online and I order mine from Amazon. They provide a nice fitment tool so that you can enter the year and model of your car to make sure you get the filter that fits your car. Note that there is a difference between the filter for 2004-2006 and 2007-2010 models.

Here are some links to some good OEM German air filters.

2007-2010 X3 Air Filters

Mann-Filter C 29 132 Air Filter
Mann-Filter C 29 132 Air Filter

Mann is also a good German OEM air filter. This should fit your 2007-2010 X3.

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Michel 5 years ago

      And How about changing all interior bulbs in a BMW X3 ? ? ?

      Thks in advance.

    • profile image

      Michel 5 years ago

      Great explanation ; many thanks indeed.

      All the best - Michel

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://axleaddict.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)