Nissan Frontier Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off - I apologize if this has come up a bunch in other threads. I didn't find anything when searching and I found that to be odd, so I'm assuming that my search attempt sucked.

The manual states to replace the engine air filter every 3 years/36k miles (on the normal schedule). Does that seem abnormally long to any of you all? I'm so used to the 12 months replace engine/cabin air filters that I was floored when the manual maintenance interval was 3x longer.

How often do you change your air filter? I guess both cabin and engine, but I'm more interested in engine. I am definitely replacing my cabin air filter now at 12 months because it's full of debris. My engine air filter is dirty but probably not to the point where it requires replacement.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,391 Posts
Cabin filter twice a year, Air filter, I suppose once a year. Most of the air filter recommendations come from the days of carburetors and no Computer control. A dirty air filter caused the engine to run rich and your MPG took a hit. With the computer controlling A/F mixture, all a dirty filter does is restrict airflow and your HP goes down a tad.

Also, think about where the engine is getting the air. I have had vehicles that pulled the air from the core support area and some like the Frontier, that pull it from the fender well area. The Vehicles that pull from the front of the car will dirty a filter much faster than one pulling from a body cavity.

Not saying a person doesn't need to change their air filter, it's just it's frequency has become less so from years past. As stated in the owner's manual...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
My engine air filter "appears saturated" at appx 20Kmi. but local conditions may effect you differently.. My cabin gets swapped yearly. The engine air filter in my wifes Suby is filthy at only 12Kmi with its lil tiny wimpy filter:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good info. I ended up buying the paper cabin air filter because it was $12. but the daggum paper engine air filter was $30 and the K&N one was $40 so I grabbed the K&N to stick under the hood.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,681 Posts
It used to be every 30,000 miles as a general interval, but it all really depends on what environment you drive in. If you drive mainly on paved highways in low dust conditions, you could get 45,000 miles out of a filter, no problem. However, if you off-road or drive in dusty conditions a lot, that interval could be a lot less. Technically, if you can pass light through a filter, it's still good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
anyone have any experience with their hvac fan being loud? I havent changed my cabin filter personally so i dont know if its been done in the life of the truck. Im hoping changing mine will help quiet it down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
... I havent changed my cabin filter personally so i dont know if its been done in the life of the truck. Im hoping changing mine will help quiet it down.
If you plan on changing the cabin filter yourself you should be aware that the plastic clip holding the cover in place breaks very easily, as many here have reported. It's fragile and it opens in a counter-intuitive direction. There are several how-to threads here and YouTube with information, as well as how to repair the clip once broken. The filter replacement is not a bad job and one of the few I do myself - certainly not worth the $60 or so dealers charge; just go slow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Pull it out, shake it off, then look at it. Looks dirty = replace. Looks clean = put it back in. Or am I being foolish?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,568 Posts
Pull it out, shake it off, then look at it. Looks dirty = replace. Looks clean = put it back in. Or am I being foolish?
That is what I do. I pull the air filter at least every time I change the oil. I do the "drop on floor" method of cleaning. When the paper looks too far from white, change it out. Again this is dependent on environment. On some wheeling trips where I am following another truck, I will do this every night.

Generic paper air filters are about $10 each.

K&N filters are terrible IMO.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,665 Posts
It only takes a minute or so to pop out the engine air filter to see if it's time to replace it. I'm on my 3rd one since I bought the truck 2 years ago, so that makes it what... 6 month interval, with a new one on schedule next month.

As for the cabin filter, I change mine every 3 months to keep it fresh AND clean out the cowl... If you didn't know, the air intake for the HVAC is up on the cowl behind the trailing edge of the hood; under the cowl there is a very large compartment where stuff can accumulate very easily by falling/getting in through the cowl vents i.e. leaves, those little berries that fall from trees, spiders and other bugs, and so on. Also, the way the cabin filter is positioned, it's exposed to where anything can fall onto the top of the filter from the cowl "compartment" I'm trying to describe. This is why sometimes you'll find bits of leaves and such on the filter itself upon removal - anything can drop right on top of the cabin filter from above. Finally, this is also why I replace the cabin filters more often - they're much more exposed to the elements (weather, smoke, dust, etc.) than in other vehicles.

I would totally show you a photo of what I'm talking about but I'm at work. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I have to clean the leaves any such from the cowl vents every week or so because I have to park under a big live oak. Is there any way to clean "the compartment" under the cowl vents?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,665 Posts
I have to clean the leaves any such from the cowl vents every week or so because I have to park under a big live oak. Is there any way to clean "the compartment" under the cowl vents?
Yup, off the top of my head:

1. Unscrew antenna
2. Open hood
3. Squeeze white fasteners from below to remove the trailing edge rubber strip at the base of the cowl
4. Pop open a pair of plastic fasteners at the sides of the cowl
5. Use panel tool between cowl cover and windshield, pry to release popclips underneath (5 or 6 total)
6. Rotate cowl cover underneath hood to access the "compartment"

- You don't have to really unscrew the antenna, but it makes it a lot easier.
- The rubber piece at the base of the antenna will come off; no worries, it's a press fit.
- If you choose to remove your antenna, don't lose the rubber piece.
- If you want to completely remove the cowl for cleaning, you have to disconnect the windshield washer hose underneath

Pic showing (sorta) what I was talking about:



I found that periodically cleaning debris out of this area and wiping it down with a rag moistened with denatured alcohol does wonders for the air scent coming in when you have the vents open or fresh AC on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Thanks...very helpful to me, and, I am sure, many others who are not able to garage their trucks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,665 Posts
No worries bud.

But yeah, that "compartment" area could have been designed better; it only drains on the outer edges, the middle has bumps and ridges to trap stuff too. Basically it's a magnet to trap moisture.

So if some of you (higher mileage trucks I'll say) have weird 'scents' coming out of your HVAC when using fresh air, check this area and make sure to clean it out completely (including wiping down the underside of the cowl cover too). My truck had a feint scent with the fresh air on (and it's only a 2014, garaged at night), after cleaning the compartment and the underside of the cowl the scent was 100% gone.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top