I noticed the fuel mileage of my Honda Accord 2005 drop to only about 25 miles per gallon, while it was about 29 before. I have never replaced its engine/intake air filter since I bought it more than four years ago. It could contribute to the mpg decrease.
I remember it was like a breeze changing the air filter for my former car, a Nissan Maxima 1993. It was basically snapping the clips, lifting the lid and replace the filter, less than 10 minutes and no screw driver required. So I thought it would not be much more difficult with Honda Accord 2005. Big mistake! It’s quite frustrating and took much longer for my first time. This post is a record and might be helpful if you are doing this for the first time.
You need to get ready the following:
- New air filter (I bought FRAM CA9564 for Accord 2005)
- Phillips screwdriver
- Ratchet (with adaptors), sockets of 10mm and 8mm
Open up the hood by releasing the lock near the left foot step under the dashboard on the driver’s side, prop the hood.
Locate the air filter case, which has a big black hose connected to the engine. It is next to the battery and a black “electric box” (I don’t know what it is but it has a lot wires connected).
You can easily locate the four screws of the lid, and it is not difficult to loosen them using a screwdriver or ratchet with 8mm socket. You do not need to remove them, just unscrew them to certain degree and then the lid comes off.
Now you will see the frustrating part. You can not move the lid up too much as it is constrained by both the hose and the side panel of the compartment, therefore you cannot slide out the filter at all. In some vehicles, it is easy to remove the hose from the lid by loosen the clasp. But check our hose, it’s tightened by a spring ring, which is very hard to remove or loosen, at least for me:
In the picture I also detached the sensor harness, but this is not necessary. Even though some source says it is easy to open up the lid by pushing it to the engine while lifting, I found this was not the case for me. The compartment side panel is too close to the lid.
However, I noticed that the electric box can be loosened, and the shape of the side panel would make it possible to open up the lid if the electric box is pushed away an inch or two. So, use the ratchet and 10mm socket to remove the two screws of the box:
Now, push away the electric box to the right a bit, lift the lid a bit, then push the lid REALLY HARD to the engine while lifting it. The lid comes above the side panel.
Slide the old air filter out (with some effort), I had a look of the lower half of the casing. It had quite some debris inside:
The old air filter (4.5 years old) was in a very bad shape. Sure it would not allow fast air flow. I checked both the new and old filters against the sun, and the old one was a good sun shade:
Clean the interior of the casing with damp cloth or paper tower and wipe dry. Slide the new air filter into the case (again expect some effort). Be careful about the facing direction.
Now, you need to push the lid REALLY HARD to the engine while lowering it, such that it gets below the compartment side panel. Then screw the 4 screws, and put the electric box in place and screw the 2 screws. Done.
The process of air filter replacement is not easy even if I do it next time. If possible, get another guy to help while lifting or lowering the lid, and sliding out/in the old/new air filter. I do not understand why Honda designed Accord this way; maybe their service manual has some information that could make the service men easier to replace the filter.
I have not yet checked if the fuel mileage goes up, but the filter has to be replaced anyway given its conditions.
Caution: while working near the battery, especially with metal tools, pay attention not to short the poles of the battery.