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Air Filter / Pollen Filter Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Air Filter / Pollen Filter Replacement

Time:

30 min

Tab:

$40

Talent:

*

Applicable Models:

Porsche 986 Boxster (1997-04)
Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)
Porsche 987 Boxster (2005-08)
Porsche 987 Boxster S (2005-08)

Parts Required:

Air Filter, Cabin Pollen filter

Hot Tip:

Replace both air filter and pollen filter together

Performance Gain:

Better airflow into your fuel injection system

Complementary Modification:

Install cone filter or cold air intake
101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster. The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

Every 10,000 miles or so, you should change the air filter in your Boxster. The air filter protects the fuel injection system and the air intake system from dust and debris that can be sucked in under normal operation.

On the Boxster, the filter is located on the left, top side of the engine compartment. In order to reach the top of the engine compartment, you need to slightly lower the roof and raise up the rear convertible top cover (see Figure 1).

To access the filter, simply release the spring clips and pull up on the top cover - the filter should come right out of its housing. Take a look inside the filter housing - there are usually some leaves or dirt that found their way in there. Clean the housing out before installing the new filter.

For the Boxster there are basically two different types of air filters--the stock paper or cloth air filters and aftermarket units. These aftermarket units utilize an oil-soaked fabric to achieve freer airflow. The bottleneck for airflow in the Boxster engine is not necessarily the air filter. The primary advantage of the aftermarket units is that you usually only have to purchase one, and it will last the life of your car.

No matter what your friends tell you, these aftermarket filters will not add any significant horsepower to your engine. Many tests on a dynamometer have revealed that the freer flow air filters do not suddenly "create" horsepower out of thin air. If you install one of these filters into your car and "swear" there's more horsepower, then have a friend do a blind test for you. Have him switch the filters in and out at random and see if you can tell the difference. This is what is commonly called the placebo effect: perceiving significant gains in performance just because you added a "performance part."

The downside to using these aftermarket filters is that they often do not filter as well as the factory units. In addition, the use of aftermarket filters may cause excess dirt to accumulate n the mass air flow sensor and lead to its premature failure. The bottom line is that you need to carefully research any aftermarket filter before you install it into your car, and carefully clean and maintain it thereafter. I personally prefer to use the stock OEM cloth/paper filters to ensure maximum filtering and protection. Whichever one you choose, make sure that it filters as well as or better than the original Porsche specifications.

In order to gain access to the engine compartment on the Boxster, you need to place the convertible top into the â€Ã...
Figure 1

In order to gain access to the engine compartment on the Boxster, you need to place the convertible top into the "service position". Raise the top so that the front edge is about 10" above the front windshield. The rear cover or tonneau cover should be up about as far as it can go during the process of opening the roof.

Once the roof is in the service position, there are a few steps that you need to take in order access the top of the engine.
Figure 2

Once the roof is in the service position, there are a few steps that you need to take in order access the top of the engine. A- Disconnect the convertible top plastic fabric rod from the two connectors at the rear bulkhead (yellow arrow). B- Find and pull off the lower ball head of the convertible top tension cables on each side (red arrow). Push the bottom of the folding top towards the front of the car. C- Rotate snaps and remove rear shelf compartment from underneath the convertible top. D- Rotate the clips on the engine compartment cover and lift off.

If you wish to have greater access to the engine compartment, you can disconnect the linkage for the rear cover and slide it up into a position closer to the front of the car.
Figure 3

If you wish to have greater access to the engine compartment, you can disconnect the linkage for the rear cover and slide it up into a position closer to the front of the car. Simply disconnect the small lower circlip from each side (yellow arrow), push the roof forward. Then hold it in place with spare screwdrivers inserted into the locking holes to keep it secure (blue arrow). Be sure to secure the rear cover (sometimes called a clamshell cover) carefully: if it falls, the two nipples on the underside may dent the rear trunk lid.

The air filter is located on the left side of the engine compartment.
Figure 4

The air filter is located on the left side of the engine compartment. Snap out the spring clips and pull up on the black plastic housing (green arrow), and you should be able to reach in and pull the filter out. Later cars have a different style air cleaner and filter: begin by removing the two screws on the front cover. Then remove the single screw that attaches the filter to the box, and then wiggle the filter insert out. Transfer the mounting plate to the new filter and reinstall.

Pull up on the air filter cartridge and remove it from the car.
Figure 5

Pull up on the air filter cartridge and remove it from the car. You should then be able to easily remove the air filter and replace it with a new one (early style shown in inset photo).

While you're replacing the engine air filter, I recommend that you also swap out the cabin air filter as well.
Figure 6

While you're replacing the engine air filter, I recommend that you also swap out the cabin air filter as well. Sometimes known as a "pollen filter", the cabin filter is located in the front trunk on the right side of the car. Remove the plastic panel just in front of windshield on the right side (upper left) with a T-25 Torx driver. Then reach in and pull out the filter. Install the new filter in place (upper right) and replace the plastic panel.

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Comments and Suggestions:
doug Comments: engine access for 2016 caman
January 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
stosh Comments: Porsche used the 2005 air filter assembly in the 2004 Boxster S Special Edition, a numbered production run of only 1,953 Boxsters commemorating Porsche's 50th anniversary. For a photo description of how to change the 2004 Boxster S.E. air filter, search the Bentley Publications web site.
June 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
frank Comments: i purchased the sports air flow kit for my boxster some years ago - true, MAF sensors fail more often, and every now and then I have to clean around the throttle body to remove the buildup of dirt.

it sounds much more aggressive, worth the money.

recently i replaced the air filter with a K&N one as the one that came with the kit was a cheap thing. lets hope that this helps filter more dirt and keep it out of my engine.

February 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
pbox987 Comments: Fantastic visual guide and description. You guys rock ! Wish you were represented in UK.
November 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Nick Comments: Nick,
Thanks for follow up. I did mange to release the clip shortly after I sent the text. It worked as you said. However, I did have the same problem with trying to locate the K&N filter in place as other folks who wrote in here. Regards, Nick
September 16, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nick Comments: I am replacing air filters on my 2006 Boxster S. Before I can remove the upper carpeted panel holding the speakers, I need to disconnect an electrical cable underneath this panel that is tightly tucked in and difficult to access and see clearly. I don't want to force it off in case I break a tab. Any suggestions or photos to share? Thanks.
September 14, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have a photo. However, feel around the connector, there will be a release tab. Press this tab while pulling the electrical connector apart. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jim Comments: I purchased a used 2000 Boxster S over a year ago and finally got around to replacing the air filter per your procedure. It went as described until I got to removing the filter cover. I snapped out the two spring clips but could not get the black plastic cover to budge on the forward end. Rear end moved but only after I pulled out on a plastic tab beneath that edge. Nothing similar on the forward end. I'm stumped. Got any ideas?
June 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The filter and cover should slide right out. It could be stuck due to debris. Be sure the clips are remaining disengaged when you try to remove it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Porsche Purist Comments: Dear Pelican Parts, You guys are great. I got my Boxster back from service and I see the two dents from the clamshell falling as mentioned in the above. Do you have more info on that. I want to have a leg to stand on when I take it back and complain. Keep up the good work. thx
May 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The info in the article really says it all. if the engine cover is not isntalled correctly, it could cause a dent in the rear lid. If the dents were not present before the service, I think you have enough to stand on right there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ronbo 986S Comments: Thanks for the help and quality parts over the last few months.

Took about .5 hr to complete 1st time around. One thing I had to deal with was the elec. connection on "hump" portion of the take down which was powering the speakers. Oh yeah guys empty your overhead gloveox before removal. Almost saw my ins. and reg. go flying off in the wind...lol

Thanks again PP and keep up the good work. Will order more parts soon :

March 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank You for the positive comments. We look forward to serving you in the future.

denny@pelicanparts.com
 
Tomalby Comments: Just changed the air filter in my 02 boxster following these instructions. Took me all of 15 minutes. To think the local garage quoted me $480 for this! Thank you Pelican Parts!
September 30, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No sweat, thanks for the kudos! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Gene Comments: Changed air filter on our '01 Boxster S like I have done before. This time check engine light came on after completion. Took everything apart a re-traced my steps. All seems to be installed correctly but check engine light still on. What could I have done wrong? Any help before I call dealer would be appreciated.
August 22, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Did you check to see if you left any wiring connection loose or not connected? Changing the air filter should not set a check engine light. Please recheck all connections. If everything checks out you will need to have your Boxster scanned and checked for fault codes.

denny@pelicanparts.com
 
Garv Comments: In gaining greater access to the engine compartment in the 986 boxter, how do I remove the ball heads to the convertible top tension cables? Do they simply pop out to the side? Also in gaining greater access is there a trick to removing the small circlip?...thanks
July 14, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The socket pops off the ball head by pressing it off. Remove the circlip by disengaging center tab and sliding off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
William Comments: Thanks for all the useful info. I just reconditioned and replaced the K&N air filter in my recently purchased 2004 Boxster S special edition. The filter is not as described in the owners manual or in the Bentley service manual but instead is a large oval K&N filter which was apparently installed by the previous owner. Does anyone know if this filter design change occurred during 2004 or if it is used on later Boxters? If so, is the disposable filter easier to install? It took me over 2 hours of trying to get this filter reinstalled. It is very hard to mate the oval port with the oval seal. The method that I used was to lean over the left fender and reach my right arm around to get my fingers at the back of the filter so that I could apply a lot of pull force. I used my left hand to try to guide the rubber seal onto the port. Even so, it took many tries and a lot of sweat. I never would have imagined that replacing the air filter would be so difficult. If there is a disposable filter that is easier to replace, I would love to try it next time. Thanks!
April 30, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds like you have an aftermarket air filter unit installed. They are good for power and sound but are not as easy to service and replace as the standard paper filter.  
Terry Cooper Comments: After several hours of trying to get the K&N air filter on, I gave up and went back to the OEM filter. I dont expect a refund but Im out $60
March 11, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We are sorry you are having trouble fitting the K&N filter. They do take some work to install but most customers feel the benefits of the K&N are worth the extra effort of installation.

Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Ralphz Comments: Back in business.
Looks that I did not have the clamshell lid 100% in the service position. A couple of touches to the rocker switch did the trick, all is good again!!!
October 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank you for the comments. They will help others that have the same issue.

Denny at Pelican Parts
 
Ralphz Comments: I just changed the air filter according to these instructions, and all went well until I started to put everything back together. Now I cannot connect the linkage back, the hole is far back than the pin. I tried several times with no luck, I cannot find a way to move the linkage forward. The closest that I can get is about 3/4" away from the correct location.
October 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Cool, thanks for adding the followup in the above comment - good tip! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Fritter Comments: Pelican is so reliable that I go onto this site to see what they advise on how to repair and maintain cars that I am about to purchase. In doing this for years I've owned cars that I couldn't have owned taking them to the dealer for ANYTHING. Thanks Pelican for helping this beer drinker have a few sips of fine wine.
August 11, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No sweat! That's what we're here for... - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
puma Comments: Application: K&N Air Filter for Model Year 2010 3.4L.

Installation: K&N Air Filter installation is difficult. A screw-type clamp is included with the filter, but not necessary, since the OEM clamp holds the filter in place forward and backward movement. Rubber tip on filter needs a bit of oil to "snap" into the plastic OEM clamp. Again, challenging to fit filter in the inlet, and small hands really help.
June 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank You for the comments and the tip of using some lube on snap connection.

Denny at Pelican Parts
 
mtnbiker326 Comments: Quick question... With the cabin filter, is it always filtering even when pulling in outside air or only when you are running the continuous circulation of cabin air?
April 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is my understanding that this filter only filters air from the outside entering into the cabin, but I'm not completely 100% sure. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
JoeP Comments: Follow up to my K & N Filter problem. Non response was not K & N fault. Email never went out. Upon sending it again, rep got right back to me and we discussed problem. Rep agreed this install was one of the more difficult and listened to my suggestions for reengineering. Rep offered and I accepted a full refund. Case closed, kudos to K&N for their satisfaction guarantee. Ordered an OEM filter and it went on in a snap.
April 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I've never been a huge fan of the non-disposable filters myself - they don't appear to clean the air as well, and they can also deposit oil residue on the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) which can cause problems and perhaps speed the need to replace the sensor. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
JoeP Comments: Tried for 3 hours to get a K & N air filter to fit on to the oval shaped port and was unsuccesful. Unlike the Porsche OEM filter which has a rigid pre shapped oval, the K & N must be hand formed. Also, you can only use on hand effectively to try the install. K & N's instructi9on shows the install w/ the air box out of the car. That's not an option. Any suggestions. K & N is unresponsive.
March 31, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm going to copy this question to our Boxster Technical Forums and then send you the link so that you can post some pictures there and we can try to help you with the installation there.- Wayne at Pelican Parts  
dec7td Comments: How do I fold up the bottom half of the top when the glass is made of glass instead of plastic? The seats/roll bar gets in the way and the top just ends up hanging about a foot over the engine and gets in the way. Also, is there a special tool to remove the circlips?
March 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yup, that's what happens with the upgraded glass roof on the early cars - you just have to get used to it when working on the engine. For the removal of the circlips, I just typically use a set of needle-nose pliers. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Lee Comments: Great site. Very helpful. Take out the guess work.
Thank you!
March 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank You and check our site in the future for useful information.

Denny at Pelican Parts

 
Ed from England Comments: Great web site. Doing the simple maintenance i.e. Air & pollen filters makes you part of the car. 10/10.
saved me pounds that english money
February 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the kind words. Great wheels on the car (SportDesign IIs - the same ones on my Boxster). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
irv Comments: shown proceedure is for the 986, not the 987 which uses a cylindrical filter with very tough access. Do you have info for this one?
June 17, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's actually very easy on the 987 - you simply remove the cover and then the filter element slides out. I agree, it can be slightly tricky if you haven't done it before, but once you do it the first time, you can get it out in about 20 seconds. Hidden in the captions for Figure Four is this info: Later cars have a different style air cleaner and filter: begin by removing the two screws on the front cover. Then remove the single screw that attaches the filter to the box, and then wiggle the filter insert out. Transfer the mounting plate to the new filter and reinstall. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
kd Comments: What a web site very high marks easy to read and instructions are excellent. 10 out of 5 rating
June 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank You for your 10 out of 5 rating. Our goal is exceptional service!

Denny at Pelican Parts
 

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