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Pelican Technical Article:

Air Filter Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$20

Talent:

**

Tools:

Phillips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

Air filter

Hot Tip:

Take caution lifting the airbox cover up.

Performance Gain:

Better running engine

Complementary Modification:

Replace fuel filter

Every 10,000 miles or so, you should change the air filter in your Jetta. 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.

To access the filter, simply loosen the screws holding the cover on the housing. Lift the cover up and pull the old filter out. 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. A shop vacuum often works well for this.

There are basically two different types of air filters: the stock paper or cloth air filters and aftermarket units. The aftermarket filters utilize an oil-soaked fabric to achieve freer airflow. The bottleneck for airflow in the 2.0 engines is not necessarily the air filter, and aftermarket filters will not add significant horsepower to your engine. 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.

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 on the mass airflow 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 VW specification.

Shown here is the air filter housing on the Mk4 Jetta 2.
Figure 1

Shown here is the air filter housing on the Mk4 Jetta 2.0 engine, located on the left hand side. Note that the front of the air filter cover hooks into the clips on the housing (green arrows). You'll need to clear these hooks when lifting the cover off.

Loosen the two captive Phillips head screws (green arrows) along the rear edge of the air filter housing.
Figure 2

Loosen the two captive Phillips head screws (green arrows) along the rear edge of the air filter housing. This will allow you to lift the cover up and off. Take care not to damage the air injection line located on the side of the cover.

Shown here is the air filter below.
Figure 3

Shown here is the air filter below. Grab the filter by the edge (green arrow) and lift it out of the air filter housing. Take note of the filter's orientation. Usually there is a small arrow that points out the direction of airflow to the engine.

Once the filter is removed, take some time to vacuum out any dirt or debris that may be inside as shown here.
Figure 4

Once the filter is removed, take some time to vacuum out any dirt or debris that may be inside as shown here. Once clean, install the new filter and re-fit the cover.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 03:06:18 AM