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Air Filter Replacement

Pelican Technical Article:

Air Filter Replacement

Jared Fenton


1 hour1 hr






Phillips head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Audi A6 (1997-04)
Audi A6 Quattro (1997-04)
Audi S6 (2002-03)

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 A6. The air filter protects the fuel injection system and the air intake system from dust and debris that can be sucked into the engine under normal operation.

Begin by removing the engine cover over the air filter. See our article on Engine Cover Removal for more information.

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 2.7 engine 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 Audi specifications.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Shown here is the air filter housing on the Audi A6 2.
Figure 1

Shown here is the air filter housing on the Audi A6 2.7 engine, located on the left hand side. Begin by pulling the intake tube (green arrow) off the intake housing.

After the intake tube has been removed, locate the spring clips holding the top of the filter holding to the airbox (green arrows).
Figure 2

After the intake tube has been removed, locate the spring clips holding the top of the filter holding to the airbox (green arrows). You'll need to look for the hidden clip under the MAF sensor (purple arrow). Once released, lift the air filter cover up enough to access the filter below

Shown here is the air filter.
Figure 3

Shown here is the air filter. Garb 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. In this case, the open pleats of the filter point downward. Simply place the new filter in place of the old one and reattach the filter cover.

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Page last updated: Wed 2/21/2018 03:19:52 AM