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2008-2012 GM Chevrolet Malibu Engine Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to clean or replace the engine air filter element in a 7th generation (2008 to 2012) GM Chevy Malibu with pictures.

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Malibu Engine Air Box
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Release First Metal Clasp
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Pop Off 2nd Fastener

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the 7th generation (2008 to 2012) GM Chevrolet Malibu in cleaning or replacing the engine air filter element in the 2.4L I4, 3.5L or 3.6L V6 motors.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles such as the Impala, Sonic, Cruze, Volt, Corvette, Camaro, Suburban, Tahoe, Aveo, Colorado, Equinox, Traverse, Buick Regal, Enclave, LaCrosse, GMC Acadia, Terrain, Yukon, Cadillac CTS, ATS, XTS, Escalade, Pontiac Grand Prix, Grand Am, G6, G5, G8, Aztec, Alero, Silhouette, Bravada, Aurora, and Oldsmobile Intrigue may also find these DIY front brake job instructions to be helpful.

No tools are needed to clean or replace the engine air filter. A wet/dry shop vacuum can be useful for cleaning a lightly soiled existing filter or vacuuming out dust from the air box.

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Lift Open Rear of Air Box
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Engine Air Filter Element
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Pull Out Old Air Filter
The engine air filter box is located at the rear left of the engine bay closest to the front passenger seat.

It is held closed by two metal clasps at the rear of the box that need to be pushed back and down to release them.

Once the two fasteners have been released, lift up on the rear edge of the air box to access the filter element.

Pull the old filter straight out of the air box. If it looks relatively clean such as the one in the photo above, you can tap out any dust and vacuum it with the wet/dry vac before re-installing it.

If the old filter is dark grey or black and packed with dirt, dust, leaves, hair and other debris, it should be replaced with a brand new unit.

A few compatible aftermarket air filters include the following with their respective part numbers: Fram CA9492, ACDelco A1627C, K&N 33-2296, Wix 46902, Purolator A35431, Pentius PAB9492 and Hastings AF1163.



 

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Vacuum Out Air Box
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Install New/Cleaned Filter
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Close Air Box
Blow out or vacuum any dust or debris that may be present in the bottom half of the air box.

I recommend buying the Fram CA9492 since it has the best reviews on Amazon. Or if you'd like a washable and re-usable filter that you can use for the life time of your car, go for the K&N 33-2296.

Install the cleaned or new air filter element back into the air box. If the air filter has an "Air Flow" arrow install it so that the arrow is pointing down towards the floor.

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Snap On Air Box Fasteners
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Close 2nd Clasp
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Engine Air Box Sealed
Lower the top of the air box down over the bottom half and make sure they line up together properly.

Place a hand on the top half of the air box while you snap closed the two metal clasp fasteners with your other hand.

Double check that the two halves of the air box are flush together all the way around and that no part of the air filter is visible.

Please check out my other 2008-2012 Chevy Malibu Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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