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Subaru Outback Engine Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to change the air filter element for the FB25 2.5L Boxer engine in a 2015 to 2018 Subaru Outback wagon.

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2017 Outback FB25 Engine
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Two Metal Clips

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the sixth generation (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and maybe also the updated 2019 and 2020 model years) Subaru Outback station wagon in cleaning or changing the engine air filter element for the FB25 2.5 liter four cylinder Boxer motor.

Owners of other Subaru vehicles such as the Forester, Impreza, Legacy, XV Crosstrek, WRX, BRZ, SVX, Tribeca, Exiga, Trezia, Levorg and Baja may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement engine air filters with their part numbers include the following: EPAuto GP997, Fram CA9997, Wix 49012, Subaru 16546AA12A, Bosch 5358WS, Purolator A35592, ACDelco A3109C and PotAuto MAP 6049.

No tools are needed to access and replace the filter.

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Flip Up Second Metal Latch
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Two Fasteners Released
The first two steps are to open the hood and then move to the left (passenger) side of the engine bay.

The black plastic engine air filter box is located behind the passenger side headlight assembly and in front of the passenger side shock tower.

Flip the two metal latches up and off the front half of the air box to release them.

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Pull Apart Air Box Halves
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Lift Out Old Air Filter
Pull apart the two halves of the air box to access the old filter.

Carefully pull the old filter out of the front half of the air box.

Leave the permanent filter in place in the rear half of the air box (closer to the engine).

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Old Air Filter Removed
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Inspect Both Sides
Inspect both sides of the old air filter.

If the old filter is dark grey or black and clogged with soot, dirt, dust, sand, leaves, insects, hair and other debris, it should be replaced with a new element.

I recommend buying the EPAuto GP997 engine air filter since it has excellent reviews on Amazon.

If you would prefer to have the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) filter, the part number is Subaru 16546AA12A.

If the old air filter is still relatively clean and you haven't driven 30,000 miles, just tap out the large debris and remove any fine dust with a vacuum cleaner.



 

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Clean With Vacuum
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Install New Air Filter
Install the new air filter into the front half of the air box with the pleats facing towards the front of the car.

(The air filter can only be installed facing in the correct direction.)

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Insert Tabs Into Slots
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Snap On Metal Latch
Then line up the black plastic tabs on the bottom of the rear half of the air box into the slots at the bottom of the front half.

Close the air box and flip down the two metal latches to secure the two halves of the air box together.

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Secure Second Clip
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Engine Air Filter Replaced
Double check that the two halves of the air box are flush together at every edge with no part of the new filter visible.

Be sure to record the filter change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of my 2015-2018 Subaru Outback DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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