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For those members who have been here for a number of years, you have seen several posts on how to change your C7 engine air filter. For newer members, and those who may be considering changing your air filter, this might prove to make the job easier (or discourage you;)). This covers how to replace the OEM ACDelco A3191C engine air filter in a non-Z51 C7.

RedHot is coming up on eight years this October, and still had its original engine air filter. While the oil and oil filter have been changed annually, and cabin air filter changed per schedule, prior checks of the engine air filter showed it to be in fine condition and not needed to be changed (even at the suggested six year service). I reviewed a number of the YouTube videos on how to do it along with various other write-ups. While most followed similar steps, there were variances.

I decided to follow the specific steps outlined in the Owner Manual under Vehicle Care, section 10-18 and 10-19. While a lot of cars make you jump through hoops to change the cabin air filter, the C7 cabin air filter is very easy. However, even though I have worked on more than forty different types of vehicles, and carefully reviewed the how-to media, I found the process to change the engine air filter unnecessarily complicated by the tight quarters and placement of the airbox on our C7s. It isn’t actually very difficult, but does require going slowly and taking care, as well as figuring out how to rotate the filter to get it out and the new one back in.

Here are the steps I followed:

What I used

  • Fender protector cover
  • 7 mm socket and wrench with extender
  • Torx T-25 head and driver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Microfiber towel
  • Portable light
  • ACDelco A3191C air filter

Removal steps:

  • The first step was to put the fender protector cover down so I could lean over to remove the four 7mm bolts from the hood extractor duct. Note, these are NOT captive, so be prepared to catch each one when it is fully unscrewed (and they are longer screws than you would think).
280893


280894


Here is view with the extractor duct removed:

280895

  • Next ease the surge tank coolant black hard plastic hose up from the two retainer brackets on the air filter housing end cap. Treat this hose gingerly- many of the reviews talk about how brittle/fragile it is.
280896


  • Use the flat head screwdriver and loosen the air duct clamp down on the side of the duct (radiator side) where it slides onto the air filter housing end cap.
280897

  • Now slide the red latch on the sensor connector at the engine side of the air filter housing end cap. After you slide the red latch, press down on the latch to release the sensor connector and put it out of the way.
280898


  • Ease the air duct that goes from the air filter housing end cap to the engine off of the air filter housing end cap.
  • Next use the Torx T-25 head and unscrew the two Torx screws at the top right and left of the air filter housing end cap. These two Torx screws are captive and will remain in the air filter housing end cap when you have fully unscrewed them.
280899

  • Now, make sure that the surge tank coolant plastic hose (step 2) is free from the housing, and the air duct is fully off of the air filter housing. Push the air filter housing end cap away from the top (where you unscrewed the Torx screws) and downward. Again, pay attention so that you don’t inadvertently catch the surge tank coolant plastic hose as you do this. Once you have it pushed away from the top, you can lift the housing end cap up to free the two plastic tabs on the bottom of the end cap that are in slots on the air filter box and act like a hinge.
280902


  • In the following image #1 refers to the duct clamp screw, #2 is the duct, #3 is the coolant line, and #4 the radiator visible with the extrator hood removed.
280900


  • This next step takes a bit of visual review and gymnastics: rotate the air filter housing end cap so you can carefully bring it up and out of the engine bay.
  • Now you can see the air filter. Just slide it out and carefully bring it up.
280901


Inserting the new air filter:

  • I cleaned the edge of the air filter box, though it was surprising clean, with a microfiber towel. I did the same with the air duct. Now just ease the new air filter down through the ‘maze’ and insert fully in the air box.
  • Take the housing end cap and ease it down similarly, aligning the two plastic tabs with the slots on the air box. Once you are sure you have both tabs properly seated, pull the end cap up and tighten the Torx screws. Note, the rubber gasket on the new air filter will seem to be slightly thicker than the one you are replacing because the old one was compressed over time. Because of this you will need to hold the end cap in position while you screw the Torx screws in fully.
  • Now reattach the air duct and tighten the air duct clamp with the flat head screwdriver.
  • Connect the sensor connector- it should click in place. Slide the red plastic retainer home.
  • Now grab the hood extractor and the four 7mm bolts. Take care to ensure you don’t drop any of the bolts in the process. I hand started each bolt until I was sure it was caught and then used the socket and wrench to tighten. Remember these seem to require a surprising number of turns until they are fully tight.
  • Finally, ease the surge tank coolant hose back into the two plastic retainer brackets on the top of the air filter housing.
  • Check all of the connections and screws and you are done!
Plan on about 30 to 45 minutes to do the entire process (presuming you don’t drop a screw).

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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I have a new filter and ported throttle body, but I haven't gotten around to changing them out. I plan to do both at the same time, and remove the entire duct work between them, as shown in the second video that you posted above, Jeff. I think that will give more space to change the filter. Hopefully I can do it without breaking anything (such as hoses or tabs), and get it all back together airtight.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree Rodney. On retrospect I think loosening both clamps and the removing the air duct assembly entirely (and uncliping the two hose connections) would certainly give you more room to work with the filter housing end cap. Looking forward to your experience in trying it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Initial drive update after installing the engine air filter: Started up RedHot this morning and noticed immediately that it did not drop back from the fast idle on start up. As I drove to our Breakfast Car Enthusiast meeting I also noticed that the oil pressure was reading higher than normal and oil temperature cooler than normal for the 20 minute drive.

There were no codes thrown, nor any indication of an issue under the hood when I got to the Breakfast meeting. Shut down was normal, but the radiator fan was running after shut down, but quickly shut off while I was looking under the hood.

After the breakfast meeting, RedHot started up normally, and oil pressure and temperature was where it normally is. My thought, beyond a random electronic glitch that self resolved, went to the mass air sensor that was disconnected while the replacing the air filter. As it turned out, I disconnected that as noted in my write-up when I started the replacment. However, I was interupted in finishing the process for about 3 hours by another unrelated project before I finished the new filter install and properly reconnected the sensor. Possibly having the mass air sensor disconnected for that period of time (and still having the CTEK maintainer connected) resulted in triggering a system recalibration that resulted in the peculiar transient initial drive issues.

Again, everything is now running/reading correctly and no codes were thrown. Just thought I'd mention this in case you experience something similar when/if you change out your engine air filter.
 
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The instructions for changing the throttle body say to disconnect the car's battery before unplugging the connector on the throttle body.

I was going to skip that and just leave the battery hooked up.

Now I am second-guessing that approach...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting Rodney. Sounds like there must be some system check that 'notices' when you disconnect the connector while the battery (and/or maintainer in my case) is still connected. Perhaps disconnecting the battery prior to doing any connector removal, avoids a temporary start-up electronic irregularity like I experienced.
 

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The instructions for changing the throttle body say to disconnect the car's battery before unplugging the connector on the throttle body.

I was going to skip that and just leave the battery hooked up.

Now I am second-guessing that approach...
I just changed out my throttle body and did not disconnect the battery. I had no issues at all.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just changed out my throttle body and did not disconnect the battery. I had no issues at all.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
How long did the change out take you? Perhaps it is a time-sensitive or time window related issue the throttle body supplier is anticipating.
 

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How long did the change out take you? Perhaps it is a time-sensitive or time window related issue the throttle body supplier is anticipating.
The whole project took about 20 minutes. A couple of those were looking for the 10mm socket I dropped.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I am almost 99% certain that when I installed my Soler Throttle Body I don't recall disconnecting the battery and didn't have any problems with codes or otherwise.


The instructions for changing the throttle body say to disconnect the car's battery before unplugging the connector on the throttle body.

I was going to skip that and just leave the battery hooked up.

Now I am second-guessing that approach...
 

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For those members who have been here for a number of years, you have seen several posts on how to change your C7 engine air filter. For newer members, and those who may be considering changing your air filter, this might prove to make the job easier (or discourage you;)). This covers how to replace the OEM ACDelco A3191C engine air filter in a non-Z51 C7.

RedHot is coming up on eight years this October, and still had its original engine air filter. While the oil and oil filter have been changed annually, and cabin air filter changed per schedule, prior checks of the engine air filter showed it to be in fine condition and not needed to be changed (even at the suggested six year service). I reviewed a number of the YouTube videos on how to do it along with various other write-ups. While most followed similar steps, there were variances.

I decided to follow the specific steps outlined in the Owner Manual under Vehicle Care, section 10-18 and 10-19. While a lot of cars make you jump through hoops to change the cabin air filter, the C7 cabin air filter is very easy. However, even though I have worked on more than forty different types of vehicles, and carefully reviewed the how-to media, I found the process to change the engine air filter unnecessarily complicated by the tight quarters and placement of the airbox on our C7s. It isn’t actually very difficult, but does require going slowly and taking care, as well as figuring out how to rotate the filter to get it out and the new one back in.

Here are the steps I followed:

What I used

  • Fender protector cover
  • 7 mm socket and wrench with extender
  • Torx T-25 head and driver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Microfiber towel
  • Portable light
  • ACDelco A3191C air filter

Removal steps:

  • The first step was to put the fender protector cover down so I could lean over to remove the four 7mm bolts from the hood extractor duct. Note, these are NOT captive, so be prepared to catch each one when it is fully unscrewed (and they are longer screws than you would think).
View attachment 280893

View attachment 280894

Here is view with the extractor duct removed:

View attachment 280895

  • Next ease the surge tank coolant black hard plastic hose up from the two retainer brackets on the air filter housing end cap. Treat this hose gingerly- many of the reviews talk about how brittle/fragile it is.
View attachment 280896

  • Use the flat head screwdriver and loosen the air duct clamp down on the side of the duct (radiator side) where it slides onto the air filter housing end cap.
View attachment 280897
  • Now slide the red latch on the sensor connector at the engine side of the air filter housing end cap. After you slide the red latch, press down on the latch to release the sensor connector and put it out of the way.
View attachment 280898

  • Ease the air duct that goes from the air filter housing end cap to the engine off of the air filter housing end cap.
  • Next use the Torx T-25 head and unscrew the two Torx screws at the top right and left of the air filter housing end cap. These two Torx screws are captive and will remain in the air filter housing end cap when you have fully unscrewed them.
View attachment 280899
  • Now, make sure that the surge tank coolant plastic hose (step 2) is free from the housing, and the air duct is fully off of the air filter housing. Push the air filter housing end cap away from the top (where you unscrewed the Torx screws) and downward. Again, pay attention so that you don’t inadvertently catch the surge tank coolant plastic hose as you do this. Once you have it pushed away from the top, you can lift the housing end cap up to free the two plastic tabs on the bottom of the end cap that are in slots on the air filter box and act like a hinge.
View attachment 280902

  • In the following image #1 refers to the duct clamp screw, #2 is the duct, #3 is the coolant line, and #4 the radiator visible with the extrator hood removed.
View attachment 280900

  • This next step takes a bit of visual review and gymnastics: rotate the air filter housing end cap so you can carefully bring it up and out of the engine bay.
  • Now you can see the air filter. Just slide it out and carefully bring it up.
View attachment 280901

Inserting the new air filter:

  • I cleaned the edge of the air filter box, though it was surprising clean, with a microfiber towel. I did the same with the air duct. Now just ease the new air filter down through the ‘maze’ and insert fully in the air box.
  • Take the housing end cap and ease it down similarly, aligning the two plastic tabs with the slots on the air box. Once you are sure you have both tabs properly seated, pull the end cap up and tighten the Torx screws. Note, the rubber gasket on the new air filter will seem to be slightly thicker than the one you are replacing because the old one was compressed over time. Because of this you will need to hold the end cap in position while you screw the Torx screws in fully.
  • Now reattach the air duct and tighten the air duct clamp with the flat head screwdriver.
  • Connect the sensor connector- it should click in place. Slide the red plastic retainer home.
  • Now grab the hood extractor and the four 7mm bolts. Take care to ensure you don’t drop any of the bolts in the process. I hand started each bolt until I was sure it was caught and then used the socket and wrench to tighten. Remember these seem to require a surprising number of turns until they are fully tight.
  • Finally, ease the surge tank coolant hose back into the two plastic retainer brackets on the top of the air filter housing.
  • Check all of the connections and screws and you are done!
Plan on about 30 to 45 minutes to do the entire process (presuming you don’t drop a screw).

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks for providing the pics and step by step instructions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Most welcome Yellow n red! Let me know if you have any quesitions. Cheers.
 

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I just changed out my throttle body and did not disconnect the battery. I had no issues at all.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I replaced my OEM Z51 air filter with a K&N. When i get on it the engine sounds different. Like you can hear it getting more air. Maybe my imagination.

Been looking at the Soler ported throttle body that doesn’t require tuning. Reviews on ported throttle bodies are positive right after installation but a number have said the car readjusts and the gains are lost. Recommendation is to get a tune. What is your experience?
 
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