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Cadwell Parker

530d F11 DIY air filter change

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A little overdue as I did this job some weeks ago. I took photos intending to post a write up but realised recently I hadn't got round to it. I thought the photos might be helpful to some so here goes.


At the time the car has done circa 75000 miles. It last had a new air filter at 37500 miles along with oil service, fuel filter etc from BMW so by now it's really time to get it done.



Start by removing the top engine cover. Pull up at each corner to separate the interference mountings and remove from the car.




My car has the later type of filter fitted to the rear of the engine bay on the left hand side of the engine as opposed to the earlier panel type fitted above the engine.




Undo the spring clips on each side of the casing




Then you can pull the half of the casing containing the filter element towards you. It's still attached to hinge/clips at the bottom so it will pivot towards you.




Next you need to disengage the element from the casing by pushing it away from you








You can then slide it upwards and out of the casing.




Quite a difference between old and new elements after 38000 miles. Note the dark coloured pad you can see most clearly on the new filter to the right in the photo. More on this in a while.
















You'll probably want to remove the inevitable bits of stuff that shouldn't be there from the bottom of the filter casing. Unless you have a suitable attachment you can fit to a vacuum cleaner you might find it easier to separate the two halves of the casing.




In which case you'll need to remove the inlet pipe at the bottom




I'm not sure if there's supposed to be some kind of clip on here. There wasn't on mine and the pipe seems to fit quite firmly as it is.




After unhooking the hinge/clips at the bottom of the casing and a little waggling and other manipulations the pipe has enough room to clear the casing which you can now remove from the car and clean up.




Now you can see more clearly the hinge/clips at the bottom




Returning to the previously mentioned pad now, when installing the new element into the casing you need to take care not to catch the pad on the moulding at the bottom of the casing. It's easy when off the car




but having the element in place makes it tricky to fit everything back together. I found it was much easier to refit the filter casing onto its hinge/clips before installing the element.




To ease the process I cut part of the air filter box to size so I could push it down into the casing to cover the moulding at the bottom and so give the pad some protection as it slides into place.




Push the element all the way down into the casing




Then you can pull out the card and all should be well




Then just pull the element towards you to fully engage with its half of the casing




Then you can close the two halve of the casing again




Remembering to re-fit the spring clips.





Then re-fit the engine cover and that's it. A really simple job that shouldn't take more than half an hour, even if you take the opportunity to clean up a few places which are usually less accessible.




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Thank you CP for the write up and photos. I did my air filter the other day on my newly acquired 530d F11 2014, it was surprising how much detritus was at the bottom of the air filter housing by the 'felt' pad that you mention. This tends to fall to the bottom of the housing as you remove the old filter, worth getting the vacuum out to clear it as you don't want that going into the intake system and causing MAF problems etcetera.



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Great write up, thanks for sharing. 


Going from your pics the air filter different on each side then? One side being the paper and the other side beings fine material type filter.


Looks quite small a filter for a 3.0 size engine. BMW will know better of course.;)



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On 12/11/2019 at 4:42 AM, Kersidan said:

it was surprising how much detritus was at the bottom of the air filter


That's what I thought. There as all sorts in mine, grass, leaves, even small twigs. Amazing what works its way in there.


On 12/11/2019 at 8:27 AM, 535i Andrew said:

Going from your pics the air filter different on each side then?


Yes, it's like two filters in one. Maybe that's how they get away with the smaller size?

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