Air Filter Cover - Honda Civic Forum



Fuel, Oil, Cleaners & Other Maintenance Extending the life of your Civic requires the proper fuel, oil, and cleaners, along with other regularly scheduled maintenance.

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Old 02-21-2010   #1
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Air Filter Cover

My sister has a 2002 EX sedan that she bought used a couple years ago… I tried to check her air filter, but the screws holding the cover on are on so tight that they crack the plastic trying to take them out. I only cracked 2 of them loose, because I don’t want to leave her air filter cover loose, but do you guys have any ideas on how to get them out? I figure as a worst case, I should crack all the screws free and then just put in a new air filter box… is that hard to do? We have no idea how long the filter has been in there, so we’d really like to check it…

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2010   #2
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Re: Air Filter Cover

As long as the screw in the center doesn't crack you should be fine to put the airbox back on. If you go about replacing the entire air box its not cheap and you'd prolly be better off just gettin an aftermarket intake. it might even give you an extra mpg
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Old 02-22-2010   #3
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Re: Air Filter Cover

look for a used one off ebay or something. those screws should only be hand tight enough to make a seal. people have a habit of overtightening and the housing is only plastic so it cracks.
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Old 02-22-2010   #4
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Re: Air Filter Cover

yeah i always keep them hand tight on my car, i dont know who tightened them down so much...

is a new airbox hard to install? or just bolt on? would it be about the same price to just do a short ram intake? i'll check ebay... im sure an airbox costs a fortune at the stealership
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Old 02-23-2010   #5
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Re: Air Filter Cover

yeah its easy, airbox shouldnt be more than $40 used. just a few bolts and stuff to remove. the resonator box can stay on. just take off the airbox mount bolts and also the circle clamp around the throttle body.
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Old 02-25-2010   #6
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Re: Air Filter Cover

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Originally Posted by Foffie View Post
As long as the screw in the center doesn't crack you should be fine to put the airbox back on. If you go about replacing the entire air box its not cheap and you'd prolly be better off just gettin an aftermarket intake. it might even give you an extra mpg
Any truth about getting more mpg or it's placebo?
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Old 02-25-2010   #7
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Re: Air Filter Cover

ive gotten the highest mpg with i/h/e mods 42mpg vs 38mpg with stock parts. results may vary based on all sorts of factors tho like driving style, elevation, humidity, temperature, condition of engine, alignment, shocks, tire pressure, etc.
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Old 02-25-2010   #8
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Re: Air Filter Cover

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Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
ive gotten the highest mpg with i/h/e mods 42mpg vs 38mpg with stock parts. results may vary based on all sorts of factors tho like driving style, elevation, humidity, temperature, condition of engine, alignment, shocks, tire pressure, etc.
Link?
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Old 03-07-2010   #9
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Re: Air Filter Cover

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Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
yeah its easy, airbox shouldnt be more than $40 used. just a few bolts and stuff to remove. the resonator box can stay on. just take off the airbox mount bolts and also the circle clamp around the throttle body.
I'm finally getting around to figuring this out... I can't seem to even break the bolts free, so it seems like i wont be able to get the cover off. Is it possible to put on a new airbox without opening it? like, are all the mounting bolts accessible with the airbox closed? otherwise i might have to break out the sledge hammer... jk.
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Old 03-07-2010   #10
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Re: Air Filter Cover

yeah there is no need to remove the top cover to remove the whole box. just undo all the big bolts around it, and loosen the ring clamp around the throttle body underneath, then pull it up. may be hard at first cause there is a rubber attachment to the throttle body. just keep wiggling it and eventually it will come out. make sure to put the rubber adapter in the new airbox opening the correct direction, sometimes it gets stuck on the throttle body.
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Old 05-09-2011   #11
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Re: Air Filter Cover

I wanted to check the air filter on my '05 Civic last week but found the many bolts holding the upper housing in place very rusty and tight. Looks like they are made to be removed with either a socket or screwdriver (which is all I had). All I have been able to do is spray them with liberal amounts of WD-40 and call my dealer and order in new bolts which should be here today. I really want to be able to remove these myself, without the dealer service, but I also don't want to break or crack anything and I'm unsure of what proper tool to use,what size and techniques... I just want to check my air filter!! Any thoughts or help would be appreciated. Whatever happened clips???

Last edited by blacksun; 05-09-2011 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 05-09-2011   #12
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Re: Air Filter Cover

The threaded inserts are open at the bottom letting in the elements and allow them the get tight. You could spray all of the inserts lower openings & bolts with WD-40 or PB blaster and allow them to soak a while before attempting to remove.

Don't know the torque, but keep them lubed for the next time. I used to take mine loose every 12k or so to keep them free.
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Old 05-10-2011   #13
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Re: Air Filter Cover

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Originally Posted by CraigW View Post
The threaded inserts are open at the bottom letting in the elements and allow them the get tight. You could spray all of the inserts lower openings & bolts with WD-40 or PB blaster and allow them to soak a while before attempting to remove.

Don't know the torque, but keep them lubed for the next time. I used to take mine loose every 12k or so to keep them free.
I didn't realize that they were open at the bottom, but that's good to know. It's my guess that these bolts are very easily over-torqued so it's important to be careful with them. They look like an 8mm or 10mm would work to remove them, but I'm not sure. I'll never get 'em out with a Phillips screwdriver (which is all I have) because the heads on mine are so rusty and almost a 'mush',very soft if you know what I mean.
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Old 06-23-2011   #14
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Re: Air Filter Cover

FWIW I am having the same problem with my air filter cover. The person who owned it before me seems to have thought it necessary to tighten the living bejeesus out of the screws. The problem is that the female-threaded metal inserts in the bottom part of the box are round on the outside. They're not supposed to move, but when you apply a lot of torque to a stuck screw, the insert breaks loose instead of the screw threads. You would think that they would be made hexagonal or square on the outside. Very irritating.
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Old 03-29-2012   #15
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Unhappy Re: Air Filter Cover

"Very irritating" is kind. Someone at a tire store over-tightened the seven screws of my 2001 Civic EX air filter cover. Two of the seven screws just spin in place, going nowhere. You can't stick a screwdriver head under the screw head and try prying it up. The problem is that the screws screw into a metal shaft imbedded in the plastic housing. If someone over-tightens the screws they break the hold of the plastic and the result is that the shafts will spin, but the screws won't come free. Now I have to replace the whole housing. I hope that Honda engineers have since replaced the seven screws with simple clasps.
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Old 05-08-2012   #16
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Re: Air Filter Cover

Don't have an answer to you, unfortunately, but noticed that on my '01 -- replacing the filter myself for the first time -- 4 of the 6 outer screws were gone because the tabs on the bottom had cracked off. Maybe they were over-tightened, maybe the engine heat played a part, as many have suggested on such forums. It's holding fine now, and the screws there are still clean and work fine, BUT
I have a question for anyone who can answer. (New to this forum, can't find place to post new thread. Sorry.)

Even if my filter box is essentially OK, holding firmly with 4 of 7 screws (3 in perimeter, one in center), and the check engine light never goes on, it just seems the whole housing box has a limited lifespan. Screws only get rusty, not the other way around. The boxes have been known to crack. I'd like to buy a "new" used one (cheapest I can find on Ebay right now is $55 total w/shipping) and have my mechanic (who I do trust, believe it or not) replace it. Then I'd just have another old one, possibly about to crack, maybe with bottom tabs about to crack, screws/nuts rusting. Brand new one from honda automotive parts on line is $96 total for top and bottom (each screw costs!), but at least the whole thing would be new, screws can be oiled to protect from rust, and I'd never over-tighten, etc.
But my mechanic, who just recently replaced the filter, when I called to ask yesterday, said as long as it's holding tight, no warning signs, leave it. He can always get a replacement box from one of many people he knows and make sure it's all in good shape, but no rush. (My whole car is in excellent shape and this is the only thing that has me concerned after 123K -- all objective people feel it'll go to 250 easy.)
Does that sound like good advice to anyone else? Or does it seem safe to just buy a new one and ask him to put it in (or have a friend "teach" me how to do it myself?) Or am I just getting way ahead of myself? Should I just let him decide it's time, since it's holding fine and working fine? Any opinions welcome.
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Old 05-08-2012   #17
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Re: Air Filter Cover

just get a AEM intake it goes on in minutes and the filter is washable for life.
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Old 05-10-2012   #18
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Re: Air Filter Cover

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just get a AEM intake it goes on in minutes and the filter is washable for life.
Exactly what I did about 6 years ago on my 02 EX. All my screw housing bolts were cracked. I replaced all that stuff with an AEM V2. Have never looked back.
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