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Chevrolet Malibu Engine Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to change the engine air filter in a 9th generation 2016 to 2023 GM Chevy Malibu with the Ecotec LFV 1.5L.

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2020 Malibu 1.5L I4
Loosen Counterclockwise
Phillips / Flat Head
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu in cleaning or changing the engine air filter element for the Ecotec LFV turbocharged 1.5 liter inline four cylinder DOHC engine. (The procedure should be the same or very similar for the 2.0L and 1.8L engines.)

The 9th generation Malibu was supposed to undergo a "facelift" in 2022 or 2023 and the refreshed vehicle may have continued being produced into the 2024 and 2025 model years but it will now apparently be discontinued after the 2023 model year.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Holden such as the Impala, Corvette, Bolt, Sonic, Spark, Express, Trax, TrailBlazer, Equinox, Traverse, Blazer, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Cruze, Volt, Camaro, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, LaCrosse, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT4, CT5, CT6 and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

Two compatible replacement filters for the 1.5L I4 engine with their part numbers are as follows: ACDelco A3208C and Premium Guard PA99111.

The only tool needed to access and replace the filter is a Phillips head screwdriver or a flat head screwdriver.

The first two steps are to open the hood and then move to the left (passenger) side of the engine bay.

The engine air filter housing is located just behind the passenger side headlight and in front of the shock tower.


Loosening Screws
2016-2023-Chevrolet-Malibu-Engine-Air-Filter-Replacement-Guide-005 2016-2023-Chevrolet-Malibu-Engine-Air-Filter-Replacement-Guide-006
There are six screws holding the air box cover in place to the bottom half of the housing.

Loosen the screws by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with a Phillips head screwdriver or a flat head screwdriver.

Six Screws Total
"Captured" Fasteners
Lift Air Box Cover
The six screws are "captured" and should remain attached to the top of the air box cover.

Lift up the rear edge of the filter cover.

Two Tabs - Front Edge
Two Slots - Air Box
Lift Out Old Air Filter
Slide the two tabs on the front edge of the filter cover (close to the headlight housing) out of the two slots on the front edge of the bottom half of the air box.

Pull the old air filter straight out of the bottom half of the housing.

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

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

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) part number is ACDelco A3208C.

A good aftermarket engine air filter option is the Premium Guard PA99111.

If the old filter is relatively clean, just tap out the large debris and remove any fine dust with a vacuum.

Clean Out Bottom Half
Lower In New Air Filter
New Filter Installed
Clean out any sand or debris in the bottom half of the air box with a wet/dry shop vacuum.

Orientate the new air filter with the pleats facing down and the metal wire mesh facing up towards you.

Lower the new filter down into the bottom half of the air box.

2 Slots - Filter Housing
2 Tabs - Filter Cover
Slide Tabs Into Slots
Line up the two tabs on the front edge of the cover with the two slots on the air box housing.

Slide the tabs into the slots and lower the rear edge of the cover over the new filter.

Tighten Screws Clockwise
Six Screws Secured
Engine Air Filter Replaced
Make sure the six screws are lined up with their holes on the bottom half of the air box housing.

Tighten the screws by turning them in the clockwise direction with the Phillips head screwdriver until they are snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the screws to prevent from cracking the plastic air box housing.

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

According to the owner's manual, the service interval specification for changing the engine air filter is every 45,000 miles (or every 72,000 km).

I also recommend checking and cleaning the engine air filter during each oil change which should be completed every 7,500 miles.

Please check out all of the 2016-2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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