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Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to clean or change the 2.0L I4 engine air filter element in a 4th generation 2016 to 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

2018 Miata 2.0L I4 Engine
Engine Air Filter Housing
Metal Latch - Front Edge

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 4th generation ND (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021) Mazda MX-5 Miata in checking, cleaning or changing the engine air filter element for the SkyActiv-G 2.0 PE-VPS 2.0 liter inline four cylinder motor.

Owners of other Mazda vehicles such as the Mazda2 (Demio), Mazda3 (Axela), Mazda5, Mazda6 (Atenza), CX-3, CX-5, CX-7, CX-9, RX-8 and MPV may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement engine air filters with their part numbers include the following: K&N 33-5040, Premium Guard PA99218, AEM 28-50040 and MAHLE Original LX 4298.

No tools are required to access and replace the filter.

A wet/dry shop vacuum can be useful for cleaning the old filter in order to re-use it or for cleaning out the bottom half of the air box.


Flip Down Front Latch
Front Fastener Released
Rear Metal Latch
The first two steps are to open the hood and then move to the front middle area of the engine bay.

The black plastic engine air filter box is located just behind the coolant overflow bottle and in front of the large coolant hose with coolant filler cap.

There are two metal latches that secure the two halves of the air box together.

One latch is located at the front of the air box closer to the left side. The second latch is located on the back side of the box also near the left edge.

Gently flip down the two hinged metal latches away from the top half of the air box.

Flip Down Rear Latch
Open Left Side of Air Box
Pull Out Old Air Filter
Lift the left side of the air box cover.

Slide the air box cover towards the left to release the two plastic tabs on the right side of the air box cover from their slots on the right side of the bottom half of the air box.

Pull the old air filter straight out of the air box.

Old Air Filter Removed
Inspect Both Sides
Clean Out Bottom Half
Inspect both sides of the old air filter.

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

If you would like to have a washable and re-usable filter, I'd recommend buying the K&N 33-5040 engine air filter.

Otherwise, the Premium Guard PA99218 filter is an excellent choice for a disposable filter.

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

Clean out any sand or other debris in the bottom of the air box housing.


Slide In New Air Filter
Seat Filter In Bottom Half
Lower the new air filter into the bottom half of the air box.

Make sure the new filter is fully seated in the air box.

Two Tabs - Right Side
Slide Tabs Into Slots
Lower Air Box Cover
Line up the two tabs on the right side of the air box cover with their corresponding slots on the right side of the lower half of the housing.

Slide the tabs into the slots and lower the left side of the air box cover into place.

Flip Up Rear Latch
Snap On Front Latch
Engine Air Filter Replaced
Swing up the two metal latches and snap then into place over the air box cover to secure the two halves together.

Make sure that the two halves of the air box are flush together with no parts of the new filter visible at the edges.

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

(The service interval specification for the engine air filter is to change it at the same time as the engine oil and oil filter which is every 12 months or every 7,500 miles. The maximum service interval for the engine air filter is 36 months or 37,500 miles.)

For more, check out all of my 2016-2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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