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Clean your airbox screen

6480 Views 54 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  bibbyjai
From the "It's news to me dept.":

I pulled the intake tube off the top of my 1.8T airbox this afternoon and I couldn't believe the crap that was in there :shock: There were enough leaves and sand on top of the screen to nearly block it off. That's only 6k miles worth. My shop-vac made quick work of cleaning it out. I'll be checking this at least every month from now on.

I also managed to drop one of the stainless heat-shield screws into the engine compartment while trying to screw it back in :oops:


Now with (slow) picture goodness for noobs!

Step 0: Locate your airbox (all pix are taken from the front of the car)

Step 1: Remove the plastic piece that hides the airbox. Pay attention to how it clips in, it is mildly tricky. Set it aside.

Step 2: Lift up on the passenger side of the intake hose and then detach it from the plastic accordian. Set it aside.

Step 4: The three red X's are right on the airbox screen. Consider yourself lucky if that's all you find there.

Step 5: Borrow the neighbor's shop vac and vacuum out the red X's, cigarette butts, sand, etc..

Step 6: Put it all back together then go for a drive. 8)
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I just cleaned mine yesterday for the first time with 12k on my car and it was pretty clogged. I wonder what the value of this screen is? Does it filter smaller particles than the paper filter? Seems like an unneccesary obstruction to me.
if its there...its there for a dont want leaves and other stuff going into your intake manifold..its gonna kill your engine...

IIRC, the original purpose was as a "snow screen", so that sucked-in snow would quickly melt and drip to the bottom of the airbox rather than get sucked straight into the OEM paper air filter.

My $0.02? Leave the screen in, and pop the intake tube twice a month to vacuum the debris out.
Mine's been out for 70,000 miles. My mechanic took it out and strongly suggested that I leave it out. No problems so far.

Mines been out for 15,000 kms. No problems so far
^^I don't disagree... It's a belt-and-suspenders issue: it's just one more thing screening debris betwen my intake and my turbo.

Kenny and Natski - have you ever checked/cleaned the bottom of your airbox? What did you find piled up down there?
I have like wise taken mine can take it out during the warm months, but I'd prolly put it back in in the winter.
Trash piling up in the bottom of my air box doesn't bother me, but when it piles up on the screen blocking airflow it does. I never see snow anyway.
could the larger debris damage the paper filter? and the screen is much easier to get to then taking the top off the air box to clean. if you take off the screen the debris will be sucked up on to the filter and block just as much air that way wouldn't it? food for thought... or maybe I have it all wrong
i think the only reason for it is that they don't wanna have people vacuuming the bottom of the airbox, hence the screen. also, if you don't seat the filter correctly, then debris could pass through.
I have to admit, I have never cleaned the airbox screen for the first 30K miles. I just cleaned it last week. There were a few leaves and alot of very small particles that were clogging the screen. I am supprised that the air filter got any air at all :)
We'll see if engine efficiency improves after this. I'm still on the first tank of gas after cleaning the screen.
I'm a douche :thumbup:

Read this post fast and thought it was about the pollen filter :lol:
you sure that is your Air filter? Looks like that is the Pollen filter.
That is not a pic of the air filter, that is the cabin pollen filter.
ACraig said:
Here's what mine looked like when I replaced it :D

Someone doesnt know the difference between the airbox, and the AC system filter. :poke:

Airbox screen is the little mesh part thats located inside of the airbox. The picture above is of the pollen filter for the HVAC system. Good think that you replaced it though, because that looks MIGHTY dirty. :nervous: Im sure it smelled much cleaner in the car once you replaced that. :thumbup:

I take my screen out March to October and replace it for the snow months. With it out I do get some accumulation of larger debris in the bottom of the air box and the lighter debris occasionally makes it to the filter.

I vac it out every month or so.
Sorry if I am asking a stupid question, but where are both of these located...

Where is the airbox screen located and where is the thing that Scuba2001 showed in the pic located?
I am amased that VW's maintance schedual doesn't replace the filter until 40k. But I really can't believe that they don't reccomend cleaning the screen on a regualr basis! I think it should at least be checked every oil change if not sooner.
The prescreen is located in the airbox. If you take the snorkle tube off, look inside the airbox and you will see the metal mesh screen. Suck the debris out of the screen and you're all set.

The airbox filter, you can remove the top of the housing, and then you have access to the engine filter. The cabin/pollen filter is located on the passenger side (for LHD people) right below the windshield. Remove the battery cover or phillips head screw and then you will have to pull the cover off towards front of vehicle. Then, there the filter lays.

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