I was getting ready to change the air filter (I've got 12,000 miles) but I see the manual says 30,000 miles!....is this right?....it looks like a hassle to change so I would rather wait....what's everyone else doing?
It's not hard to change at all really. As for when, that really depends on where you drive. Out here a lot of people live on dirt roads and would never make the 30K interval. It's easy to check and see. I usually look at it every spring.
Loosen the hose clamp and remove the intake hose. Disconnect the sensor. Unlatch the two clamps for the filter box. Inspect the filter by seeing how much light passes through. Replace if dirty. 30k and mine is usually ready for replacement.
One thing I like to do if I check the filter and it still looks okay; I flip the filter around 180° (right to left like turning a steering wheel not clean side to dirty of course) Most air filters have air pass through them from an angle not head on. This makes it so dirt tends to accumulate on one area or side of the pleats more than another. Flipping it over exposes cleaner pleats to the air flow. Nothing major but what the heck you have it out anyway I also will clean the MAF (if you have one) with CRC MAF cleaner while I have stuff apart.
People tend to change air filters way too early. I doubt that yours will be ready to change in 30K miles either. Good idea to open the box and vacuum out the bugs and twigs and dirt then see how bad the filter is.
Just go with a K&N. Not sure how much the original one cost but K&N may be 20 more or but lasts you forever. Cleaned and re-oiled lightly will go for the life of the car. I would never put back the paper one or what ever material there made of.