Changing the Air Filter in Your Briggs & Stratton Engine

Briggs & Stratton engines use one of three types of air filters: paper, foam, or dual element. An air filter plus a filter cartridge and pre-cleaner will ensure that your small engine runs smoothly this season and the next. Briggs & Stratton also offers special high performance air filters designed to extend the life of your outdoor power equipment.
These filters last twice as long as our regular filters and allows your engine to perform at the highest possible level. Our air filters have superior filtration media, extended service intervals, and superior sealing materials.

Learn how the different types of air filters protect your machine and how to change them periodically.

About Paper Air Filters

How to Change a Lawn Mower Air Filter by Briggs & Stratton

A paper air filter element works by causing any air that is intended to enter the combustion chamber of the engine to pass through a filtering device made with microscopic holes in it. The paper element traps the dirt particles on the outside of the element. A Briggs & Stratton genuine paper air filter element will provide 1.5 times the life of imitation filters.

Paper Air Filter Engine Diagram by Briggs & Stratton

How to Change a Paper Air Filter

1. Loosen cover screw.
2. Tilt cover down.
3. Carefully remove and discard paper cartridge.
4. Install new cartridge with paper pleat out.
5. Close cover.
6. Tighten screw securely.

About Foam Air Filters

Foam Air Filter for Small Engine by Briggs & Stratton

The “foam only” style air filter system works by trapping dirt and debris through the use of motor oil spread throughout the oil foam holding medium. A dry or non-oiled oil foam filter will trap only the largest particles. If the air filter element is foam only, it MUST be oiled and serviced regularly. Your foam filter requires replacement every 3 months or after 25 hours of use, whichever occurs first, more often under dusty conditions.

Foam Air Filter Engine Diagram by Briggs & Stratton

How to Change a Foam Air Filter

1. Remove air filter screw.
2. Carefully remove air filter assembly and discard foam.
3. Clean all metal assembly parts.
4. Saturate new foam filter with fresh engine oil.
5. Wrap foam in clean cloth and squeeze to remove excess oil.
6. Assemble foam filter so lip extends over edge of body.
7. Reinstall assembly carbureto

About Dual Element Air Filters

Dual Element Air Filter for Small Engine by Briggs & Stratton

Combination air filters provide the highest degree of air filtering in the industry. The foam portion is used as a pre-cleaner for the paper element. Pre-cleaning the air increases the life of the more expensive paper element. Air passes through 2 types of filtering mediums providing clean air for the engine.

A Briggs & Stratton genuine dual air filter element will help extend the life of your engine. If you have a combination air filter with pre-cleaner, replace pre-cleaner every 25 hours or every season, and replace cartridge every 100 hours. If you do not have a pre-cleaner replace cartridge every 25 hours or every season, more often under dusty conditions.

Dual Element Air Filter Engine Diagram by Briggs & Stratton

How to Change a Dual Element Air Filter

1. Remove knob(s) and cover.
2. Carefully remove foam pre-cleaner, when so equipped.
3. Reinstall cartridge, nut(s), pre-cleaner and cover. Retighten knob(s) securely.
4. Replace if very dirty, damaged, or doesn't fit properly.
If you need to replace the air filter in your small engine, you will need to locate the part number by finding your engine model number, and once you have that you can find your small engine manual. Your local authorized Briggs & Stratton dealer can also answer any questions you may have about small engine repair and maintenance


Still Have Questions?

Watch this easy guide to change your air filter.