The Air Cleaner Housing May Crack on Honda Civic

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The air cleaner case is prone to cracking. This can make it difficult to remove the screws securing the cover, making it difficult to replace the air filter. Replacing the case is often necessary to address this issue.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 123,189 (46,000–200,000)
Engine affected: 1.7L 4 Cylinder
4 model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005
36 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 17 of 17 problem details
Cannot change my air filter due to the screws being to right. I believe some of them are stripped and one also caused a crack in the plastic air filter box. I used an 8mm to loosen it rather than the Phillips screwdriver, but it just keeps spinning.
2 of the screw mounts on the lower air filter case have broken off, and no longer secure the lid. I will have to replace the entire case.
As described, cover impossible to take off to change filter, bottom and top cracked at screw areas. replace with new set
I never had changed the air filter. So from 120,000 when I purchased it through 198,000 it was probably never changed. So when I saw my boyfriend changing his, i asked him to do mine as well. He could not unscrew the top cover so he took the whole component off. I helped him get it unscrewed and we broke the small plastic around it. We suspected that the last person who changed the filter screwed it on too tight. We replaced the filter which was super gross. Then he put a long zip tie around it , reattached it, and screwed it back into the car with the center screw.
is it possible while mechanic removing air filter box can drop broken screw in the opening where goes strait into engine ?
Went to change the air filter. Turned the first screw and the bottom part cracked the screw did not loosen up any. Turned the second screw and the same thing happened. The third screw also. The solution is to replace the bottom air intake cleaner housing for about $80.00 part only.
If you pull on upper portion while unscrewing it might apply enough pressure for the screws to come out. I replaced the lower housing.
Cracked plastic around nuts renders a few unusable. New Air Filter housing hard to find. God Bless duct tape.
Air cleaner housing cracked and broke off.
Plastic has cracked on lower portion of air filter housing making it impossible to remove the filter.
Have yet to determine whether to replace entire housing with OEM, or an aftermarket solution.
Engine air filter housing screws should only be hand-tightened with a screwdriver (gently but securely), because the housing is plastic and prone to breakage if you over-tighten the screws by hand or with a socket wrench. At tire replacement shops and some repair shops, mechanics will get over-enthusiastic when replacing the engine air filter cover, and the housing around the screw will break.

The housing around only one screw on my 2002 Civic LX has been broken this way. With all the others in place and intact, it still is securely attached and does not yet need replacing. But owners and those making repairs should be made aware of this issue so that they take care when replacing the engine air filter.

To avoid this problem, make sure the screws are properly lubricated and only hand-tighten them using a screwdriver. Periodically (appx every 10,000 miles), remove/loosen screws, add more lubricant, and re-tighten by hand with a screwdriver. This will ensure that they remain properly tightened, rust-free, and mobile -- it will keep them from rusting into place (which may cause the plastic housing to break when you try to forcefully remove them) and will make the housing cover easy to remove when the time comes to replace the engine air filter.
Noticed broken at fwd middle fastener when starting to change filter.
Plastic cracked around screws.
The air cleaner housing was cracked, but I could still replace the air filter. Never got a new housing until I needed the throttle body cleaned.
Could not remove air cleaner cover. Case and cover had to be replaced.
Air cleaner housing cracked where bolts tighten down so the air filter can not be removed