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Check Air Conditioner Filter

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Is this not covered in the owners manual? It is covered in mine.

If you say, you don't have one, then I will tell you there is no excuse not to have one. They can be had on Ebay WITH the leather pouch for easy money, or the manual only can be had from the dealer for $20.00.


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in the 2002 owner's manual, it is listed in the index under "air conditioner filter" page 167.

Page 167 is in the air conditioning section, Section (e) Checking and replacing the air conditioning filter

On another site, I just read the filter on older ES's is above the gas pedal. It is not behind the carpet, but up under the dash around where the steering wheel column goes in, above the gas pedal, get on your knees and put your head up under the dash.

There should be a white/beige plastic pull out filter holder. It is a littler larger than a video cassette.

Try looking there.


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what about for the older models.... like 92-96

i get this ****y smell everytime i turn the A/c on...

and well ... where is the filter....

or is it the air filter ?

cause i know thats dirty?

is there a seperate filter for a/c ?

nt <_<

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i am not sure if the cars ever had one installed i think it was a dealer option

as i have a supplementary book of all dealer available options that came with my car new looks just like the owners manual

but lists parts like the ac filter

i think i will have to look for mine one day asi keep forgetting

the smell if probably from mildew in the system

buy a can of deodorizer or lysol the cowl on the passenger side at the base of the window with the heater temp and fan on max to burn it out

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irony in the newspaper. I think sk either reads my paper or he has the same column in his paper.

The "Ask the Doctor" column in my local paper written by a syndicated local auto mechanic that has a nationally broadcasted call radio show on Saturdays had this question and answer today.

Q: We own a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. the air conditioner has this horrible odor. We are concerned because we are moving from NY to Florida. How do I get rid of this smell?

A: I think the odor you refer to is from mold buildup. Mauke sure the heater box drain is not plugged up with debris. Next, buy a can of aerosol spray disinfectant. With the AC on and its blower speed on high, spray the disinfectant into the heater and air-conditioning inlet at the bottom of the winshield for 45 seconds at a time. Next, switch to the heat position and repeat the process. Do this every day for a week. This should kill off the mold.

I am going to try this starting tomorrow, since I now have the smell only for a few miniutes when the AC is first turned on.

From what I read, it is not specific to Lexus, nor is it specific to new cars.

I will post results. Word of note, when I was buying the spray disinfectant, READ the cans, some don't say on the label that they kill mold. Get one that does.....Lysol.


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actually just learned it in highschool

for the shop teacher in the early 90's

the so called disinfectents are around $10

the lysol$5

it is up to you i tried lysol once and it did ok

the only thing i didn't do i multiple repeat over a few days

hey you learn something new everyday

by the way i don't read the paper :blushing:

now a days it is hard enough to keep up with all the traffic on this site

it is almost 5 new pages a day to go through

but on saturday there is a half decent car section in one Toronto paper

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  • 2 weeks later...

the 5 day lysol thing worked good for the duct work, but when I sprayed the filter, the paper element broke open and charcol was falling out. I ended up replacing the filter, $57 from the dealer..... OUCH....and that didn't even include the holder.

I have found that you can get the filters from www.irontoad.com for about $20 less.


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I think your right. Most post that I have read for 97-99 model state that the slot is empty. Once I found the slot, I also checked my friends 97 and it was empty as well.

So its ok to buy the filter and pop it in? It does look like you would have to remove the cover as well as remove a screw for a wiring harness that is in the way.

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mind you I am talking a 2002. The glove compartment has to flop down by undoing one screw on the right hand side that holds the "mighty lift" type of piston that allows the comparmtnet to open slowly, and two black plastic "stops" that are in the top front corners of the comparmtnet. With out the stops the comparmtent will flop out and down on the hinge.

The filter tray is a white plastic tray with a flat front. There are two clips that you press, one on the left front and one on the right front. The tray slide out and inside is the filter.

My filter is a blue fiber material that looks like the bellows of an accordian. It is two layers with charcol sandwiched inside but it is all one piece. Along the two longs edges is a gray foam material to help seal it when it is in the tray.

It was$57 for just the filter element. No tray, just one filter replacement.

I wonder if alot of pre-2002 owners took the filter out and when they found out the price of a replacement they threw the dirty one at the parts guy and figured they didn't need to replace the part and left it out.

I don't know the setup for the pre 2002 cars. except for where it is. Perhaps this is a good time for JPC to chime in.


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I can confirm that the 97 & 98 (most likely the 99 as well) is quite a pain in the @$$ to replace. Need to be flexible to get underneath and remove a phillips screw to remove a cabling assembly which is in the way of access. Then remove the filter cover. Since I bought my 98 new, I know I did not remove the filter. My friends 97 was bought used and his was empty as well (he head a few leaves and things in the cavity as well :wacko: Yuck!).

When I get a chance I will either stop by my local Lexus dealer (since he was good enough to give me the part number and advice on where to find the filter), or order from Irontoad.com.

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I just finished replacing the two a/c filter set on my 2001 es300. They were very dirty after 30,000 miles. The info in these posts helped me figure out where to look for the place where they were hidding. I had already obtained the two filter set from an online parts place for $30.00 and they seem to be exact replacements. I then looked in the owners manual and found the instructions and detailed pictures are indeed there just as one of the posts said. Thanks for the help.

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