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Check Your Cabin Air Filter!


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If you have more than 10K on your RX and you have not looked at your cabin air filter yet... do it now.

Mine is at 30K and so the manual says to replace it. I waved off the dealer since this is an easy thing for anyone to tackle. I picked up my $21 NAPA filter and pulled out the old one, right there at the parts store...

There are no words to discribe it.

Just trust me, if you haven't doen it yet, at least take it out and shake the leaves off of it, but if its black then you will need to replace it, vacuuming will not help.

Here is how to access the filter:

Open the glove box

Locate the plastic stop pins near the back of the glove box

Rotate them while pulling toward the center of the glove box (1/4 turn should be all that is needed, but they go all they way around, so no worries there)

When the keyway aligns the pin will come out of the hole

Do the same on the opposite side of the glove box

Lower the glove box all the way until the lanyard in the back is holding it up (no need to empty it)

Locate the filter tray near the top of the space under the dash now exposed

Squeez both retainer clips toward the center of the tray facia and pull the tray out of the air box

....

Don't look TOO close :censored:

The filter element is just retained by some small tabs and comes right out of the tray (but you will have to touch it <shudder> )

To re-install just reverse the process, the filter element will only fit into the tray one way and there is no "UP" to worry about.

I would recommend this element be changed (or at least looked at) for every oil change, but I'm going to make up a bunch from HEPA paper and foam weatherstripping that I can get from Lowes (that's what it looks like they did)

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Great DUI writeup, Sky!

I was under the impression that the dealerships recommend replacement every 15,000 miles, but I guess where you live could be a factor when determining just how long the change intervals should be.

Dave

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Great DUI writeup, Sky!

I was under the impression that the dealerships recommend replacement every 15,000 miles, but I guess where you live could be a factor when determining just how long the change intervals should be.

Dave

Well that's a whole nother thing. I just had a long conversation with my service rep about all the "extra" service that I've paid for over the last 30K that is NOT called for in the maintenance schedule which came with the car. They claim to have been (in the past) operating under a "combined" plan that "supplements" the factory recommended service with their own take on what it should be. But that NOW they just follow what is in the manual. Or perhaps that is just what he told ME when I called them on the extra stuff... no way to know.

Water under the bridge. But it's interesting to note that while they felt it was important to change my engine coolant once and the transmission fluid TWICE before my 30K service, they never once simply opened the glove box and looked at that disgusting filter. Where is the love?

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I did my 10,000 mile service on my cabin air filter last night. No mold, no smell, but a bit dusty. (My low humidity Arizona climate may relate to the lack of mold.)

A few comments:

1. Removing my plastic stop pins required pliers since they were more than hand tight. I lubed them with a bit of silicone which should make the next service a bit easier.

2. I blew off my filter with compressed air and then gave it an ample treatment of Walmart's brand of Lysol spray disinfectant. Yes, I know I am breathing this stuff, but I doubt that, once dried, it will be harmful, since it's intended to be sprayed here and there around the house. More likely ineffective in a short while.

Tom

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Well after this post I was prepared to look at my own filter wearing a HazMat suit since I live in air-dirty L.A.. I did indeed open up my glove box( has anyone ever seen gloves in there?) and sure enough, it was in fact easy to drop the box down to reveal the filter unit. I did proceed to carfefully pull the filter out, feeling as if I were in a horror movie, I pulled it out and saw the filter....well, it was clean as a whistle! So after 21K miles it was either replaced or you live in the middle of an smoke-filled industrial center or Venus because my filter was almost new looking. It had an almost difficult to see amount of dust on it. Anyone else check this out? Please report back to us. On my list of things to check it does have "AC Filter"...is that the same filter? Rey

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I went back and sprayed the filter lightly with anti bacterial "Oust" and all seems fine and dandy...yes, both, fine AND dandy. I hope no one else has experienced what skyfish 400h did. Happy driving, Rey in dirty L.A.....but with a very clean filter...

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If you have more than 10K on your RX and you have not looked at your cabin air filter yet... do it now.

Mine is at 30K and so the manual says to replace it. I waved off the dealer since this is an easy thing for anyone to tackle. I picked up my $21 NAPA filter and pulled out the old one, right there at the parts store...

There are no words to discribe it.

Just trust me, if you haven't doen it yet, at least take it out and shake the leaves off of it, but if its black then you will need to replace it, vacuuming will not help.

Here is how to access the filter:

The OEM filter has charcoal imbeded in it which makes it black, Lexus replacements are therefore more expensive as the aftermarket filters lack this.

You can vacuum and wash the filter, since it is plastic and reuse, however I don't know if the charcoal will still be active.

You can check this info if you like. I replaced with a toyota filter, Non charcoal and will replace with the washed filter next time!

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larrytrk, my filter is very clean white. Do you think Lexus replaced it with a non charcoal filter? I've had my 400h for two years/21K miles so for it to be this clean I figured that it had been replaced especially after reading this post from skyfish400h I thought it was going to be frightening when I went to pull my filter out...but as I said, it was and is very white. Rey

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larrytrk, my filter is very clean white. Do you think Lexus replaced it with a non charcoal filter? I've had my 400h for two years/21K miles so for it to be this clean I figured that it had been replaced especially after reading this post from skyfish400h I thought it was going to be frightening when I went to pull my filter out...but as I said, it was and is very white. Rey

? Check with parts dept., see what filters they use. Check receipt for part number of filter and ask.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CHARCOAL-AC...2QQcmdZViewItem

I think this may be optional, according to dealer?

A search reveals both types of filters being offered, mine happened to be charcoal as OEM.

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larrytrk, my filter is very clean white. Do you think Lexus replaced it with a non charcoal filter? I've had my 400h for two years/21K miles so for it to be this clean I figured that it had been replaced especially after reading this post from skyfish400h I thought it was going to be frightening when I went to pull my filter out...but as I said, it was and is very white. Rey

? Check with parts dept., see what filters they use. Check receipt for part number of filter and ask.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CHARCOAL-AC...2QQcmdZViewItem

I think this may be optional, according to dealer?

A search reveals both types of filters being offered, mine happened to be charcoal as OEM.

I find it best to clean the cabin filter everytime I change the oil (2-3 times a year), Regular maintenance. :cheers:

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Wow ! Where's everybody been? :lol: I thought everyone knew about the importance of the filter change just by reading about the 'stinky' filter issue, written about here, and under several other model Lexus'. Anywho, you can actually do better than $20. There are several on line Toyota dealerships that'll sell 'em as low as $11.95 ... with $3 shipping. It's the same filter as the one for the hyhi. Buy a few at a time for that price, and they'll usually go even cheeper on the shipping in multiples ... plus, that way you can change 'em out ever 6K miles, if you live in super dusty areas.

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larrytrk, my filter is very clean white. Do you think Lexus replaced it with a non charcoal filter? I've had my 400h for two years/21K miles so for it to be this clean I figured that it had been replaced especially after reading this post from skyfish400h I thought it was going to be frightening when I went to pull my filter out...but as I said, it was and is very white. Rey

? Check with parts dept., see what filters they use. Check receipt for part number of filter and ask.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CHARCOAL-AC...2QQcmdZViewItem

I think this may be optional, according to dealer?

A search reveals both types of filters being offered, mine happened to be charcoal as OEM.

I find it best to clean the cabin filter everytime I change the oil (2-3 times a year), Regular maintenance.:cheers:

Thanks, I just went on that site and bought one. Rey

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I wanted to thank the OP for taking the time to describe this fix.

Our filter was absolute garbage, almost totally black. Our 2007 400H has around 7k on it. Worse, the factory filter was apparently not impregnated with charcoal. The replacement is, and the difference is nice. It is not a huge difference, but it clearly scrubs the air a little more especially with diesel fumes, etc.

We don't live in a particularly dusty area, or so I thought. Apparently the filter was doing its job to a high degree as it was far from white!

Thank you again.

regards,

chmod

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