I decided I wanted to have a baseline so I'm making my 35k a pseudo 30k by replacing filters. The installed filter was a Purolator A45650 which actually looks a bit better quality than the Toyota filter. It has a few more pleats and a rubber gasket. I replaced it with the OEM Toyota/Lexus 17801-AD010 that has no rubber gasket. The directions I found online that helped me get out the old filter has you release the hinges on the back left corner which gives you more clearance. Getting them loose requires as much fiddling as getting the lid back on, especially the hinges set right.
So, I get everything back in line and clip the lid down. Everything looks straight, but now I can see white in the front left corner (looking down from in front) and white down the left seam from a low angle perspective. (see picture) Does this look right?
If it is right, couldn't that allow for air to come in there above the filter element? I'm figuring that the black gasket on the other filter kept me from noticing, but I want to be sure something isn't messed up, either by me or by having had that filter with a gasket installed.
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I've attached a picture from above in front where you see the white lip of the filter in the front left corner, which is what led me to peek at the left side. The previous picture is roughly from eye level with the left side lid seam.
I have looked everything over and everything is straight. The hinges are locked in. The three clipping points are resting on their counterpoints - the plastic upper is sitting on the plastic lower- so there's no further the lid can go. The clips engage with minimal effort.
The left side of the lid does not have an overhang like the other sides, which is why I think the lip is visible, but I wanted to get confirmation. I thought it weird that they would leave one edge/lip visible. If it's not supposed to be that way, I need to have it looked at (and will this week) to ensure the box wasn't damaged by the previously installed aftermarket filter or was flawed from the factory.