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DIY Cabin air filter replacement (RX350)

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Old 10-09-10, 03:05 PM   #1
prech
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Default DIY Cabin air filter replacement (RX350)

Having benefited time and time again from great advice offered up by other posters, thought I'd return the favor a bit by putting together a quick guide for replacing the cabin air filter for the second generation (2007 RX350 in my case). Pretty straight-forward process, please find as follows:

Necessary goodies:
  • Air filter -- I opted for the Fram FreshBreeze (model# CF10132). Not sure if the activated carbon does much, but it was conveniently available at Walmart, or online (e.g. rockauto.com). <$15
  • Pliers (optional) -- Ideally something with relatively wide jaws, I used a slip-joint.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Pop open the glove box and at the upper left and right hand outermost corners, there is a plastic pin. In reading some prior threads, these are usually very tight coming out of the factory, so I needed pliers to twist and loosen them. (To prevent damaging/scratching the pin with the jaws of the plier, the tabs can be insulated with a plastic bag.) The left pin was loosened in the counter-clockwise direction, whereas the right pin in the clockwise:
Click the image to open in full size.

It appears the pin didn't have to be completely pulled out, just loosened a touch. Then, some gentle tugging on the walls of the glove box downwards/outwards allowed for its release. Here's the full pin if one were to disassemble it completely:
Click the image to open in full size.

With the glove box released, the filter holder (white) is revealed. Push inwards on the left/right tabs to release the holder.
Click the image to open in full size.

The filter holder with dirty filter membrane:
Click the image to open in full size.

Empty filter holder ready for new filter:
Click the image to open in full size.

Now, place the replacement filter in the holder, noting the direction of air flow -- air flows from top to bottom:
Click the image to open in full size.

Snap the filter holder back in the chamber and twist-lock the glove box pins to complete the process.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-09-10, 03:58 PM   #2
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its great that the cabin filter on the RX and most of not all toyota/lexus models are easy to change. The one in my C requires much more work.
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Old 10-09-10, 05:05 PM   #3
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Excellent post!

Thanks
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Old 10-09-10, 05:44 PM   #4
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Wouldn't be great if we could actually buy "Cabin Air Filters" not made in China? 3M Filterete (USA) did at one time, but as best I can tell they don't anymore. In any event your post is informative and spot on.
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Old 10-09-10, 05:49 PM   #5
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excellent post -good job.
funny thing - I was looking at mine own a little while ago and it needs changing. Got go tomorrow and see if the auto parts store has one.
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Old 10-09-10, 06:24 PM   #6
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I recently replaced my cabin air filter with the Fram from Wallymart for $16. At 7 months old it was filthy. I'm glad I checked it. I'll have to recheck it after the leaves stop falling to see what it captures.
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Old 10-09-10, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitlz View Post
I recently replaced my cabin air filter with the Fram from Wallymart for $16. At 7 months old it was filthy. I'm glad I checked it. I'll have to recheck it after the leaves stop falling to see what it captures.
In retrospect, perhaps I should have replaced mine earlier than 30k! Didn't have too much in the way of leaves, the largest particulate was a dead bee
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Old 10-10-10, 06:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prech View Post
In retrospect, perhaps I should have replaced mine earlier than 30k! Didn't have too much in the way of leaves, the largest particulate was a dead bee
Eewww! No bugs, just leaf particles and probably lots of pollen for me. Then again I didn't check too thoroughly. Glad I didn't! It amazes me what can get inside, especially the taillights. What a collection I had in there.
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Old 10-11-10, 04:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vg1134 View Post
excellent post -good job.
funny thing - I was looking at mine own a little while ago and it needs changing. Got go tomorrow and see if the auto parts store has one.
just replace mine with one from NAPA auto store-$18.
I should have taken a picture of the one I took out. Leaves, bugs, pieces of debri and all the sand. I don't think it was ever replace. Now with the new one you can actually smell the difference. not that it smelled before-but you can now see and smell the difference-if that makes any sense. worth the $18
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Old 10-12-10, 11:02 AM   #10
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Does not hurt to check condition of the filter every 6 months at least.
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Old 10-16-10, 03:00 AM   #11
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Default Definitely do this DIY and save big $$$

Folks, DIY on this item is a no brainer. From what I understand, Denso actually is the OEM supplier to Toyota for this part. The Denso part number is 453-1011. About $16. (Note that the "Toyota" OEM part 87139-YZZ05 costs about $20 at Sewell if memory serves).) It literally took me two minutes, with no tools, to change out the filter by following the excellent tutorial above that started this thread. Total cost: $16. OEM part.

Bottom line: Do this yourself. Save yourself $ dollars. Save yourself an hour. Learn a thing or two in the process.

Last edited by somnoboy; 10-17-10 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 10-19-10, 04:25 PM   #12
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Great DIY Prech!

I will be purchasing the same filter tonight!

Thanks!
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Old 10-20-10, 10:03 AM   #13
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I bought half a dozen from cabin/ACC filters from ************ (both .ca and .com) and shipping was free if you spend $75.00. Service was amazing! I am in Vancouver and I ordered on-line at about 10:00 am. My package arrived the next day at 2:00 pm (about 30 hours).

These filters (Chinese-made) work fine. The original one picked up a lot of dust during a summer road trip and the car would smell musty in rainy weather.
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Old 10-20-10, 10:04 AM   #14
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I can't mention Auto()Parts()Way? Why not? Sewell's gets mentioned all the time.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:37 PM   #15
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Approximately how often do cabin filters need to be changed if the car is driven daily to and from work that is about 18 miles round trip?
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