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Toyota Cabin Air Filters: What are They and Why are They Important?

Jun 17, 2019

Fresh, clean air is important for safe driving, and there’s an often-overlooked part inside your Toyota that is critical to easy breathing and windows that clear of frost or fog easily.

It’s your cabin air filter.

Toyota technician installing cabin air filter


What is it?

A Toyota genuine cabin air filter is a premium product that helps keep contaminants such as dust, dirt, pollen and other debris from entering your vehicle’s passenger cabin. It’s made of high-quality fibres and there are two types, each incorporating advanced technology: an electrostatic filter that holds an electrostatic charge to trap contaminants, and a premium charcoal filter, which incorporates an extra layer of activated carbon that can help remove odours from incoming air.

It’s usually located behind the glove box and is typically accessed by getting the glove box out of the way. Your owner’s manual will show you the correct procedure, but inspection is also something your Toyota certified technician should perform during regularly scheduled service appointments.

In addition to keeping the air inside your vehicle clean, keeping out dust helps keep your vehicle’s interior clean.

It’s a relatively recent addition to automotive equipment, so it’s entirely possible your Toyota vehicle is the first of your vehicles to have one. That also means it’s an item that’s easily overlooked for regular maintenance.


Toyota Cabin Air Filter


Why is maintenance important?

Your Toyota genuine cabin air filter has been designed to improve the air you breathe and keep your heating and ventilation system working at peak efficiency. Over time, your cabin air filter will become extremely dirty, which will slow down the airflow through your vehicle’s heating and ventilation system.

Good airflow is critical for quickly defrosting or defogging windows, an important safety consideration. As well, extra time spent running the engine, waiting for the windows to clear, is wasted fuel.

When your filter gets really clogged, that reduced airflow can also impact the long-term reliability of heating and ventilation components that rely on airflow for cooling, such as the components that regulate fan speed and the fan motor itself.


Toyota technician installing Cabin Air Filter


How do I know I should change it?

Regular inspection, every six months or 8,000 kilometres, will indicate when it’s time to change your filter. If you drive regularly in heavy traffic, or in dusty environments or on gravel roads, your filter should be checked more often.

When it looks a dusty grey and appears clogged with dirt, dust or other debris, it’s due for a replacement. Your Toyota certified technician is the best source of advice.

If you notice your windows don’t clear as quickly as they once did, or if you notice a musty or mouldy odour in your vehicle, check the cabin air filter first. It’s the most likely and least expensive fix.

Cabin air filters aren’t expensive to replace, but what they help provide — clean, fresh air — is priceless. So, make sure your filter is checked regularly, and only use Toyota genuine cabin air filters for optimum performance.