How to Change the Cabin Air Filter in a Toyota

Many recent Toyota cars have an air filter for the air that comes into the cabin. It reduces dust and debris entering through the ventilation. It should be changed about every 10,000 miles (16,000 km) or according to the manual. This is a simple part to replace yourself, so there is no need to hire somebody. (Click any photo to enlarge it.)


  1. Image titled The new filter.
    Obtain the replacement filter. You can buy one at your nearest dealership or you can shop around at an auto parts store or online.
  2. Image titled Remove this screw (viewed from the passenger's door).
    Open the glove compartment all the way and remove the screw on the lower right side. Pull the loop from the arm over and off the cylinder where the screw was. Don't lose the screw.
    • On a Highlander, you may be able to remove the loop without removing the screw, which is below and behind the glove compartment; leave the glove compartment closed while removing the loop, then open it.
      Image titled Highlander Glovebox Screw
  3. Image titled Squeeze inwards to move these tabs to the front of the dash.
    Squeeze the sides of the glove compartment together and pull to move the tabs past the edges, to the front of the dash. Then lift the entire glove compartment off its hinges.
    • Note that when it is too hard to push, instead of pushing both sides, you might want to try to push against the back of the glove box, while pulling on the front. This works, when squeezing the sides does not.
  4. Image titled There are tabs on both sides. Just one is shown.
    Remove the plastic cover by squeezing the tabs together. There are tabs on both sides, but the photo just shows one.
  5. Image titled Slide the old filter out like a drawer.
    Slide out the old filter by pulling it towards you. Keep it facing up so that you don't spill the debris.
  6. Image titled Slide the new filter in, in the direction shown.
    Insert the new filter. The arrow that says UP should be pointing up, facing you, as shown in the photo.
  7. Image titled Replace the cover.
    Snap the cover back into place.
  8. Image titled Make sure the glove compartment rests on its hinges.
    Place the glove compartment container back on its hinges and push it in so the tabs snap back behind the dash. You may have to squeeze the sides again, as you did when you took the glove compartment out.
  9. Image titled Reattach the arm.
    Replace the loop and the screw on the lower right.


  • In the 2009 Camry, there is no side arm screw, just squeeze the tips on the post to release.
  • It a GOOD idea to leave the car ventilation in recirculate mode whenever you park since it seems that mice like to find their way into your car and make a nest on top of the filter. Recirculate mode closes the outside air entrance to the filter.
  • If you suffer from allergies or live in a very dusty environment, you may wish to replace this filter more often.
  • The 2009 Camry owner's manual instructs to release side tabs by pushing against the back of the glove box, while pulling on the front. This worked, when squeezing the sides did not.
  • In between replacements, you could shake or vacuum the larger debris out of the filter, but it's not really designed to be reused indefinitely.
  • '06 Highlander hybrid glove box's sides push inward and the box drops down far enough to get a hand in to the back to change the filter. The cap just pulls off. There are no tabs.
  • This would be a great time to clean out your glove compartment, too.
  • The 2011 Sienna owner's manual instructs to release side tabs by gently squeeze both sides, but it doesn't work since it is too hard to push. Instead, you might try to push against the back of the glove box, while pulling on the front. This worked for my car, when squeezing the sides did not. Good luck!
  • On the '05 Prius hybrid, instead of a screw in the lower right of the glove box, there is a push-in clip. Just squeeze in the sides of the clip enough to slide the loop off. Pliers work well to squeeze this clip.
  • Besides waiting for a particular mileage, consider waiting until trees near where you park are done dropping pollen, leaves, or needles for the season.


  • Don't squeeze so hard on any of the plastic tabs that they break. They're reasonably sturdy, and you shouldn't need to overdo it.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement air filter
  • Phillips head screwdriver

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