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Cabin Filter by Bulldog:

Tired of paying $16 to $25 for a new cabin filter for your Toyota. Well here is a quick inexpensive mod.

I was rather disappointed with the performance of the Toyota cabin filter on my 4th Gen 4Runner, after driving a BMW the filter on the Toyota felt like it only blocked leaves. As I go offroad quite a bit and most of the roads are dusty, I found that a lot of dust actually passed through the stock filter. The stock filter also didn’t last more than 5000 miles. So after hearing some Lexus owners actually use house A/C filters I decided to give it a try.

I use these 3M filters in my house and have been very impressed by their performance. They are about $16 at Home Depot for a 20”x30”. Which allows you to cut about 4 replacement cabin filters out of one. See stock filter on big 3M filter.

So first things first. To get to your cabin filter you first need to open the “glovebox” wide. Remove the screw, circled in blue and slide the little arm off. Now there are two “hooks” circle in red that holds the “glovebox” door in place. Push the side of the glovebox door in till you can slide the hooks out. This will open the glovebox wide. Now the filter unit is exposed, it is white. To remove it, unclip the two clips circled in blue holding it and slide it out. You can now remove the old cabin filter from the holder and cut a new unit with normal scissors from the big 3M filter.

Once you have cut the new filter to exactly the same size as the old, place it back in the filter holder and make sure the wire mess is clipped under the little white hooks of the holder. Once you are done, slip it back in place, make sure the clips are in. Put the glovebox back together again and you are done.

I have no doubt the new filter element is far superior to the stock cabin filter. Once you see them in real life next to each other you will understand. It is very difficult to spot the difference in the picture below. Will have to see if there are any side leakage issues around the edges. So far there is no difference in air flow and I will have to go test it on a dusty road. I am very confident it will outperform the stock filter by miles and it is a lot cheaper.


Quick update. I have tested them and they perform far superior to the stock cabin filter in dusty conditions. I still have a bit of dust that seem to “leak” through on the sides, but it is far better than what I had before. I will try to see if I can use electrical tape to seal the edges to stop some of the “leaks”.

Another update: I have no used electrical tape to seal the edges of the filter and the results are great. I have gone through Death Valley and Pismo with lots of dust and sand. The only dust that came in was through the windows. There is still a little dust smell in the ventilation system due to poor performance of previous filters. I hope this gets out of the system soon.