Difficulty - Easy
Time - 5 minutes.
Tools - None
Normal Conditions: 14000 miles
Dusty conditions: 12 months or 9000 miles
UK Part No and price TBA by Lindop Brothers Toyota in subsequent post.
Additional information - Further diagrams can be found on page 276/279 of the Owners Handbook (LHD shown). Filter may not be fitted to models with manual air conditioning.
To improve the environment inside the car, a clean air filter is fitted to the heater intake. This is intended to remove dust and particles that would otherwise enter the car. The filter fitted to the RAV is a particulate filter which has been electrostatically charged to capture the finest particles that are also positive or negatively charged and attracted to the filter. New filters are snow white but soon become blackened by the volume of tiny particles trapped within them. The result as well as a fresher interior is cleaner interior and air vents etc. A filter that is becoming clogged will also starve the interior of fresh air and windows will quickly steam up so it is very important to replace the filter as at the correct interval or more frequently under dusty conditions. Replacement filters with an activated carbon core may become available which also remove odours that may occur for instance in heavy traffic.
The filter will soon become clogged with flies and leaves etc. The blackening is due to dust and pollen (even smaller than the pores in the filter) that have been attracted to the filter fibres. It is very easy to access this filter so I recommend that you remove and clean the filter at least every 12 months and if it looks clogged, replace it.
1. Working from the passenger side, empty the glove box and remove the damper from the left hand side;
2. Squeeze the stops at either side of the glove box to allow it to drop down;
3. Drop the glove box to just below level to expose the mounting hinges and pull the glove box back towards the seat in order to detach it. With the glove box removed the white plastic access cover is clearly visible on the heater case. Press the clip on the left side to remove the cover outwards;
4. Withdraw the filter from the heater intake;
5. It can be seen in this photo how much debris has been trapped in 10 months/7500 miles (Note, the cleaner filter in this photo has been fitted for about a month and is already beginning to discolour). As an interim measure it is acceptable to turn the filter upside down and tap out the large objects onto a hard surface and vacuum the fine particles from the dirty side only. Avoid breathing the dust. It is unwise to leave replacement beyond the recommended intervals and essential not to leave the filter out all together.
6. To refit a new filter place it into the heater intake with the "UP" arrow positioned accordingly. Replace the cover, glovebox and glovebox damper.