Thursday, April 13, 2017

2012 Toyota Prius Engine Air Filter & Cabin Filter Replacement

We have a 2012 Toyota Prius with 91,000 miles as of the writing of this blog post.  We are pretty consistent with getting its regular maintenance.

Oil changes every 5,000 miles and tire rotations every 10,000 miles.

This is not a car maintenance website so check you vehicles owners manual for your specific scheduled intervals.

We have always taken our vehicle back to the dealership that we purchased it from for these services.  One of the reasons why we do that instead of me doing the oil changes myself is time and money.

It costs $55 for an oil change from out local dealership.  It's $70 if I want to take it to a local tire kingdom or some other similar business.  Weird how the dealership is cheaper.

If I purchased the oil, oil filter and gasket so that I could change my own oil it would cost me around $40.

I figure that $15 difference is time saved that I can use for woodworking.  We all have priorities in our lives...hehe.

HOWEVER, there are maintenence items that the dealership always hits me up for that I just can't justify having them do.

1.  Windshield wipers
2.  Engine Air Filter
3.  Cabin Air Filter

All three of these items fall under the simple and easy category and as we all know by now, simple and easy is what we do here...

DIY Engine Air Filter Replacement

This is the Engine Air Filter I bought as a replacement.  Seems to be about the same quality as the OEM filter.  This should fit all third generation Toyota Prius vehicles (2009 - 2015).

Obviously you should verify whether it will fit your vehicle before purchasing.

The filter sits centered in the engine compartment.  It's black and square and you can't miss it.  It's held in place by two metal clips pointed to by the red arrows below.

Flip those off and then turn your attention to the back of the filter cover where it says "Hybrid Synergy Drive".

Here you will find what I referred to as hinges in the video but they aren't really hinges they are clips.  You do not flip the top up and open it like the hood on the car.

You pull the cover down and toward you to pull the clips apart.  Then the top can be lifted off it's housing about 4 or 5 inches.  Enough to get the air filter out of it's compartment.

Refer to the video above for a full visual representation.

Cabin Air Filter

That's all their is to replacing the engine air filter.  Took me about one minute and I'm no expert.

The cabin air filter is just as simple.

First, we need to lower the bottom portion of the glove compartment box.  It is held on by a few plastic pieces.

The first one to be concerned with is a hydralic strut attached to the side of the box.  This is the piece that lets the box down gently when you press the button to open the compartment.

It just pops off without much force.

 Then there are two button knobs that ride in a track that are outside the view of the below camera shot.

Just push on the side of the box and that will release it from it's track.  A fair amount of force needed to be applied here as the sides seem to be fairly sturdy.  The pic below gives a better view of where that knob gets snapped into on the box.  Denoted by the red arrow.

The bottom of the compartment box is clipped onto a plastic frame piece that needs to be pulled apart.  Both pieces are denoted by yellow arrows.

The filter is just behind the glove box and has a white cover over it.  It's easy to remove by a clip on one side to reveal the filter behind it.

The one thing to be aware of here is which way the replacement filter get put back in.  My filter had a little arrow printed in one direction which notes which side should face up.

Final Thoughts

I used a Fram replacement filter and as soon as I took it out of its packaging I noticed it didn't have as many pleats as the OEM filter.

Filters with more pleats tend to filter more effectively and last longer than those with fewer pleats.

I haven't noticed a difference but get back to me in about 10,000 miles.  I may be singing a different tune.  Currently I have a link to the exact filter that I purchased but I reserve the right to change it in the future based on performance.

However, the engine air filter seemed to be exactly the same quality as the OEM part I replaced.  Both links here on this website at this time are to the exact items I purchased.

One I'm happy with but the other I'll have to wait and see.

Until then!

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