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Toyota RAV4 Cabin Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to clean or replace the HVAC cabin air filter element in a third generation 2006 to 2012 Toyota RAV4 SUV.

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Upper & Lower Glove Boxes
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Open Lower Glove Box
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Damper Arm On Right

This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012) Toyota RAV4 in cleaning or replacing the A/C system's passenger cabin air filter element.

Owners of other Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles such as the Corolla, Camry, Matrix, Yaris, Tacoma, Prius, Tundra, Sienna, FJ Cruiser, Venza, Highlander, Avalon, 4Runner, Land Cruiser, IS 250, ES 350, GS 350, RX 350, FR-S, iQ, tC, xB, and xD may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible aftermarket cabin air filters with their part numbers are as follows: Purolator C35667, ACDelco CF173, Fram CF10285, OEM CAF146C, Pentius PHB5667, Mann MC1052, TYC 800025P, K&N VF2000 and Valvoline VCA-1031.

No tools are needed to access the cabin air filter. A vacuum can be useful for cleaning and re-using the existing element.

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Pop Off Damper Arm
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Pull Sides Inward
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Release Box Side Stops
The first two steps are to sit in the front passenger seat of the vehicle and open the lower glove box.

Then remove the contents of the glove box.

Next move to the right side of the lower glove box and locate the black plastic damper arm.

Gently pull the damper arm off its plastic mounting peg.

Firmly push the two side walls of the glove box towards each other to release the black plastic side stops.

Lower the glove box down to the floor mat.

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Lower Glove Box
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Filter Cover & Blower Motor
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Press Release Tab On Right
Behind the glove box, you'll see the black plastic blower motor housing and the rectangular cabin air filter cover.

Press the release tab on the right side of the filter cover, swing it open towards yourself, and pull the tab on the left side out of its slot.



 

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Swing Filter Cover Open
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Old White Cabin Filter
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Slide Filter Straight Out
Slide the old white cabin air filter element straight out of its slot.

If the old filter has an "Air Flow" indicator arrow, it should be pointing down.

The OEM filter on this 2012 RAV4 had the word "UP" printed on it with an arrow pointing upwards.

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Vacuum Old Filter Clean
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Filter Housing & A/C Blower
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Air Flow Arrow Pointing Up
If your old filter looks relatively white, tap out the large debris and clean it with a vacuum before re-installing it.

If your old filter is dark grey or black and clogged with dirt, dust, hair, insects, leaves and other debris, it should be replaced with a new element.

I recommend buying the Fram CF10285 "Fresh Breeze" cabin air filter since it has excellent reviews on Amazon. I also like how it has Arm & Hammer baking soda and carbon in it to help absorb musty or moldy odors.

Slide the cleaned or new cabin air filter straight in to the slot in the blower motor housing with the "UP" arrow pointing in the correct direction.

If the new filter has an "Air Flow" indicator arrow, the arrow should be pointing down towards the floor mat.

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Filter Cover "Up" Arrow
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Insert Tab In Slot On Left
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Push Right Side Closed
Line up the rectangular cover over the filter housing with the "UP" arrow pointing in the correct direction.

First insert the tab on the left side of the filter cover in its slot.

Then swing the cover closed and push on the right side until the fastener clip snaps in to place.

Double check that the filter cover is secure.

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Re-Insert Left & Right Stops
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Pop On Damper Arm
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Close Lower Glove Box
Raise the glove box and firmly push inwards on the side walls to re-insert the black plastic side stopper pegs.

Pop the damper arm on the outer right side wall of the glove box back on to its mounting peg. Close the lower glove box to complete the job.

For more, check out my other Toyota RAV4 Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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