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Toyota Tacoma Engine Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to change the 2GR-FKS 3.5L V6 engine's air filter element in a 3rd generation 2016 to 2021 Toyota Tacoma.

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2020 Tacoma 3.5L V6
Engine Air Filter Housing
Front Left Latch
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and probably also the 2022 and 2023 model years) Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with the 2GR-FKS 3.5 liter DOHC V6 in cleaning or changing the engine air filter element. (The procedure should be the same or very similar for the 2TR-FE 2.7L I4 engine.)

Owners of other Toyota or Lexus vehicles such as the Tundra, 4Runner, Hilux, Highlander, C-HR, Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Supra, Land Cruiser, Prius, RAV4, Mirai, Sequoia, Sienna, Yaris, CT 200h, ES 300h, RX 350, GX 460, LX 570, NX 300, RX 450h, UX 200 and UX 250h may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement air filters for the 2GR-FKS 3.5L V6 engine with their part numbers include the following: Spearhead MT-895, EcoGard XA10242, K&N 33-5017, Premium Guard PA8172, Wix WA10085 and Fram CA11895.

No tools are required to access and replace the filter.

The first two steps are to open the hood and move to the left (passenger) side of the engine bay.

The square shaped black plastic engine air filter housing is located just behind the coolant overflow bottle.

Locate the two silver metal latches on the left side of the air box at the front and rear corners.


Flip Down To Release
Release Rear Left Latch
Lift Up Air Box Cover
Flip down the latch at the front left corner of the air box.

Then flip down the latch at the rear left corner of the air box.

Carefully lift the cover off the air box to reveal the old filter.

Old Air Filter Exposed
Pull Out Old Filter
Old Filter Removed
Pull the old air filter straight out of the bottom half of the housing.

Inspect both sides of the old air filter.

If the old filter is dark gray or black and clogged up with dirt, sand, dust, hair, insects, leaves, pollen, soot and other debris, it should be replaced a new element.

I recommend buying the Spearhead MT-895 engine air filter element since it has excellent reviews on Amazon from other Tacoma owners.

If the old filter looks relatively clean, just tap out the large debris and remove any fine dust with a vacuum cleaner.

Inspect Both Sides
Clean With Vacuum
Clean Out Bottom Half
If your wet/dry shop vacuum has a crevice attachment, clean out any sand or debris in the bottom half of the air box assembly.
Install New Air Filter
Line Up Two Tabs
Slide Tabs Into Slots
Orientate the new filter with the pleats facing down and the metal mesh screen facing up towards you.

Lower the new air filter down into the bottom half of the air box.

Make sure the new filter is fully seated.

Line up the two plastic tabs on the cover with the slots on the lower half of the air box.

Slide the two tabs into their corresponding slots and lower the left side of the cover down into place.

Flip Up Metal Latches
Snap Fastener In Place
Engine Filter Replaced!
Swing up the two metal latches and snap them into place over the air box cover.

Double check that the air box is securely re-assembled with the two halves flush together.

There should be no parts of the rubber gasket on the new filter visible at the edges.

Be sure to write down the filter change in your vehicle's service records.

The service interval specification for the engine air filter in the owner's manual is to change it every 30,000 miles or at least every 36 months.

Please check out all of the 2016-2021 Toyota Tacoma DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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