How to Change an Air Filter on Toyota Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

No matter what year your Toyota car is, replacing the engine's air filter is important to keep clean combustible air fed to the engine and to optimize fuel economy. The location of the engine air filter air box has changed a few times, but no matter what year your Toyota car is, replacing the air filter is relatively easy. Plus, you can avoid those labor charges incurred at service stations. There are no tools required.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change an Air Filter on a Toyota Rav4

Release the hood latch in your Rav4. Make sure the engine is off.

Open the hood and rest it on the prop rod.

Locate the air box. Refer to your owner's manual if you're not sure where it is or what it looks like. Some Rav4's have air boxes located near the center rear of the motor and have a vertical front door. But newer models may have horizontal boxes on the driver's side of the motor, just behind the battery. No matter where the box is located, there are one or two clips holding one side of the air box lid. Once you've released those, simply lift or open the door.

Remove the old air filter and discard.

Insert the new air filter in the same manner the old one was installed.

Close the air box lid and make sure the hinge(s) on the other side of the lid are properly inserted into the bottom of the air box. Refasten the clip(s).

Close the hood.

 How to Change the Air Filter on a Toyota Camry

Open the hood on your Camry and prop it.

Locate the air filter box in the engine compartment. It is black and square-shaped, and is located either directly to the left or right of the engine.

Unlatch the latches that hold the cover to the air box. The four latches around the perimeter of the air box must be removed by hand.

Remove the old air filter from the air box.

Install the new air filter into the air-box housing, and latch down the air-box cover.

Items you will need

  • New air filter

 How to Change an Air Filter on a Toyota Tacoma

Pop the hood latch. Lift and prop the hood.

Locate the air box. On most Toyota Tacomas, no matter what size engine, it is usually on the right front corner directly behind the right front headlight assembly. There are three or four different options for air boxes, but they are all very simple to open.

Unsnap the air box metal tab clips and lift air box cover. If the application is a slide-in air filter, you will have to pull the air filter forward from the top and then lift out.

Remove air filter and discard. Inspect the interior of the air box to make sure it is not full of debris. Sometimes in rural areas, it's not all that uncommon to discover a critter nest. Remove with caution and vacuum out air box with a shop vacuum if this is the case.

Put in the new filter and place into air box the same way the old one came out. Refasten the air box cover, and be sure it's aligned properly or the snap clips will not lock into place correctly.

Items you will need

  • Toyota replacement air filter or premium-quality aftermarket air filter

  • Shop vacuum (optional)

 How to Replace an Air Filter on a Toyota Avalon

Locate the air cleaner box under the hood. Make sure the engine is turned off.

Loosen the four 10 mm seated bolts from the air box cleaner cover (one on each corner) using the ratchet, extension and a socket. The bolts will not remove the air box cover, so you won't lose them or drop them into the engine compartment.

Lift the air box cleaner lid away from the base without removing it. There's enough flexibility on the air tube still attached to the cover to move it to one side and extract the old air filter. Remove the air filter from the air box.

Install the new air filter. On the rectangular 3.0 liter air filters, align the single square cut corner of the air filter (the other three corners are rounded) to the right front (facing the air box cleaner) corner of the air box.

Replace the cover and tighten the four seated screws.

Items you will need

  • Replacement air filter

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • 3/8-inch drive 10-inch long extension

  • 3/8-inch drive 10 mm socket

 How to Replace an Air Filter in a Toyota Highlander

Turn the Highlander off for the duration of the maintenance process to avoid possible injury from the engine backfiring.

Lift the hood of the Highlander. Locate the air filter housing unit on the driver's side of the car, it is in back corner closest to the windshield. Look for a black, plastic box that has an accordion-type hose attached to it that leads to the engine.

Open the lid on the air filter housing unit by loosening the clips that hold it in place. Lift the lid off of the unit.

Take out the old filter from the housing unit by lifting it out. Clean any remaining debris out of the air filter unit. Wipe the inner and outer surfaces of the housing unit with a damp cloth.

Place the new air filter in the housing unit. Use a K&N air filter, part number 33-2260, for a Toyota Highlander manufactured between 2001 and 2008. Locate older Toyota air filter online or at your local auto supply store.

Replace the lid on the housing unit box. Reattach the clips to secure the lid in place.

 How to Replace an Air Filter in a Toyota Corolla

Turn off the car before changing the air filter. Don't start the car once the air filter has been removed, it acts as a barrier were the car to backfire.

Locate the box that houses the air filter. Look in the front driver's side, back corner under the hood for a rectangular-shaped black box.

Undo the clips that keep the housing lid secure. Lift the lid and compress the accordion-type tubing towards the engine.

Remove the old filter from the housing unit. Clean any leaves or debris out of the box.

Replace the old filter with a new filter that is made for the specific make and model of your Toyota Corolla. Use a K&N filter, part number 33-2252, for a Corolla manufactured from 2002-2008. Find older Corolla air filter part numbers online or at your local auto supply store.

Pull the lid back over to the air filter housing unit, and snap it in place. Reattach the clips to secure the lid.