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Toyota Highlander Cabin Air Filter Replacement Guide
How to clean or change the A/C system's cabin air filter element in a 2nd generation 2008-2013 Toyota Highlander.

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2013 Highlander Glove Box
Open Glove Box
Damper Arm - Right Side
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) Toyota Highlander in cleaning or changing the HVAC system's cabin air filter element.

Owners of other Toyota or Scion vehicles such as the Tacoma, Corolla, Yaris, Prius, Camry, RAV4, Tundra, Sienna, FJ Cruiser, Venza, Avalon, 4Runner, Sequoia, xB, xD, tC, iQ and FR-S may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement filters with their part numbers are as follows: Fram CF10285, K&N VF2000, TYC 800025P, Mann MC 1052, Purolator C35667,  Denso 453-1019, Premium Guard PC5667, Mahle LA 395, Pentius PHB5667, Bosch P3502WS, ACDelco CF173 and Beck Arnley 042-2082.

No tools are needed to access the OEM cabin air filter.

A wet/dry shop vacuum can be useful for cleaning and re-using the existing filter.

Pop Off Plastic Damper Arm
Damper Arm Released
Pull In Side Walls
The first few steps are to sit in the front passenger seat, open the glove box and empty out the contents.

Then move to the right outer side wall of the glove box and locate the black plastic damper arm.

Gently pop the damper arm off the two pronged mounting peg.

Release Side Stops
Lower Glove Box
Plastic Hinge Separated
Firmly push in the two side walls of the glove box towards each other until the plastic side stops can be removed.

Lower the glove box down to the passenger floor mat.

The plastic hinges may come apart when you lower the glove box. They can be easily re-attached later on.

Grey Plastic Access Cover
Pull Open Bottom of Cover
Access Cover Opened
Once the glove box is out of the way, you'll see the outer light grey hinged access panel.

Pull the bottom of the panel towards yourself to release the two retaining clips and then swing it open.

Push In Side Retaining Clip
Push In Right Side Clip
Pull Off Filter Access Cover
Push in the retaining clips on the left and right sides of the black plastic filter access cover to release them.

Set the filter cover aside in a safe place.

Old Filter Exposed In Slot
Slide Out Old Filter
Inspect Both Sides
Slide the old cabin air filter straight out of the slot.

Inspect both sides of the old filter.

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

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

I recommend buying the Fram CF10285 "Fresh Breeze" 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 odors.


Clean With Vacuum
Blower Motor Housing
"Up" Orientation Arrow
Check the new filter for an "Up" or "Air Flow" arrow that shows how it should be installed in to the blower motor housing.
Slide In New Cabin Filter
New Filter Installed In Slot
"Up" Arrow - Filter Cover
Slide the new cabin air filter straight in to the slow with the "Up" arrow pointing towards the windshield.

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

Push On Filter Access Cover
Snap In Retaining Clips
Close Outer Access Panel
Line up the rectangular black plastic filter cover with the "Up" arrow pointing in the correct direction.

Push on the filter cover until the two retaining clips click securely in to place.

Swing the grey plastic outer access cover closed and push on the bottom edge to secure the two retaining clips.

Re-Attach Plastic Hinges
Raise Glove Box
Line Up Damper Arm
Line up the plastic hinges on the bottom of the glove box with the mounting bars on the dashboard and push them together.

Raise the glove box towards the dashboard.

Firmly push together the two side walls until the black plastic side stoppers can be re-inserted behind the dash.

Push Damper Arm On Peg
Damper Arm Re-Attached
Close Glove Box - Job Done
Pop the damper arm on to it's two pronged mounting peg on the right side of the glove box.

Replace the contents of the glove box and close it to complete the procedure. Enjoy the fresh clean air!

For more, check out my other Toyota Highlander DIY Repair 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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