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Toyota Prius Cabin Air Filter

Spotting and Fixing Toyota Prius Cabin Air Filter Issues

Your Toyota Prius cabin air filter directly affects your driving experience. Sure, it may not affect your engine's driving capabilities, nor does it affect your car's fuel efficiency, but the cabin air filter is important nonetheless. This modern car feature, filters the air that comes out of the vents inside the vehicle. Without them, you'll be subjected to allergens such as dust particles, pollens and pollutants. This will ruin your travelling experience, and make a 30-minute drive in the city seem like an eternity in hell. Here are some cabin air filter issues, which you can take as signs, to either buy a replacement or open your windows.

Hot temperature

With a clogged the cabin air filter, the air flow is reduced and makes the air conditioner in efficient. This will result to hot temperature inside the vehicle. Depending on the weather outside, this can mean a minor discomfort, or your car turning into a sweat box. When the air inside the car is too hot, the a/c will not be able to cool down the entire vehicle and will make the passengers at the back suffer.

Smokey air

When the cabin air filter is bad, you will notice that the smog outside gets inside your vehicle. This is because the air is not being filtered anymore. This means that pollutants, allergens and dust can now freely get inside your car. You have no option but to open the windows of your vehicle and drive a bit faster so that you don't end up choking in smoke.

Weaker engine performance

With a bad cabin air filter, the engine's power will try to compensate and focus its power on the a/c functionality leaving the rest of the vehicle's function to suffer. This will result to the engine burning more fuel faster yet with a reduced horsepower.

Dirty cabin air filter

Cabin air filters are made of paper or cotton. It's been said that a month old filter is more effective than a brand new one since early dust settlements serves as a second layer of filter. However, an extremely dirty cabin air filter will clog the air flow, and result in a stuffy and dusty car interior. So it is best to know how to tell the difference. If you smell something funky then it may mean that your cabin air filters have mold and mildew already. This means more serious problems to the lungs like hay fever and infections.

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  • Toyota Prius Cabin Air Filter Maintenance 27 February 2013

    Toyota Prius is considered to be among the cleanest vehicles in the US by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board. However, your responsibility to the environment shouldn't be limited to purchasing and driving this vehicle; it should also apply to keeping your car's components at their best. Your Toyota Prius cabin air filter keeps the air you breathe inside as clean or even cleaner than the air that comes out of your exhaust pipe. Made of paper or cotton, the cabin air filter should be well-maintained, so it stays effective as an air purifier. Here are some tips on how to prolong your cabin air filter's life and know when to replace it.


    Check its conditions


    It's a generally known fact that the cabin air filter works better when it has a thin layer of dust on it. This is because the thin layer of dust acts as a second layer of filter and prevents smaller particles of debris from getting into the vents. However, there is a huge difference between a dusty cabin air filter and a clogged one. Make it a habit to check your cabin air filter before, and after a long travel, especially if you're expecting to pass by a dusty or sandy road.


    Wash it


    You should always wash and clean your cotton cabin air filters. You can do this by hand washing it with mild soap, and running it under warm water. Make sure you visually inspect each flap, and remove dust and debris that could turn into grime later on. To avoid mold and mildew from forming, allow the cabin air filter to dry completely before re-installing it. You can also try vacuuming or spraying it with a filter cleaner. When using a filter cleaner, make sure to not let the filter cleaner dry on the filter or you will end up with a damaged filter.


    Protect it


    When you're done washing and drying the cabin air filter, you can use filter oil to protect it. Spray filter oil on all the pages or pleats and let it sit for 20 minutes. Check the color of the filter to see the spots that you missed, and cover these spots with filter oil as well.


    Paper filters


    Some filters are made of paper. Unfortunately, paper cabin air filters cannot be washed, they can only be replaced. The only way you can clean them is by lightly tapping and shaking the dust off of them. If the paper filters still looks dingy then it's time to replace them.


    When to replace


    There is no set time to replace cabin air filters since its service life is defined by the amount of crud it accumulates. However, it is generally recommended to replace the cabin air filters according to the car's oil change schedule. This means it is advisable to replace your cabin filters every year or every 15,000 miles, whichever comes first.