Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

Toyota dust and pollen filter

Toyota Corolla 2005. (12 months since purchase)

5500KM

Service guy says dust and pollen filter should be replaced. $50 CDN. Discuss.
Permalink AC 
January 6th, 2006
Look at your service manual?
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 6th, 2006
It is supposed to be replaced at 12 months, according to the service manual. But it seems odd to me that the mileage wouldn't be the deciding factor. Is the filter really sucking all that much air when it's just sitting in the garage? I feel like I'm being kinda ripped off, but maybe I'm not...
Permalink AC 
January 6th, 2006
HEPA filters clog up real good real fast. He's probably not shitting you.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 6th, 2006
Similarly, neither mileage or time determine whether you're driving in heavily polluted areas, on a lot of dirt roads or pollen rich farmlands, and so on. They just picked something arbitrary.

If it's accessible, and presuming it doesn't impact your warranty (which I doubt an interior filter would), just change it yourself.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 6th, 2006
Mileage is just a rough way of estimating things, it can't take into account how you drive your car. If you for instance drive in the desert or a dusty area alot, air filters will clog much quicker. If you take short 10 mile drives 20 times a day, or one 1,000 mile drive once a month, your oil will need to be changed much more often in the first scenario. So my guess is you probably can go til 10,000 if you want, but maybe whatever conditions you are putting the car under is trapping more pollen then usual. Just check for yourself and see, it should be easy enough to get to.
Permalink Phil 
January 6th, 2006
Thanks. I guess I'll let it slide this time, but learn to check myself for future. I drive pretty much only on weekends to go here and there, never too far. City driving in uber-clean Vancouver BC, lot's of rain so not so much dust or pollen except for a few weeks in the summer. I think I should have declined, but was in a hurry. Next time.
Permalink AC 
January 6th, 2006
DIY baby. Check at the auto parts store to see if they have the filter for $5.
Permalink Art Wilkins 
January 6th, 2006
My Honda has one, and I replace it every two years (NC is almost certainly dustier than BC). It collects a good amount of junk, but not enough to make me want to change it yearly.

(changing it is that 1 out of 10 maintenance items that's impossibly difficult -- it involves removing the glovebox and a steel crossmember)

The filter element is a dealer-only part, and is $30USD, so $50CDN is in the ballpark. But I bet the labor involved is much less on yours. :-)
Permalink example 
January 6th, 2006
In future, I think I'm going to continue to let them change the filter, but I’m only going to have it done every 2 years, unless I have reason to believe it may need to be replaced sooner. It's like my Brita water filter, I don't change that at the recommended interval either and I think the water I'm drinking is just fine.
Permalink AC 
January 6th, 2006
"The filter element is a dealer-only part, and is $30USD, so $50CDN is in the ballpark."

$30 US = $50 CDN? Your currency values are about two years old.

With the exploding Canadian petrol-dollar, $30 US currently equals $35 CDN.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 6th, 2006
AC,

"It's like my Brita water filter, I don't change that at the recommended interval either and I think the water I'm drinking is just fine."

One the biggest reason for replacing Brita water filters is because it starts to host bacteria and mold growths. If you fail to change it on schedule, you may actually end up with water that's biologically worse than the tap.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 6th, 2006
"One the biggest reason for replacing Brita water filters is because it starts to host bacteria and mold growths."

I'm sure the Toyota technician will say the same in a year when I try to tell him that I would like to wait another year before I replace my cabin air filter. It's a bit of fear mongering I'd say.
Permalink AC 
January 6th, 2006
> ... uber-clean Vancouver BC ...

<hand up>
I call Bull Shit!
</hand down>
Permalink PNII 
January 6th, 2006
AC,

I don't there's much of a comparison between and air filter and drinking water. Wet a cloth and let it sit by your sink for two months.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 6th, 2006
just shove your schnoz into the ol' vacuum cleaner bag that's been fermenting for a month or two ... yummy!
Permalink PNII 
January 6th, 2006
Sure, if you vacuum up humid or wet items that would be the cast. A car filter will generally be dry though.

A brita filter is usually cycling between wet/dry, which is exactly the conditions that many organisms breed in. The chlorine in the source water helps, but it still can be a problem.

For that matter new Brita filters have an electrostatic anti-bad stuff guard, but it isn't absolute.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 6th, 2006
Why people want to cheap out on a $50 filter or oil change ... even a $200 (installed) timing belt on a $20k or $30k 2005 machine is beyond me. One of the $1k machine I drive, is understandable :)
Permalink PNII 
January 6th, 2006
>> Why people want to cheap out on a $50 filter or oil change ... even a $200 (installed) timing belt on a $20k or $30k 2005 machine is beyond me. <<

I agree with regards to oil changes, and especially the timing belt change (~$400 in this area) because the consequences are so drastic (expensive engine bits turn into modern art).

But in the case of a cabin air filter, whose purpose is to filter out smelly odors and pollen particles, the consequence of not changing it is reduced airflow -- not that big a deal.
Permalink example 
January 7th, 2006
Well, tossing it out completely is one thing but a clogged filter on the suction side of a fan overloads it somewhat and in turn draws more current ... burn out the motor, the wiring and/or set fire to the bloody thing??? Ahhh, yes I trust those fuses too - that's a good idea :) It's the seemingly simple things that'll get you. OTOH, you've still got the $50 to offset the new costs.
Permalink PNII 
January 7th, 2006
I just replaced the cabin filter on my Toyota Camry. The installation was simple. There is a open-limiting arm on the right side of the glove box. Remove the screw, and now you can open the glove box much farther than normal. Just behind the glove box is a tray with the filter in it. I used the $30 filter this first time. Next time I'm going to buy a $5 furnace filter and cut it to size. It is exactly the same material.
Permalink XYZZY 
January 9th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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