Cheap Yaris cabin filter

Cheap-Yaris-Cabin-Air-Filter (8)

[Jake] never ceases to amaze with his inventions, from his Powered respirator to his Steampunk LCD and more. Today he proves that not every hack has to be an amazing one requiring hundreds of hours, tons of soldering, and an Arduino. Instead, he was tired of being charged $50 for a $5 cabin air filter. With a quick squeeze he had access to the filter bay. It was only a matter of finding a similar filter at a home improvement store and then using a scrap wood jig, he could cut and glue his own filter. It’s stuff like this that tends to make us think, what else are we getting ripped off on?

22 thoughts on “Cheap Yaris cabin filter

  1. @ch0psh0p, if it takes 1 hours, and around $5 to make 2 filters, and dyou can buy two filters from the site you listed at $16 each, that comes out to $32, he is still saving $27,
    I don’t know about you, but at saving $27 an hour, it would be well worth my time.

    Granted, if you could find the right filter for around 5-10 dollars on an aftermarket site, the cost benefit wouldn’t be as attractive.

    To the OP, that’s a great hack. Too many people equate hacking with computers and electronics these days that the rarely stop to appreciate the ingenuity and pure determination that it takes to pull something like this off. Good Job!

  2. I take issue with the phrase “wasting an hour,” I rather enjoyed that hour, thank you very much. ;-)

    Anyway, the next step is to invest $20 in a washable furnace filter and make a permanent replacement.

  3. Unless you live in a smog cloud you don’t need a cabin filter in your car just take it out and break the tab off to sense there is a filter.

  4. Indeed great hack! I went to get an oil change for my girlfriend and they talked me into one saying “Don’t you love your Girlfriend?”. I only got one because when we turn her car on you sometimes get a musty smell. That oil change ended up costing me about $80 or $90!

    I have an 09 Corolla. I am told cabin filters should last about 30,000 for my car.

    There really is a lot in this world we get ripped off on. In the early 90′s when I was in high school I stole a calculator. They tried to charge my Mom $30 for it when you can buy them in the store for $5.99 or so. Nowadays you can get that same piece of crap at a dollar store.

    .. and our tax dollars pay for some of this?

  5. bro, if you ever drive anywhere dusty you might want to keep the filter. I spent a weekend at a rally driving around on unbelievably dusty roads and I never got all the dust out of my car’s HVAC system. Every time I started the car I’d get a new puff of dust.

  6. I wouldn’t leave the cabin air filter out. It protects debris from collecting on the evaperative coil for the A/C. My wifes bought a used Kia Spectra, and the cabin air filter was missing and the coil was covered in debris to the point where the A/C didn’t seem to be working.

  7. Good hack. But as others have said you can buy aftermarket filters for ca. $5-10 a piece. I paid ca. $18 for two (including s&h) for my RAV4 from some online merchant. Do a simple google search. It is not worth spending 1 hour for this savings (but the hack factor is still good!).

  8. @Jake von Slatt

    Thanks for the awesome tip. There are no aftermarket filters for my car (damn limited production vehicles) and I was NOT looking forward to an overpriced filter.

    Reason I change mine? I smoke.

    @yuppicide
    The musty smell you’re getting in your car is from the condensor in the car. My car does the same. There are sprays you can get to minimize this.

  9. In-faucet water filters are a ripoff. My cousin spends nearly $80 a month on tiny proprietary water filter cartridges, while I spend $5 every couple months for a standardized whole house filter.

  10. saving any amount of money in today’s economy is great, awesome for posting this one. i am constantly thinking of small diy/hacks to save myself money in the long run.

  11. LOL! My Girlfriend co-signed my car loan. I wanted the cheapest Toyota possible. She refused to sign for a Yaris because she didn’t like the name.

    Good to know there’s aftermarkets out there. I think my Toyota can be accessed from the glove compartment or something.

    @JD: Thanks. Good to know it’s not something wrong with the car.

  12. I do appriciate people who drive hybrids and compact cars such as the (LOL) Yaris.. I drive a 66′ GTO with a 428ci engine that never has to get smoged and gets 12 miles the gallon. What does have to do with a cheep air filter? When ever I smash on the gas pedal, the tires spin and smokes the tires until I let off.. clogging your cheaply made cabin air filter. NOT to mention it has the carbon footprint of 7 Prius cars!!! haha! love choking the trees!!!

  13. The whole “$10 part cost” vs “$50 replacement cost” is an interesting meta-issue. Though I guess that’s one of the things we give up when we just take our cars in for their “regular service.” Sigh.

    Is the original filter black because it’s dirty, or is it one of those filters than includes activated charcoal for odor mitigation?

  14. It’s actually a good idea. I am a mechanic and have seen this before but not as well done, guy just cut it to size and left the cardboard around two of the edges.. Most of the $50 dollar cost comes from the labor though, filter is usually sub $20.

  15. Ive been curious about that, but I doubt mine has been changed since the yarris was released…
    lol @ logan: you cant choke trees with carbon, only as much as you can choke a cow with grass.

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