The following picture guide, walks you through the process of changing the engine air filter on your Toyota Corolla in 5-minutes or less!

Changing the engine air filter is a great way to gain back a little horsepower, and it is just a nice thing to do for your engine because it stops sand and grit from getting into your engine and causing premature wear.

What does the Engine Air Filter Do?

The air filter cleans the dust and dirt out of the air before the engine breaths it, but over time, it gets clogged with all that dirt. Changing out the filter allows your engine to breathe easier.

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Depending on the conditions you drive in, you should probably plan on changing your air filter every 6 months to 3 yrs. If you spend time driving on dirt roads, for example, you will probably want to change it more often. A great way to know if you should change your air filter is to just take a look at it. Does it look dirty and clogged? Go ahead and change it. I think a good practice is to check it every time you change oil. Air filters are cheap (less than $10), and will increase your engine’s lifetime.

This is a pretty easy maintenance step, so let’s get started! I’ve listed the appropriate part numbers, along with links. These are the part numbers for 2003-2020 Corollas.

Tools and Supplies Needed:

How to Change the Air Filter – Toyota Corolla

The first step is to pop the hood and locate the air filter housing.


It is the black box just aft of the battery.


There are 2 clips that hold the filter housing closed (on the right-hand side in the photo). Push these clips back with your fingers to unclip the housing.


The back of the housing is on a sort of plastic hinge, so once the front 2 clips are released, you can lift up the filter housing like so.


In my case, the filter stuck to the top part of the housing (the part I am lifting), but often it will remain in the lower part.

Pull out the old filter and inspect it. If it looks clean, it probably does not need to be replaced, unless it has been a really long time since being replaced.

Also, there will probably be some sand and other refuse in the bottom of the filter housing. Vacuum or wipe that out. You don’t want that blowing around in there, wearing out your new filter!

Here is a photo of the old filter next to the new filter. Notice the gray buildup of dust, as well as the large ‘dust bunny’ stuck to the old one. It was time for a change.


Put the new filter into to the housing.

All of the corners are rounded, except for one, which is more pointy than the others. Look at the housing, and line that up (lower right corner, in the picture below). Also, put the baffled parts (the parts of the filter that stick out more) down, like shown in the picture.


Now you can put the filter housing back on. It is likely that the rear hinge came apart in the process of changing the filter. This is pretty normal, and it’s easy to get it back in. Just line up the 2 halves, and slide the top one into the bottom one. Here is a close up of the hinge when it is apart:


After you slide it in, it will look like this:


Now that the filter housing is in place, you can clip the front clips closed again.


Press the clips forward to lock them.

The housing is now closed, and should look like this:


That’s it! A pretty easy maintenance item to cross off your checklist.

I hope this helped you! It’s not too bad, and sometimes it is just nice to have some photos showing the steps so you know what to expect!

Here’s a link to the filter you need. Good luck!