Toyota Pick-ups, Land Cruiser, and 4 Runner 1997-00

Air Cleaner Element


The air cleaner filter element should be replaced at the recommended intervals shown in the Maintenance Intervals chart. If your truck is operated under severely dusty conditions or severe operating conditions, more frequent changes will certainly be necessary. Inspect the element at least twice a year. Early spring and early fall are always good times for inspection. Remove the element and check for any perforations or tears in the filter. Check the cleaner housing for signs of dirt or dust that may have leaked through the filter element or in through the snorkel tube. Shine a bright light on one side of the element and look through the filter at the light. If no glow of light can be seen through the element material, replace the filter. If holes in the filter element are apparent or signs of dirt seepage through the filter are evident, replace the filter.

Maintenance of the air intake system on these engines is very important. The computerized engine management system measures the amount of air entering the engine, using a Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. The amount of fuel injected into the engine is based on computations with input from many engine control sensors, including the MAF sensor. Any air entering the engine that is not measured by the MAF sensor will upset the results of the computer's computations and will cause the engine to run badly. Separation or looseness of the engine oil dipstick, oil filler cap, PCV hose, or cracks or looseness in any part of the air induction system between the throttle body and cylinder head will allow suction and cause the engine to run out of tune. Make sure all air ducting and induction-related components are properly installed and sealed.


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Fig. Release the clips securing the air cleaner housing lid

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Fig. Location of the air cleaner housing lid clips1998 Toyota Tacoma shown

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Fig. Lift the air cleaner housing lid, remove the old filter and insert a new filter

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Fig. Pull the air filter straight up and out of the housing

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Fig. Exploded view of a common air cleaner assembly found on Toyota trucks

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Fig. Check the air filter for dirt and debris and replace if necessary

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Fig. Slide a new filter element into the air cleaner housing, then secure the lid

  1. Disconnect all hoses, ducts and vacuum tubes that would block removal of the top of the air cleaner assembly.
  3. Release the clips holding the top of the air box and lift the lid. Note that some of these clips may be in close quarters against bodywork or other components; do NOT pry or force the clips.
  5. Remove the filter element. Clean or replace as needed. Wipe clean all surfaces of the air cleaner housing and cover. Check the condition of the mounting gasket and replace it if it appears worn or broken.

To install:

  1. Reposition the filter element in the case and install the cover. The lid of the air cleaner housing must be correctly installed and fit snugly. Air leaks around the top can cause air to bypass the filter and allow dirt into the engine.

Filter elements may have a TOP and BOTTOM side. Look for any identifying marks and make sure the element is correctly installed.

  1. Connect all hoses, duct work and vacuum lines, as required.

NEVER operate the engine without the air filter element in place.