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Old 10-28-2007, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cabin Air Filter Alternatives

There have been rumblings in the past about being able to use other materials for the cabin air filter in the car. I need to change mine now but feel stupid for having to pay $$$ to get what looks like a piece of tissue paper.

Has anybody successfully used a substitute filter that still functions properly? I heard of some people saying they could buy furnace filter material from a hardware store and cutting it to size.
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's what I do. Buy the largest Furnace filter, (When the odd sizes are on sale)cut them to fit with Tin snips. I change the twice as often.
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Crester, I forgot to add that the Toyota one's are cheaper. I think there out of the Highlander.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippy View Post
Crester, I forgot to add that the Toyota one's are cheaper. I think there out of the Highlander.
same price up here in the GTA. $32.96 or something like that, at either toyota or lexus dealers
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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NAPA auto part has them for less than $20.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippy View Post
That's what I do. Buy the largest Furnace filter, (When the odd sizes are on sale)cut them to fit with Tin snips. I change the twice as often.

Same thing I do...

1 Furnace filter ($6) = 4 cabin filters

works out to about $1.50/each
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Advanced Automotives something like $11, I wouldn't mess with Furnace filter, why chance particles getting in the wrong place, plus it might absorb water and cause mold. Who knows, if you're really strapped for $11 dollars, try saving up, you only need to replace this once every couple of years.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I bought a permanent, washable Cabin filter from Carson Toyota in LA.
The brand is Blitz (they also make air filters).
Anyway, just wash it out with water, let it air dry (no need to oil) and you're good to go.

Also claims it has an "electrostatic" effect, to remove airborne contaminants.

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Old 11-01-2007, 08:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crester View Post
There have been rumblings in the past about being able to use other materials for the cabin air filter in the car. I need to change mine now but feel stupid for having to pay $$$ to get what looks like a piece of tissue paper.

Has anybody successfully used a substitute filter that still functions properly? I heard of some people saying they could buy furnace filter material from a hardware store and cutting it to size.
Don't feel stupid about paying $35 for an OEM cabin filter. Even if you change it once a year, it really isn't that much.
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Old 11-03-2007, 05:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdfontanini View Post
Advanced Automotives something like $11, I wouldn't mess with Furnace filter, why chance particles getting in the wrong place, plus it might absorb water and cause mold. Who knows, if you're really strapped for $11 dollars, try saving up, you only need to replace this once every couple of years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by is300k View Post
Don't feel stupid about paying $35 for an OEM cabin filter. Even if you change it once a year, it really isn't that much.
It's not about being strapped for $40... it's just that when I look at what I'm getting for that $40 it looks like a complete rip off. Atleast my Dad's OEM cabin filter for his GS300 is an actual substantial filter with a support frame and structure. The one for the IS300 feels and looks like a piece of tissue paper.

I think I'm going to take a look at the filter papers sold at the hardware store. I just wanna find one that has a bunch of features such as electro-static filtering, charcol filter element, etc.

My only concern is getting the right type of filter material. I don't want something too thick that'll restrict the HVAC system... but at the same time I don't want something too loose that'll let a bunch of crap in the car.

But based on what I've seen so far... for $35 I should be able to get enough filter material to make ATLEAST 5 filter elements.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikster View Post
I bought a permanent, washable Cabin filter from Carson Toyota in LA.
The brand is Blitz (they also make air filters).
Anyway, just wash it out with water, let it air dry (no need to oil) and you're good to go.

Also claims it has an "electrostatic" effect, to remove airborne contaminants.

M
Hmm... I'll be sure to check that out! Thanks!

L-Tuned Parts - Blitz Hybrid AC Filter



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Old 11-03-2007, 06:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I buy all my home filters from FILTERS-NOW.com, Inc. - Home and office air conditioner filters and furnace air filters

They sell filter media in bulk, which you can cut to your specs.

They also sell car cabin air filters for US $16.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So I finally made a decision about the filter. I went out to Home Depot and picked up 3M's Filtrete Ultimate Allergen Reduction - High Performance Filter. This filter can get particles down to 0.3 microns and is electro-statically charged.

While the factory cabin filter costs approximately $35... cutting filters out of this larger 3M filter equates to $3.50 each!!! Now this is closer to what I think a piece of fancy tissue paper should cost.

I ripped the metal structure off one side... but there's still the metal structure on the other side to give the filter some strength. Hmm... $29.99 spent and now I have enough filters for the life of my car.

I was a bit worried that a furnace filter would be too restrictive for a car HVAC system... but I checked the blower and it was blowing strong. So no worries there. Good thing I replaced this filter now... I was starting to be able to smell the old one.

BEFORE:
(I already knocked the large crap outta the filter before I brought it in the house and took the picture... so try and picture how dirty it REALLY was...)




AFTER:




FILTER PRODUCT:

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Last edited by Crester; 11-05-2007 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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