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Engine Air Filter Maintenance on a 2nd Gen Lexus IS350
On the second generation Lexus IS350 (years 2006 through 2013), Lexus recommends checking your engine air filter every 6 months (or 5,000 miles) and replacing it every 36 months (or 30,000 miles), whichever comes first.
The time that it takes to replace the engine air filter is essentially the same as the amount of time it takes to inspect. This is due to the fact that the majority of the time spent doing either is in removing the engine cover and air duct. Therefore, it may be easier to simply replace the engine air filter at the replacement interval. However, if you live in an are that might have more severe environmental conditions, you may consider being more zealous with your inspection schedule.
Tools & Materials
Engine Air Filter
Standard Engine Air Filter – Any of these options will suffice for replacing your old engine air filter. Aftermarket options are more than adequate for replacement of the OEM engine air filter.
Reusable Engine Air Filter – Another option is to use a K&N engine air filter that will allow you to re-use your engine air filter. K&N offers a 10-year or million-mile warranty, For the K&N filters, you will need to clean them around every 50,000 miles.
For this write-up, I used a WIX engine air filter as a replacement for my 2006 Lexus IS350, however there are plenty of other options out there. Any option will follow the same steps below for changing out the engine air filter.
Engine Cover Clips
The plastic clips that hold the engine bay trim covers have a tendency to become brittle and break. It’s always convenient to have a bunch of these clips readily available whenever you run into this problem.
How to Replace Engine Air Filter on a 2nd Gen Lexus IS350
Start by opening the hood and removing the front and left black trim covers. You’ll need a flat head screwdriver to pry up on the middle of each push clip so that it can be removed. The left trim cover has a screw that also needs to be unscrewed so that the cover can be removed.
Once the cover is removed, you will have access to the air filter housing. The air box has four clips on each corner where you pull them back, and the clip will release its grip holding the upper and lower air box together.
After unclipping the four clips to the air filter housing, you can either simply pull up on the entire upper filter housing unit so that you can see the engine air filter. Or, in my case below, I’ve loosened the intake hose from the upper filter housing (removed in the photo below.) I also removed the MAF sensor connector so that I could remove the entire upper portion of the air filter housing to get it out of the way.
If you didn’t remove the upper intake box, you would simply slide the existing air filter out, and slide the new one in the same way. This would require you to hold the upper portion of the intake box up, while at the same time replacing the filter.
Alternatively, if you did remove the upper intake box by disconnecting it from the intake hose, then you have more room to work with. In this case, you can take out the existing air filter and vacuum up any remaining debris that has gotten trapped inside of the air intake box before re-installing with a new filter.
Here are some side-by-side photos of the old and new engine air filters.
Reinstallation of the filter is the opposite of the removal process. If you removed the upper intake box, then remember to install it correctly. Don’t forget to re-tighten the intake hose to the upper intake box, and then re-connect the MAF sensor.
Make sure to seat the air filter and intake box correctly before re-installing the clips. If you have trouble with clipping the intake box together, then it may not be seated properly. Once the four clips are secured, you can reinstall all the covers back.