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Haynes’ World: pollen filter change cures steamy windows

Haynes World Lexus RX400h hybrid

Haynes' World is a regular feature that takes a look at what the staff at Haynes are doing with their cars, bikes and other vehicles. This time, an old pollen filter has been causing problems for Martynn and his hybrid Lexus SUV

Lexus RX400h hybrid

Car: Lexus RX400h hybrid

Owner: Martynn Randall

It slowly dawned on me over the winter that the windscreen in the Lexus was taking longer and longer to demist. The RX is my wife’s car and I don’t drive it very often. I kept thinking that I needed to look at it, but I never seemed to get around to it. 

However, because of excessive rain and flooding over the past few weeks, I’ve had to drive it on a daily basis instead of my low sports car, and got really fed up with the slow demisting. I’d also come to the conclusion that the heater wasn’t up to scratch.

Then it dawned on me that I hadn't actually looked at the pollen filter (also known as the cabin filter) since we bought the car… in 2017!

Removing the old filter is very straightforward: open the fascia glovebox, remove the securing pins and fully open the glovebox lid.

The filter is fitted into a plastic frame that is slotted into the air distribution housing inlet. Simply squeeze the retaining clips together and slide the frame rearwards.

Cabin filter location Lexus RX

The filter (shown below right) was in a state, to say the least. Lots of debris, dead insects and leaves. Airflow was severely restricted. Considering that Lexus recommends the filter is changed every 12 months, replacement was the only answer. 

New pollen filter vs new pollen filter

Two types of filter are available – a carbon-impregnated filter, and a normal paper one (above left). There's quite a difference in price, and as neither my wife or I suffer from allergies (and I’m incredibly miserly), I bought the cheaper one.

Fitting the new filter and reassembling the glovebox took about five minutes, and the results are impressive. The screen demists much, much quicker and the heater is almost too powerful now!

For the sake of $20, it’s well worth changing your pollen filter once a year – and every Haynes Manual shows you how to do it.