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How Often Should The Engine Air Filter On The Toyota Prius Be Changed?

Hybrid gasoline engines do not run as often as regular cars. Does this mean that the engine air filters have a different maintenance interval? Here is what you should do.

Toyota Prius utilizes a gasoline engine and an electric drivetrain to transition back and forth during driving seamlessly. When Prius is running, the air is pumping through the machine and passes through an air filter. When the gas engine is not running, the air is not passing through the filter.

As I thought about this idea, I wondered if the engine air filter needs to be changed more often? Here is what I concluded.

The Toyota Prius Engine Air Filter Replacement Interval
Just about every technician I know would tell you that when the air filter is dirty, it should be changed. But what constitutes dirty?

Toyota Prius Engine Air Filter

A dirty air filter has the pleats saturated with dirt and debris. The dirt part is essential here, though. As the filter pleats capture and hold the dirt particles, the filter flows less air into the engine. Over time if left unchecked, the filter can cause the motor not to run at all.

But this has not answered our question, has it? Does a Prius have to have the air filter changed less often because it does not use the gasoline engine as much? My answer is no; it still needs to be changed but only when thoroughly inspected.

Inspect the engine air filter every oil change interval or 5,000 miles. Pull the pleats apart and dump out any loose debris. Take a look down in the valley of the filter and see how saturated it is. If there is 50% or more saturation of the pleats, replace the filter.

There is no set service interval for changing an air filter in your Prius. Toyota will tell you that between 15 and 30 thousand miles, it is acceptable to change it. The thing you have to remember is everyone drives differently and lives in different places.

I live on dirt roads and, as such, replace my engine air filters more often. The critical thing to remember is that you need to check it periodically and replace it as required. Miles don't necessarily mean you need to change; they are more like a guideline.

That is all for today. Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you in the following article. Take a look at the skyrocketing percentage in catalytic converter theft.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


Clyde McGhee (not verified)    April 26, 2021 - 6:35PM

Don't know if I'd take any advice from anyone who evidently can't distinguish between and engine and a motor..