Gen 3 Prius Air Recirculate Problem & Fix

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by FBalsam, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. FBalsam

    FBalsam New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2021
    2
    3
    0
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    II
    So I recently noticed that when I had the air recirculate option selected on my car that air was still coming through the vents while the car was in motion and I could smell heavy exhaust from the cars in front of me. Switching it back and forth seemed to make no change. After researching other threads, some simply said that this was normal which I knew was incorrect because it's never done this before.

    After some digging, I noticed that the previous owner installed the cabin air filter incorrectly causing it to compress. This in-turn caused the pin to detach from the device that opens and closes the vent. I did not know where the vent was at the time but after pressing the button over and over again, I was able to figure it out. Oddly enough, the device would open the vent but not close it.

    I re-attached the pin to what appeared to be the correct position but the vent still would not operate correctly. I detached and tried a different position and boom, we were good to go. My point in stating this is that the position of the pin does matter. When you press the air recirculate button, you should see it move between both positions.

    I took the car for a test drive and all worked as it should. I've attached photos which details the above. You should research how to access the cabin air filter of your car before attempting this fix. A small and fairly long screwdriver made this process much easier as I had to pry them apart from each other to get them in the correct position. If anyone has questions regarding the above, let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to clarify.
     

    Attached Files:

    sLick415, AW82 and ASRDogman like this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    91,766
    41,396
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    well done, nice write up, thank you!
     
  3. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    3,190
    1,949
    0
    Location:
    Indian River County, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Nifty!
    If you smelled "heavy exhaust" it's not because of the recirculate vent. You'll always have some fresh air
    coming through.

    I don't understand how they could have messed up that filter. Seems like someone tried to do that. Good catch.


     
  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    12,013
    8,712
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Nice write-up!

    In labeling the last two photos, maybe in preference to calling them "vent open" (which looks closed from inside the car) and "vent closed" (which looks open), I'd just call them "fresh position" and "recirculate position", which kind of matches what Toyota calls them. Of course the "fresh position" looks closed from inside the car and looks open if you were under the hood with the cowl off, and vice versa.
     
Loading...