Introduction

The guide by "broadws", itself based on suggestions by "mapatni" is excellent, but is tagged as needing more and better images. It also calls for a part that has to be ordered online. A friend helped me identify a fitting at Lowe's that's even cheaper, but the details are a bit different.

You might be able to tell from my clean, unmarred hands that I don't work with my hands much, and in fact, this was my first automotive fix (I'm nearly 35), so if I can do it, anybody can do it. Fortunately, my wife is handy and had all of the necessary tools (though she joked that she was nervous about letting me use them).

Image 1/1:
  • Here's what the broken connector looks like. If the broken end is still inside the hose, remove it. Insert the end of a a wire clothes hanger through the hole. Torque it to get a grip on the tip, and pull and turn until it comes out.

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Image 1/1: (My wife doesn't think it was necessary to remove the housing, and she may be right.  I think it probably made it easier to get the right angles for following steps.)
  • To open the housing, you'll need to loosen two bolts on the right side of the housing -- one on the front, and one hiding in the back.

  • (My wife doesn't think it was necessary to remove the housing, and she may be right. I think it probably made it easier to get the right angles for following steps.)

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Image 1/3: It takes some finagling to get to the back bolt, and it's cozy, but it's doable. Image 2/3: Once both bolts are loosened, grab the right side of the housing, and rotate it firmly but gently up toward the left side, and it should open. Image 3/3: Once both bolts are loosened, grab the right side of the housing, and rotate it firmly but gently up toward the left side, and it should open.
  • Use a socket wrench with an extension and 10mm socket. Loosen it with the wrench, then use your fingers to loosen the rest of the way. The bolts are captive, meaning they won't come out all the way.

  • It takes some finagling to get to the back bolt, and it's cozy, but it's doable.

  • Once both bolts are loosened, grab the right side of the housing, and rotate it firmly but gently up toward the left side, and it should open.

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Image 1/2: You can use a small, flat saw for this.  I used my wife's Dremel.  Be careful not to damage other parts of the housing, hoses, etc. Image 2/2: I didn't get a very good photo after the connector was off.  You should be able to see the hole.
  • Cut the remnants of the connector off to make it flush with the housing. This will make it easier to drill in the next step.

  • You can use a small, flat saw for this. I used my wife's Dremel. Be careful not to damage other parts of the housing, hoses, etc.

  • I didn't get a very good photo after the connector was off. You should be able to see the hole.

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Image 1/2: Go slowly so you don’t damage the housing, and be careful not to cut or damage any other parts.  Be careful not to go too deep – just deep enough that the fitting will be able to go all the way in. Image 2/2: After your hole is done, use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any plastic bits that got into the hole.
  • Using the hole to center the drill bit, drill out the old connector with a 1/2" bit. (If you're an amateur like me, you might try using a smaller bit, say 1/4", first for practice, and to make the final hole easier.)

  • Go slowly so you don’t damage the housing, and be careful not to cut or damage any other parts. Be careful not to go too deep – just deep enough that the fitting will be able to go all the way in.

  • After your hole is done, use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any plastic bits that got into the hole.

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Image 1/3: Put the fitting into the hole, and use a 9/16” wrench to screw it in until it’s flush with the housing. Image 2/3: Put the fitting into the hole, and use a 9/16” wrench to screw it in until it’s flush with the housing. Image 3/3: Put the fitting into the hole, and use a 9/16” wrench to screw it in until it’s flush with the housing.
  • Wrap the fitting with two layers of Teflon tape in a clockwise direction (if you’re looking at the threaded end – if you go the wrong way, the tape will unravel when you’re screwing the fitting in).

  • Put the fitting into the hole, and use a 9/16” wrench to screw it in until it’s flush with the housing.

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Image 1/3: Close the housing – get the tabs on the left slide into their slots first, and then you should be able to rotate the right side down to get it into place.  Hand-tighten the bolts, then tighten them down with the socket wrench. Image 2/3: Slide the hose onto the barb as far as it will go, and voila, your Sienna is fixed!  For under $10! Image 3/3: If ''I'' can fix it, ''anybody'' can.
  • If you need to change your air filter, do so now.

  • Close the housing – get the tabs on the left slide into their slots first, and then you should be able to rotate the right side down to get it into place. Hand-tighten the bolts, then tighten them down with the socket wrench.

  • Slide the hose onto the barb as far as it will go, and voila, your Sienna is fixed! For under $10!

  • If I can fix it, anybody can.

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Conclusion

Clean up, put away your tools, and celebrate saving yourself a lot of money!

2 other people completed this guide.

Steven Paradise

Member since: 05/24/2014

169 Reputation

1 Guide authored

11 Comments

Nice job! I think anyone with this vehicle will get around to this repair sooner or later!!!

broadws - Reply

Awesome post. I really appreciate it that you took the time to help everybody with this problem. I was not looking forward to buying an entirely new housing for this simple repair. I just didn't know if it would work (I was worried about damaging the flow sensor or whatever it is just inside the housing.

cliffordracz - Reply

Yeah, I don't remember exactly what was on the other side from where I was drilling, but just drill carefully (and not too far) and you'll be fine. Mine passed visual and functional inspection, and it hasn't had any problems since.

gossamerica -

Great guide. Took two trips to get first the Watt connector, and then a second trip when I realized I did not have a half inch drill. Note that you end up drilling right through the plastic -- so any caution about not drilling too deeply is mostly for the benefit of the filter material found behind the cover.

Thanks!

Jim - Reply

I took my Sienna to SMOG check, and failed initially due to a broken connection to the housing. I found your instruction and followed your step by step, and fixed my 2009 Sienna broken air filter housing. Went back for the 2nd SMOG within an hour, and passed without any problem. Thank you so much for saving me some $$$.

phoenixwill - Reply

Wow, within an hour -- quick and easy fix indeed!

Steven Paradise -

I have a 2013 highlander and encountered this design flaw as well.

I did have to remove the entire upper housing because on my model there is an additional filter that is fitted to the top of the housing. I took it off so I could pry that filter off and remove any debris that the drill created.

the additional steps are

remove the 2 vacuum hoses on the left side and note where each one goes.

use the 10mm socket to loosen the hose clamp that holds the upper chamber to the intake.

uses a small screwdriver to lift the tab to the electrical socket to discconnect it from the upper housing. reverse the order to put it all back together.

thanks for the guide it was an under hr fix. I would think that even if you did pay $300 for a new housing that the issue would come up again when either you or your mechanic went to check the filter.

it is probably the worse design for an air filter i've ever seen. My 4runner is held by clips and has never had any issues like this.

msl - Reply

Exactly what I needed. Thank you. I have a 13 highlander as well and accidently broke this tip when changing my air filter.

Tony -

I noticed the piece that broke off inside my vacuum hose has a small red tube. I imagine this tube restricted the amount of air passing through tube. Can you pass smog without the red tube, or do you need to put into the vacuum tube?

Allen - Reply

thanks for the step by step visual. rather than hunt down the fitting you suggested, I was able to find an alternative at my local ace hardware - part # 4504114 (1/8in x 1/8in Hose Barb )

tulipox - Reply

This worked great!! Thank You!

brianjhedrick - Reply

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