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Discussion Starter #1
Just started happening a few weeks ago, when not on recirculating mode I can feel a large amount of air coming through the glovebox. Cabin filter is installed correctly and fairly new (double checked). Any thoughts on what would be causing this?
 

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Dumb question but is the plastic cover on the cabin air filter access/replacement location?

Do you you feel the air coming out of that area with the car parked but engine running? Or is it only something that happens when driving the car?

Obvious thing to check. When cabin air circulation is on full with the selector knob set to upper vents (not floor) can you feel air coming out of the passenger side air vent on the dash? If not perhaps the air duct came loose from the vent. Check (feel around) the cabin air circulation unit to see if there are any holes or if it has become separated or loose allowing air to flow around the hole in the firewall. Probably very rare but look for any new holes in the firewall that could be letting in air on that side of the car. Check to see if the air fan motor is still running even though AC/fan circulation is turned off.

Mice like to craw into that area and nest on the cabin air filter. Could be a critter chewed a hole through, or damaged, something in there. If so, or if mice have been a problem in the past, put mesh over the air intake hole.

This is what the air intake hole looks like on an O5 Corolla from the outside. One can access it by removing the metal/plastic covering under the wiper blades.




With some mesh taped over the holes to keep mice out because Toyota, for what ever incredibly stupid reason, didn't put any kind of screening over the fairly good sized holes for the air intake to keep mice and other critters out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is the area under the white horizontal bar supposed to be open? I can see all the way through the hole to the front of the car. The hole is just above the cabin filter. I think this is my problem.
B91F0FB9-8F9B-4404-AB40-635BC725670C.jpeg
 

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Is the area under the white horizontal bar supposed to be open? I can see all the way through the hole to the front of the car. The hole is just above the cabin filter. I think this is my problem.
View attachment 324105
Yeah looks like something (a foam screen or similar item) is missing from that space. Not sure what that hole is for, maybe the cabin interior air intake. Example found online of what is supposed to look like:



 

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What year is that? My 2004 Corolla LE looks a bit different:

324122
 

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Took a look at that opening on my 05 Corolla. It is a door/flap that is hinged at top/sides that freely swings inward when pushed. Doesn't appear to be anything that may control it opening an closing. There's foam on the front and hard plastic on the back of it. Foam is probably there to dampen the noise as it swings back and forth. The hard plastic on the back is likely there to help force the door/vent to swing closed and stay closed when driving. I assume (wild guess) the door/flap swings open to draw in cabin air to mix with outside air.

Some pics:





 

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If you put it on recirculate and turn the fan on, does that door open?
 

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Click the link below for a 20 second video showing a 2004 Corolla with the cabin air intake mechanism moving from the recirculation mode to outside air mode back to recirculation mode:

Cabin Air Intake Mechanism 2004 Corolla
 

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Two videos. Car is a 2005 Corolla LE.

First video shows just the fapper/door opening (and closing) when turning the fan on full (not set to AC/defrost). Air recirculation not engaged.


Second video shows what happens when fan on full (and then turned off) and the air recirculation button is engaged then disengaged. Not set to AC/defrost.


As both videos show the flapper/door on the front of the cabin air circulation housing opens and closes when the fan is engaged and is not dependent on; the air recirculation button setting or the air vent knob selector setting.
 

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Looks like somebody removed that flapper for some reason, maybe it was rattling. You can see the screws are marred up.
 

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Two videos. Car is a 2005 Corolla LE.

First video shows just the fapper/door opening (and closing) when turning the fan on full (not set to AC/defrost). Air recirculation not engaged.

Second video shows what happens when fan on full (and then turned off) and the air recirculation button is engaged then disengaged. Not set to AC/defrost.

As both videos show the flapper/door on the front of the cabin air circulation housing opens and closes when the fan is engaged and is not dependent on; the air recirculation button setting or the air vent knob selector setting.
Interesting. I'd say it's working as designed? We knew that the 2003-2004 has a slightly different setup than the 2005+. It seems that the flap door on the 2005+ opens with just the suction of the air? Does anyone know why the 2004 doesn't use any type of flapping door? Instead, it seems it simply gets air from the cabin when with the recirculation mode engaged, while the mechanism at the top opens up allowing cabin air to enter. If that's the case, why bother with the flapping door to also get air? Maybe because it's lower and gets more air from the footwell/cabin instead of from the top of the inside of the dash, making it more efficient?
 
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