What's this plastic container in my 99 Camry?


A member of our family had an accident in which the left front bumper got detached (still hanging on, though). Inside the bumper is a broken off, heavy plastic container, like the one that holds windshield wiper fluid. It’s dry, and there are leaves inside. To me, it looks like a filter for some air intake, maybe for the engine.

Questions: What is it? And is it dangerous for the engine to drive the car at all? Maybe short distances?


as you noted, could be the air intake for the air filter, usually a plastic housing, any way to trace forward from the air filter?


Good idea. I checked and this container is on the air flow path. So is the idea of this container to suck down leaves etc. that might get into the air flow?

Obviously it should be repaired. But with the air filter in place to catch anything bad, is the only danger the engine overheating?


May cars have all kinds of baffles to reduce the noise of air entering the engine. If this is not the air filter box, I would suspect that it is some sort of baffle. As long as there are no sensors before this box, and the air filter in a separate box else where in the air path, you could leave this box off until you can get to proper repairs. It will not cause the car to overheat or anything. Actually, the first thing the rice-burner crowd does with a car like this is remove all the baffles, and run a straight airpath from a high-flow filter to smooth tubes to the throttle body.