Do Better Car Air Filters Make a Difference?

Are better car air filters worth it? Learn about 5 benefits & how often you should replace them for optimal performance.

Do Better Car Air Filters Make a Difference?

Are you wondering if better car air filters make a difference? The answer is yes! Replacing a clogged air filter can increase fuel efficiency and improve acceleration, depending on the make and model of your car. When you realize that, it makes sense to regularly replace air filters. How can an air filter make such a difference? A dirty or damaged air filter limits the amount of air that flows into your car's engine, causing it to work harder and therefore consume more fuel. Because your engine needs more than 10,000 liters of oxygen to burn every liter of fuel, it's important not to restrict this airflow. Naturally, air filters need to be changed in the event of damage.

However, to maintain the maximum possible performance of your car, it is recommended that you replace your air filters at least every 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 km). This interval should be reduced if you often drive in dusty conditions. It's best to review the maintenance schedule provided by your car manufacturer to get the proper replacement program. Aftermarket air filters work but don't expect lots of extra ponies to suddenly appear when you hit the accelerator. You'll get about 1BHP more from a good quality filter.

But unless you're the princess who slept in the pea, you won't notice. What better quality filters DO have is that they take longer to clog. So, they don't really GIVE you more power, they're better at AVOIDING energy loss once you've driven a couple of thousand miles. I think it depends on the application. I paid good money for a K&N air filter for my old traveler, an 18-year-old Subaru 4-cylinder.

After installation, I heard a pretty clean grunt noise from the engine when accelerating, but the idle and mileage and gasoline performance were the same. On the other hand, a K&N air filter installed on my Kawasaki Concours not only gave me that cold grunt noise when accelerating, but I noticed a smoother idle and a small, yes small, increase in top speed performance above 7,000 rpm. So there you go, I think they're worth the money and time spent cleaning them every few thousand miles if used in a performance application, but for a normal old car, the standard, cheap paper filter is the way to go. Automotive air filters are designed to prevent harmful debris fragments from reaching the engine. However, as the air filter picks up debris, it can become clogged and when this happens it will deprive the engine of enough air to hinder the car's performance. As modern technologies have advanced, it is now possible to purchase air filters that can be washed, re-greased and reused, saving you money in the long run. To measure the airflow of a particular air filter, you will need two pressure gauges and accessories to drill the air inlet before and after the filter is installed. I tested a new market-leading oiled air filter against a Ford factory standard paper filter.

For air to flow through the filter there must be a large number of microscopic holes in the filter or the holes must be open enough for air to pass through. I went to do an oil change recently and the technician at Jiffy Lube tried to sell me more buying a better oil for my car and buying a more expensive air filter. Cotton gauze air filters have several advantages first of all these filters are washable and therefore do not need to be discarded they last the entire life of your vehicle. Because bits of dirt such as dust sap leaves and even insects can penetrate the engine and therefore cause damage and hinder performance using an air filter can prevent these foreign particles from entering the engine and keep it off the road for longer. Foam air filters are known to offer more performance benefits compared to standard OEM filters and are often easy to clean. An air filter may not seem like an important component to regularly check and change but it is essential to maintaining the performance of your car. While I've never been the type of person who especially stressed about getting all the possible energy gains out of my car (when I had a car) I've always been skeptical that a high-performance air filter would have any significant difference from a standard one. A high-performance air filter is more technically known as a high-flow air filter which explains well what differentiates it from an average air filter.

Unless you're going to spend a lot of money on a cleanable K&N type filter I don't know of any real benefit of improved air filters; after all it's basically a folded sheet of cardboard. Air filters are one of the easiest and quickest components to exchange for an aftermarket part and many companies claim that their design will increase power torque and improve acceleration. There are several different types of air filters on the market and the most common is the OEM-style paper filter which comes standard on all MINIs. A particle as small as a grain of salt can pass through a damaged air filter and cause a lot of damage to internal engine parts such as cylinders and pistons which can be very costly to repair. In conclusion there are at least 5 benefits of changing your car's air filter regularly: better gasoline performance reduced emissions improved acceleration longer engine life and overall improved driving. It is important not only for safety reasons but also for economic reasons that you replace your car's air filters regularly according to manufacturer recommendations.

Donna Buccheri
Donna Buccheri

Food trailblazer. Hardcore tv maven. Evil bacon enthusiast. Devoted social media aficionado. Infuriatingly humble music aficionado. Award-winning beer ninja.

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