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Car Air Filter Buying Guide

— September 2, 2021

If you consider using a high-performance air filter, explore its information before purchasing, whether it will benefit your car. Sometimes normal air filters do the job, and we don’t require high-performance air filters in such cases.

The function of an air filter for a car is to protect your car engine from dust and dirt of the environment and pollution. If this rubbish enters into the engine, it can damage other auto parts or decrease the life, which then may be costly for you.

Advantages of Air Filters for Cars

Lives of Engine Parts
Oil filters protect engine parts like the fuel systems, rings, pistons, and other significant components from dust particles, increasing engine life. Therefore a properly operational filter is necessary to keep the engine clean.

Increase in Mileage
When you replace the used air filter in your car, it will increase the air quantity going into the engine. As a result, your car will consume less fuel, mileage will be increased, and your car engine will work more efficiently.

Reduced Discharges
Since the air filter cleans the dust, dirt, etc., the combustion process is also clean. Therefore the engine burns cleaner, and there will be cleaner exhaust.

Low Price
Air filters are quite cheap, and unlike many other automobile parts, you can purchase them easily and fit them in your car easily.

Kinds of Car Air Filters


Disposable air filters also called “Replacement Filters,” are made up of a paper-like substance having a rectangular shape and has a wide surface area. These are the most mutual type of air filters which are easily available in any auto parts market. Replaceable air filters gather a great amount of dust and dirt particles and should be changed from time to time. With Replacement filters, it is better to use high-octane fuel, which makes the engine’s combustion clean and powerful.


The cabin air filter is a small-sized filter that is generally made of multi-fiber paper cotton. It was first introduced in 2001, and since then, many car manufacturers are installing these in cars. They are designed and work as Disposable air filters.

It is made up of cloth-like material which can be cleaned and can be used again. The advantage of this type of filter is that you can use it for unlimited time in the future. It’s slightly expensive as compared to other types but economical in the long run. A dirty air filter can be cleaned by using clean water and soap or detergent. After cleaning, shake the filter a few times and dry it before installing it in the car.

Stainless Steel (Steel Mesh) Air Filters

There are air filters with different layers of steel mesh. Therefore they have several filtration levels and can absorb a lot of dust. These do not require to be oiled. Steel Mesh filters are not very commonly used.

Before using High-performance Air Filter

If you consider using a high-performance air filter, explore its information before purchasing, whether it will benefit your car. Sometimes normal air filters do the job, and we don’t require high-performance air filters in such cases.

Characteristics of Air Filters

Medium in an Air Filter

The most common and salient feature in an air filter is the media which collects dust from the atmosphere and prevents the engine. Mostly paper filters are used, which are quite cheap. Many other filters use media like cotton, carbon fiber, foam and steel mesh, etc.

Shapes & Sizes

All air filters are available in different shapes and sizes for different makes and models of cars. High-performance filters are also available, which force air with high pressure and have good effects on the performance of a car. Expert mechanics know suitable filters for each type of car but if you order online, be careful to check the right type of filter.

Filters with Multiple Layers

There are filters available in the market which have several layers. These provide additional protection to your car engine.

Price of a Filter

There are filters in the market for sale with different price ranges, but generally, most of them are inexpensive. However, an expert mechanic can give the right advice for a better quality air filter. Just don’t go for price. Your engine and its other parts are also valuable.

Changing your Car’s Air Filter

Image by Nathan Van Egmond, via
Image by Nathan Van Egmond, via

You have to note down somewhere when to change the air filter of your car because it is as important as you know when engine oil has to be changed and when radiator water is to be checked. Generally, it is recommended that you change or clean it between 12,000 and 15,000 miles, but it is not a hard and fast rule for each make of a car. For this purpose, you can consult the owner’s manual or get advice from an expert mechanic or professional.

Safe Air Filters

When driving a car, some people ask themselves, is the air filter of my car safe? Yes, there should not be any doubts in mind that an air filter is absolutely a safe device. The type of filtration material determines filter to have higher efficiency than others. Each filter has its filtration level.

Air Filter Sizes

Generally, each air filter is made for a specific vehicle, but there are some filters available in the market which may be fit for multiple vehicles. In such a case, sometimes, if you install a small air filter rather than a big one, this will affect the engine performance. But in some cases, large-sized filters do not improve engine performance. When a specific type of filter is recommended for a car model, and you install a filter of a different dry size, it will affect the engine performance.

Effect of Air Filter on Car AC

If you want your car AC to perform its best, your car air filter must be clean. When your filter is covered with dust, the AC will emit low or uneven cooling. AC is there to provide comfort and give you healthy air, but a dirty filter will affect this function. Therefore whenever you feel low AC performance, apart from other reasons, a dirty air filter may also be one of the causes.

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