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How to Shop for the Best Air Filters

Air Filter Categories

Universal Air Filters

Custom-Fit Air Filters

Types of Air Filters

While your vehicle comes with a factory-installed air filter, you have several different options when it comes to finding a replacement. The best air filter for your make and model depends on your vehicle’s needs, and AutoAnything has you covered when it’s time to upgrade.

Paper Air Filters

These are the factory air filters that come with your vehicle or the ones the dealership charges you an arm and a leg to replace. The primary purpose of an air filter is to deliver superior dirt protection and high airflow, but this factory air filter won’t last the lifetime of your vehicle and will end up costing you more in the long run. The frequency of your replacements depends on your driving conditions and environment.

Stock Replacement Air Filters

These stock replacement filters are designed to fit the majority of vehicles on the road. When it’s time to swap out the disposable factory air filter that came with your ride, stock replacements are designed to fit flawlessly into your factory air box and seal tightly without air leakage. Many stock replacement air filters are reusable, washable and built from quality materials to handle any driving condition with ease. They feature great airflow and are designed to last the lifetime of your engine.

Oil Bath Air Filters

Usually found on classic or antique cars, oil bath air filters actually existed before paper filters were developed. These filters feature a unique design — contaminants and particles settle into an oil-soaked medium, like mesh or foam, or a pool of oil to improve airflow.

Washable and Reusable Air Filters

While reusable air filters may be slightly more expensive than stock air filters, they help you save big in the long run because you don’t have to dispose of them every time they get dirty. Instead, you can use a recharge kit to clean your filter and it’s good as new. Not only are washable and reusable filters cost-effective over time, but they should also last for the life of your vehicle. Types of reusable air filters include cotton gauze or foam air filters. Foam air filters are usually constructed from oil-impregnated polyurethane and are especially useful for vehicles that drive in dusty, dirty conditions on a regular basis.

Cabin Air Filters

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When to Replace Your Air Filter

Generally, air filters for cars should be cleaned or changed annually, in order to achieve maximum performance and optimal gas mileage. However, the time interval between replacements varies depending on how often you drive, as well as your driving environment. For example, driving on dirt roads clogs your air filter much faster than driving on city highways. You should inspect your air filter every few months to see how quickly it becomes dirty. It’s a good habit to check and replace or clean your air filter every other time you go in for an oil change.

Air Intake Filters vs. Regular Air Filters

While it may seem like air intake filters and regular air filters are interchangeable terms, there’s actually a distinct difference between the two.

Air intake filters feature a tube shape with the filter at the end. These cold air intake systems can be found in many sports cars and trucks, and they’re designed to greatly improve horsepower and performance. If you’ve installed an aftermarket air intake system, chances are you have an air intake filter.

Regular (box) air filters, on the other hand, are more common and are typically found in any vehicle—sporty or not—and are designed to maximize airflow to achieve overall improved performance.

Air Filter Cleaners

Brands of Air Filters

AutoAnything features air filters from some of the best brands in the industry. Choose from top-grade vendors like K&N, aFe and Airaid to help your engine operate more efficiently for years to come.

K&N:

K&N Engineering is the leading innovator of reusable cotton gauze filter technology for automotive applications. The Riverside, Calif.-based company originated as a family-run business more than 35 years ago, and it boasts an extensive line of factory replacement drop-in filters and performance oil filters.

aFe:

Founded in 1999, Advanced Flow Engineering (aFe) produces high-performance and high-flow air filters and air intake systems. aFe prides itself on offering top-quality aftermarket air filters for passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs.

Spectre:

Spectre Performance has designed innovative and unique performance parts since 1983. They’re known for their state-of-the-art chassis dynamometer with performance-optimizing capabilities, as well as top-notch products like custom intakes and high-quality air filters.

TruXP:

Emerging as a forerunner in performance aftermarket products, TruXP accelerates your drive with top-quality air filters and intakes. Offering high-flow filters in a wide-range of sizes and styles, TruXP has the OEM replacement you need for your car, truck, van or SUV.

AEM:

AEM air filters garnered a high-performance reputation since 1987, when the company catered to street racing modified imports and vintage automobiles. The brand expanded in 2003 and is widely recognized for its performance air filters that boast cutting-edge designs and are fabricated using advanced technology.

Injen:

Based in Pomona, Calif., Injen Technology started out as a small manufacturing company that has since become an industry leader of aftermarket performance parts. They’re especially known for their superior line of cold air intakes, and they’ve expanded their product line to include stainless steel exhaust systems. Injen systems are especially unique because of their SuperNano-Web dry filters, which feature microscopic webbing that provides an extra layer of protection.

Airaid:

Airaid advanced the automotive aftermarket industry by introducing its cutting-edge air intake systems. Founded in 1997, the company is known for its first Airaid kits, which combined an intake tube with an open-element cotton gauze filter to boost overall engine performance. Since then, Airaid has established its reputation as a solid leader in air management for both diesel and gasoline power plants.

Green Filters:

The Green Cotton Air Filter company has been designing, developing and manufacturing premium cotton air filters for the racing and motor sport industry since 1995. The company’s high-quality products have enabled them to become Europe’s largest cotton air filter manufacturer.

Takeda:

Takeda is the brainchild of aFe intakes. Crafted as the sport-tuner line-up for aFe, Takeda cold air intakes are designed for a more specific type of vehicle. These air intakes are fashioned from quality materials and feature high-tech, Japanese-influenced engineering.

Volant:

Recognized for their cold air intakes, Volant is known for their cutting-edge air intake system development. The company was the first to create a sealed air filter box to prevent dirt and moisture from contaminating the air filter.

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