Best engine air filter brands

air filter
(© romaset – stock.adobe.com)

Which air filter is best? This question is asked by many motorists, regardless of which car brands they own. When choosing a filter, two main factors must be taken into account – its geometric dimensions (that is so that it fits snugly in its seat), as well as the brand.

From which company the air filter is chosen by the car owner, its characteristics also depend. In particular, the main ones are the resistance of a clean filter (measured in kPa), the dust transmission coefficient and the duration of operation to a critical value.

With respect to the filter – more than any other components – the consumer is not able to see it or to assess its quality in some way.

Car enthusiasts often do not pay enough attention to this part, standing under the hood of a car, without changing it in a timely manner at the end of its service life.

It sometimes turns into a formless device, unable to fulfill its important purpose. It is this part that cleans the air before feeding it into the power plant to form a fuel-air mixture. Therefore, regular replacement of air filters is a harsh necessity.

In our review, we will talk about the types of filter elements, get acquainted with the features of their work and the best models. If you want to see more reviews about engine air filters from experts you can browse this article.

Air filter functions

It takes fuel and air to start the engine. They form a combustible mixture that ignites and starts the engine. This filter is installed at the entrance to the system, immediately after the air intake.

Its purpose is to filter out all harmful impurities, litter, dust from the incoming air, which our atmosphere is rich in. If this element was not there, then pollution would penetrate into the engine, clog up its components and mechanisms, contribute to the unstable operation of the power unit, its premature failure.

Recall that for the normal operation of a gasoline or diesel internal combustion engine, it is necessary to obtain from the atmosphere 15 kg of purified air per 1 kg of fuel. The filter must fully supply the engine with this important component of the fuel mixture.

The filter consists of a body and a filter element.

  1. Housing.
  2. Filter element.

The filter quickly clogs up during intensive use of the vehicle. If the replacement is not carried out for a long time, then it loses its throughput, less air enters the machine.

This is fraught with the creation of an enriched mixture that does not completely burn out, polluting the atmosphere with harmful substances at the exit.

At the same time, fuel costs increase, the power plant loses power, and parts wear out faster.

In order not to waste money on premature engine repairs, drivers should regularly, according to MOT, change the air filter. If the car enthusiast often moves on dusty country roads in the summer, the replacement should be done more often.

What to look for when choosing an air filter

Determining when it’s time to replace the filter is easy. The car requires increased fuel consumption, the engine loses speed.

When choosing this part, the driver should pay attention to the following factors:

  1. Dimensions of the product. They must correspond to the space in the engine compartment intended by the vehicle manufacturer for its placement.
  2. Working resource. This indicator indicates the time after which the part loses its filtering ability, and the car owner should replace it.
  3. Coefficient of work efficiency or dust transmission. It should not exceed 1%.

You should also pay attention to the value of the resistance of the clean filter. Its indicator according to the standard is 2.5 kPa.

The manufacturers producing this part adhere to this value.

What are the types of air filters?

The modern industry offers various types of such products. They differ in the material of manufacture, the shape of the filter, and the degree of filtration of the airflow.

Filter element materials

In production, the following material options are used:

  • Paper.
  • Polyester.
  • Composite materials consisting of several layers.

Filters made of artificial fibres (polyester) are considered the most effective. It captures dirt and soot better than others, and does so with the entire thickness of the layer, and also has a long working life. Based on this, its price exceeds the cost of other types.

Inexpensive filter paper only traps dirt on the outside. This material is less resistant and therefore has a limited lifespan.

The technical characteristics of filters made of composite materials, as well as their price, are in the middle between the two above types.

Product shape

Air filters can be:

  • Round.
  • Cylindrical.
  • Panel.

The first type, round or circular, is gradually losing its popularity. They have a small filtration area, they require solid areas in the car for placement.

Cylindrical filters are made in the form of a cylinder. They are installed on trucks, some models of “cars” with diesel units.

The most popular are panel filters. They take up little space and are easy to install.

Most modern cars with any type of internal combustion engine are equipped with just such products. Panel filters for air purification can be frame and frameless.

A car enthusiast should not have problems with choosing a shape – it should correspond to his car model.

Filtration degree

The filtration rate of the incoming air depends on the design of the given model. The industry produces products with one, two and three stages of cleaning. The simplest version consists of one paper layer. It does not differ with particular efficiency in air purification, and its service life is also small.

The two-stage model has a synthetic pre-cleaner. Its task is to weed out rubbish, large types of pollution. In other words, it acts as a coarse filter. After it, a conventional paper filter element is installed. These products are usually fitted to off-road SUVs that travel on dusty terrain.

The three-stage version is a complex design. In them, before entering the filter, the air is purified by means of cyclonic rotation. This is an expensive option, often found on premium crossovers and SUVs.

Zero filter elements

The area of application of such products is sports cars, race cars.

To increase the power of the motors, filters with zero resistance to the incoming air are installed.

They have a minimum degree of air purification. The material for the manufacture of such parts is porous polyurethane or several layers of fabric impregnated with oil. Installing zero products on an ordinary car is fraught with engine pollution and expensive repairs.

The best air filter brands

There are a large number of models of similar products on the market. Let’s get acquainted with the best of them.

Mahle

The air filter of a German company that produces car parts. The products are distinguished by traditional German quality, all parts undergo the strictest control during production. The materials for the manufacture of such products are cellulose and plastic. The filter element of the structure is produced by pleating, which allows obtaining a wider area for cleaning the intake air.

Protects the paper surface from the penetration of contaminants from the back of the nonwoven fabric. The Mahle filter filters out harmful particles over 3 microns in accordance with international standards.

Pros:

  • Environmental friendliness of products.
  • The lightweight materials used during the release help to reduce the weight of the filters.
  • The flexibility of the design allows for easy installation in the car.
  • Excellent build quality.

Cons:

  • The high cost of Mahle air filters.

As noted by car enthusiasts, such products are easy to use and stand out among their analogues by their high filtration quality.

Mann-Filter

The products of another well-known company from Germany have enjoyed a well-deserved reputation among drivers for more than a dozen years.

These air filters reliably protect the engine from dust, soot and other types of contaminants, ensuring efficient operation of the machine’s power plant.

The guarantee of such work is in an increased filtration area, a stable form of product folds, and assembly quality. When producing the cellulose layer, high-quality types of wood with a special structure and fiber shape are used.

Pros:

  • Special impregnation of the filter element with resins allows increasing the working life of the product.
  • High-quality environmentally friendly materials are used in the production of products.
  • Ease of installation.

Cons:

  • High price.

Filtron

Products of the American-Polish company Filtron are in demand among motorists.

They are attracted by the ideal value for money in the product. Despite its high technical performance, Filtron is cheaper than similar products on the market. At the same time, the filtration quality is at a high level.

The company’s products are supplied to the markets of many European countries. The filter element is impregnated with epoxy, acrylic or phenolic resins, depending on the model.

Pros:

  • Natural materials are used in production.
  • High-quality filtration.
  • Reliable build quality.
  • Ease of installation.

Cons:

  • Consumers have no comments on these products.

Bosch

These products of the German company are manufactured in China, which determines their affordable cost.

A feature of these products is high-quality polyurethane sealing materials, which eliminate the passage of untreated air through the housing elements into the engine to zero.

Pros:

  • Long service life.
  • More affordable cost compared to the products of fellow countrymen from Mann-Filter, Mahle.
  • A wide range of products for various car brands.
  • High throughput. Convenient installation.

Cons:

  • Lots of fakes.

Conclusion

When choosing one or air filter, first of all, you need to pay attention to its shape and geometric dimensions. That is so that it is uniquely suitable for a particular car. It is advisable to buy non-woven, not paper filters. Despite their high cost, they last longer and filter the air better.

With regard to specific brands, it is advisable to choose well-known brands, provided that you buy an original spare part. It is better to refuse cheap fakes since the use of a low-quality air filter threatens to create problems in the operation of the engine in the long term.

What kind of air do you use? Write about it in the comments.


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