Air Filters Buying Guide

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Air Filters Buying Guide

Filters are a necessary part of automobile operation. The oil filter removes impurities as it passes oil to and through the engine to keep it lubricated. Similarly, an air filter helps to keep air contaminants from reaching the engine, promoting proper operation, improving performance, and extending the life of the engine. A quality, high-flow air filter works to deliver clean oxygen, which improves not only engine torque and horsepower, but also fuel efficiency. The air filter enhances a car's performance, and it also prevents harmful particles from damaging the engine and adversely impacting performance.

When it comes to air filters, buyers have many choices, from original manufacturer models to OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, replacements. These products are designed to replicate the manufacturer experience, and they vary from name brands to discount brands, from replaceable to reusable air filters. Although air filters are available from a number of outlets, including auto parts stores and automotive repair shops, many buyers look to eBay for a wide selection and affordable prices. Once they have reviewed the options available in air filters and made an informed choice, consumers are then ready to initiate the purchasing process on eBay.

Air Filter Considerations

Sometimes, a driver's only objective in purchasing an automotive air filter is to replace the one that is currently in use. An air filter serves to clean the air before it is delivered to the engine; as such, it is a necessary part in a driver's arsenal. Without a clean, quality air filter, a car's power and operation may suffer, and fuel delivery can be adversely affected.

In general, it is better to choose an automotive air filter from a reputable manufacturer; after all, increasing engine performance is too important to be left to a little-known brand. Two of the more recommended brands of air filters are Fram and K&N .

For those in the know, however, the choice of an automotive air filter comes down to two things: following the OEM specifications for the make and model of the car or improving upon the car's durability, level, or performance. No matter on which side of the spectrum a prospective buyer falls, a comparison between some of the many air filters on the market is a recommended first step.

Types of Automotive Air Filters

The two main types of air filters are the performance and the disposable types. Whereas the performance air filter can be cleaned and lasts for the life of the vehicle, it also costs more than a disposable model, making an evaluation between the two worthwhile.

Performance Air Filters

As the name implies, a performance or reusable air filter is the optimal filter to boost a car's performance. This is accomplished by increasing airflow through the filter, which, in turn, gives the engine more air with which to perform.

While a reusable air filter may cost more upfront, it soon pays for itself, eliminating the need for replacement filters and reducing the cost of filling the fuel tank. Additionally, the fuel consumption reduction and horsepower boost provided by replaceable air filters outweigh those of paper air filters. Another notable benefit to these performance models is their impact on the environment, as they keep disposable filters from piling up in landfills. A reusable air filter is built to last and holds up throughout the life of the car.

Disposable Air Filters

More often than not, most auto repair facilities replace one disposable air filter with another. This happens for a few reasons. The disposable filter costs less than its performance counterpart, meaning less sticker shock for the owner. Another reason may be the mechanic's long-standing relationship with a particular manufacturer or supplier. Finally, installing a disposable air filter means future business for the repair shop.

This is not to say that disposable air filters do not have their place. Sometimes the reduced price is a real benefit, as is the less complicated installation for the do-it-yourselfer, as it generally does not require the addition or subtraction of any parts. Another good reason to opt for a disposable filter is if the car is old and may be replaced or retired within a couple of years.

Car Cabin Air Filters

Everyone knows that a clean air filter improves a car's performance and helps it achieve petrol efficiency. Car cabin air filters, however, take the benefits one step further. This type of filter protects the car's occupants from potentially harmful contaminants, thereby reducing the prevalence of such unwanted particles as dust, mildew, mould, pollen, smoke, and soot. Think of car cabin air filters as being comparable to a furnace air filter inside the home, which, too, safeguards against all of these unwanted substances.

More About Performance Air Filters

While any air filter can impact a car's performance, filters specifically designated as "performance" produce superior results.

Performance Air Filters by the Numbers

While actual results vary based on automobile make and model, engine size, as well as the specific filter, in general, drivers can expect a horsepower boost of between 2 and 4 percent when installing a performance air filter. Regardless of the exact number, though, the driver should feel the improvement immediately after installation.

In terms of petrol efficiency, expect a car to get two to four more kilometres per gallon with the addition of a quality performance air filter. The reason behind this is that, thanks to cleaner air, the engine burns fuel more efficiently, thereby making the most of every litre.

Performance Air Filter Installation

Many packaged performance air filters come ready to install. Oil-less filters are newer on the market and, if selected, should not be oiled. Whichever product is chosen, however, it is important to pay attention to the specific installation instructions, as different manufacturers' products may vary slightly.

Performance air filters are designed to match the regular filters they replace. Although an additional part or two may need to be added or removed the first time a performance filter is installed, this only serves to ensure a better fit and, by extension, optimal automobile efficiency.

Performance Air Filter Maintenance

Regular upkeep ensures optimal performance. Every year or so, it is a good idea to inspect the air filter for dirt or dust particles. In general, though, the performance air filter should need a thorough cleaning every 50,000 to 80,000 km, depending on on- or off-road operation. To clean, drivers should refer to the manufacturer's website for proper instructions. An air filter-specific cleaning kit containing cleaning solution and oil is a must; variance from specified cleaning methods can void the manufacturer's warranty.

Selecting an Automotive Air Filter

As with many things auto-related, sticking to well-known brands or certified original manufacturer parts is a great way to ensure compatibility and quality. Outside the realm of branded products from Honda, Chevrolet, and VW, amongst other auto manufacturers, some air filter brands rise above the rest.

Amongst performance filters, two of the well regarded brands are those from K&N and Fram. The latter's Air Hog line of products is popular. Fram makes quality replaceable filters, too, as does Bosch. As far as cabin air filters go, the Purolator gets high marks.


Performance Filter

Replaceable Filter

Cabin Filter

Initial Cost






Air Hog





Fram (non-Air Hog)















All of these brands are often recommended by auto repair facilities and automotive blogs. However, the purchase decision ultimately comes down to the type of air filter desired.

Buying Automotive Air Filters on eBay

eBay is a great resource when it comes to automotive air filters, in that buyers can find products from the auto manufacturers as well as products with manufacturer-compatible performance. You can also find replaceable and cabin air filters on this website. To quickly view available options, a good place to start is eBay's Car Parts category. A simple perusal of the site's air filter offerings returns a wide range of products, including those from VW, Fram, Bosch, and K&N. eBay allows for easy searching and sorting, allowing you easily to view results by brand, seller, price, and condition. Product photographs and descriptions provide detailed information with which to compare and rank products.

Some shoppers prefer to buy from specific sellers, including those who are top rated by the website and those with high customer satisfaction ratings. As you place an order, it is important to include the seller's shipping costs when you calculate the price for an item. Be sure to review the seller's return policy too, as you want to feel secure in your transaction.


All of an automobile's parts are important, from electrical components to emission systems, from exhaust to electrical components. Also significant are the filters, both for oil and air. The air filter is responsible for delivering clean, oxygenated air to the engine, free of particles and contaminants; as such, it directly correlates to the engine's performance and overall fuel efficiency. When seeking to purchase air filters, buyers have a number of options, beginning with ones made by a car manufacturer.

Drivers may also seek out air filters from such reputable brands as K&N, Fram, and Bosch. What is important is for them to make an informed decision that includes determining the specific automobile's needs and deciding between performance and disposable air filters. A common shopping outlet for automotive air filters is eBay. With its expansive inventory and buyer-friendly prices, this online marketplace remains a favoured web destination for auto enthusiasts, road warriors, and commuters alike.

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