The Complete Guide to Buying Air Filters on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying Air Filters on eBay

Air filters are required for almost every type of engine and must be periodically replaced in order to ensure quality of the air entering the fuel intake. Air filters capture particles including dust, sludge, and contaminants and prevent them from wearing at the engine or mixing with the oil. Buyers who want to replace or install new air filters for their vehicle can choose to look for and purchase air filters on eBay.

Because eBay includes a range of different air filters, either new or used, buyers must decide which models fit their vehicles, which size they need, which material they prefer, and what brand they want. Each of these options should be chosen according to the vehicle that the air filter is intended for as most filters are made specifically to fit a single make and model of vehicle. Each of these considerations can help buyers to purchase an appropriate air filter on eBay.

The Function of Air Filters

Air filters are designed with the purpose of preventing contamination from entering the engine through the fuel intake. Most modern internal combustion engines use an air filter above the throttle body or carburettor. The filter then removes particles from the air being sent to the engine. As most know, internal combustion engines require air mixed with fuel in order to run properly. Because air fuels flame, better air conduction can improve engine performance and speed. A very good filter should block enough air particles while allowing a great deal of air into the engine. A lower quality filter might either block slightly too much air or not enough air particles.

Choosing the Correct Filter when Shopping on eBay

An important step to purchasing an air filter on eBay is to choose the correct model for the vehicle. Many air filters are made specifically for vehicle make and models. Most air filters are labelled for the make and model of vehicle they are intended for. If the vehicle comes with an owner's manual, it might also be possible to simply check the manual to decide on the exact filter needed. Alternately, some filters can be cut and put into new frames, or can be purchased as 'universal' to fit several types of vehicles. Importantly, universal air filters do not fit every vehicle. Most can be found by simply looking up the car make and model along with 'oil filter'.

Air Filter Shapes

There is a range of different air filter shapes but the two most popular are pod and drop filters. These filters are each suitable for a different type of engine. Many cars are fitted with specific air filters from the manufacturer and in most cases it is easier and more cost effective to simply replace the filter with the same type of filter already on the vehicle. Most filters are chosen because of the transmission but can sometimes be upgraded by the car owner. Both the air filters and the necessary upgrade parts are available on eBay.

Pod Filter

Open pods are often very large but offer very good air intake. For beginners, pod filters can be difficult to install and change because the entire air intake system must be removed. These filters are normally installed on manual transmission cars and can increase engine performance. However, pod filters offer less filtration than drop-in filters. Automatic transmissions do not benefit from pod filters.

Drop-In Filter

Drop-in filters are often the standard air filter for vehicles. These filters come as simple 'tray' inserts and changing one can be as simple as removing the old filter and dropping the new one in place. Drop-in filters offer more in terms of filtration but do limit air. Drop-in filters are suitable for nearly every car and can be easily purchased on eBay.

Air Filter Sizes

Air filters come in a variety of sizes but most are not standardised in any way. Cylindrical filter sizes can vary between 150 and 410 millimetres and drop-in filters can have even more size discrepancies. Buyers should check the size on the filter they are replacing before purchasing a new one on eBay. If the size is not listed in the owner's manual, it might be listed on the side of the air filter, or it can be possible to simply measure the dimensions of the filter and then choose a new one accordingly. Some people can also choose to bring their filter to a mechanic to have a recommended replacement for the size. In most cases, an easy way to find a suitable air filter size is to simply look up the make and model of the vehicle when searching for the air filter on eBay.

Air Filter Materials

Most air filters are made of a few specific materials. Common air filter materials include paper, foam, cotton, and oil bath, although these names can be somewhat deceiving. Most buyers should purchase the same type of filter already in their engine, although some can modify the engine to accept a different type of filter or material. The following chart outlines the different materials and their advantages and disadvantages.

Air Filter





Pleated cardboard style paper

Easy to service, cost effective

Can restrict airflow when clogged


Oiled polyurethane foam

Blocks a great deal of dirt and particles

Not commonly produced


Oiled cotton gauze

High air induction

Usually only available as slot filters

Oil Bath

Oil sump with filter insert

Catches all oil and air particles and does not restrict air flow

Messy to change

Out of these filters, paper ones are more common because they are cheap, easy to change, and readily available. These filters are typically thicker than paper but thinner than cardboard. They are mostly made of a type of compressed and oiled paper-type fibre. Paper filters are most commonly used for pod filters although they can be used as drop-in filters as well. Other filters, including foam and cotton, are commonly used in drop-in filters, while oil bath filters are their own style and use a foam, cotton, or paper insert along with the oil bath.

Disposable and Lifetime Filters

There are two major types of air filters, with the first being disposable and the second being lifetime. Disposable filters are often more popular because they are more common and more affordable. These must be replaced regularly and roughly every 25,000 kilometres. Disposable filters can also be replaced every twelve to eighteen months, as necessary, if the 25,000 kilometres limit is not reached before the time period.

Lifetime filters were invented in 2003 and debuted by Ford Motors. They are marketed as 'lifetime' because they often have ratings for 150,000 kilometres or more, which for most vehicles is half of their lifespan. These filters are often twice or more the cost of disposable filters but can save money and hassle over time as they do not have to be replaced as frequently.

Choosing between the two types of filters depends on a couple of factors. The first is that not all car models have lifetime filters made for them. The second is that some buyers still prefer disposable filters because they offer more control over the vehicle. Finally, many buyers choose disposable filters for convenience, but some might not be able to afford the initial cost right away, especially if they are paying for other vehicular modification or repair at the same time.

Purchasing Air Filters on eBay

Check the make and model of your vehicle and then search for the matching air filter on eBay. Some filters are compatible across a range of vehicles. For example, a filter for a Ford Coupe is also compatible with Ford Puma and Ford Cougar, so it is possible to look for these options as well as the ones compatible with your specific vehicle model. You can also specify the type of filter such as paper, foam, cotton, or specify the shape, depending on your needs.

It is important to read the description and check any size measurements listed in case the air filter is made for a different model or year of vehicle. If you are searching by the part number, you should have fewer problems with this issue. Consider checking the shipping time and cost to ensure that the part does not take too long to be delivered, and then make your purchase.


Air filters are necessary for any car and might need replacement quite often. Purchasing air filters on eBay is an easy and convenient way to purchase necessary parts for a vehicle without having to travel and look for parts. eBay is especially convenient for anyone who has a vehicle that is either rare or older. Choosing air filters from eBay should involve checking the filter on the vehicle to see the shape, style, and material.

Different materials have different advantages and disadvantages, so some buyers might want to swap their existing filter for a higher performance one. It is also sometimes possible to upgrade a filter to a lifetime filter so that it does not require changing until 150,000 kilometres or more. Buyers should consider the make and model of vehicle, the style of the filter, as well as the material from which the air filter is made, and then make their purchase on eBay.

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