How to Buy a Good Quality Air Filter

The air filter is a vital component of the car’s engine and fuel system. Without it, dust, debris, and other particles would make their way through the fuel system and eventually ruin the engine.

The air filter is typically located up at the front of the engine compartment, inside the cold air collector box, it shouldn’t be hard to find. Some cars, like those with carburetors, have a permanent filter which should be cleaned according to the owner’s manual.

Not all air filters are created equal. You want a durable filter that won’t need to be cleaned or changed too often, but on the other hand this is one of the more affordable parts to change out so there’s no need to go totally overboard unless you’re looking for a performance level filter.

How to make sure you’re getting a good quality air filter:

  • Decide between paper, foam, or cloth.

    • Paper - is affordable, and is the kind of air filter your car likely came with right off the assembly line. They are made of sturdy, industrial paper, folded in an accordion pattern in order to best trap dirt and debris. They are cheap but need to be replaced frequently.
    • Foam - specifically polyurethane foam filters soaked in oil are used in off-road vehicles because they’re very effective. They are reusable and sturdy but eventually break down and can clog up the engine.
    • Cloth – usually cotton, is also soaked in oil for use in air filters, and they increase the air intake in race car engines. They’re pricey though because they’re considered to be a performance upgrade.
  • Choose aftermarket or OEM. This is one part that doesn’t carry a huge financial risk when choosing one over the other. Aftermarket filters offer a wide variety of options, which means you can customize your performance preferences. And although aftermarket parts can bring a car’s value down, in the case of air filters it’s an easy thing to switch to OEM when you prepare to sell your vehicle.

  • Choose a brand. The better-known brands are a safer bet when it comes to filters. Do your research and pick one that has a good reputation.

Changing your car’s air filter is, in most cases, a simple, affordable, straight-forward process that can be accomplished by even the most inexperienced car owner.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality air filters to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a air filter that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on air filter replacement..


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Recent Car Air Filter Replacement reviews

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Pardeep

21 years of experience
1068 reviews
Pardeep
21 years of experience
Jeep Cherokee V6-3.2L - Air Filter - Cupertino, California
Great service. Looking forward to build a good relationship different from the usual mechanics that is always trying to charge you more. Pradeep made me the impression that he is different. Cool.
Hyundai Accent - Air Filter - Sunnyvale, California
You need to know Pardeep has worked on our car a few times with oil changes and tune-ups. Each time he was early, finished on time, considerate and kind. Pardeep knows what he is doing and hones with his comments and recommendations. I will keep working with Pardeep as long as he will allow it.

Angel

5 years of experience
118 reviews
Angel
5 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox L4-2.4L - Air Filter - Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Angel was very professional. He provided all the services asked for and explained the procedures when I asked him to. He was courteous and friendly.
Volkswagen Beetle - Air Filter - Suitland, Maryland
Thank you Angel for taking care of my car which has sentimental value to me. As usual, you didn’t hesitate to answer my questions even when they were unrelated to the direct service being performed. I appreciate your diligence and commitment to ensuring my car remains in great condition.

Keith

18 years of experience
370 reviews
Keith
18 years of experience
Nissan Altima L4-2.5L - Air Filter - Lakeland, Florida
Keith was very good very knowledgeable and I like them a lot and the future if anything else happens to my car I will be asking for him personally I would like him to only be the one that works on my car thank you have a great day very good mechanic

Thomas

12 years of experience
96 reviews
Thomas
12 years of experience
Audi Q5 V6-3.2L - Air Filter - Cedar Hill, Texas
Thomas did a great job with changing my oil, replacing my fuel pump, air filter, and cabin air filter! He communicated with me, kept me informed, and was very professional.

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