How to Buy a Good Quality Air Filter

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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.

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Recent Car Air Filter Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Car Air Filter Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

1,129

Rating Summary
1,068
39
4
5
13
1,068
39
4
5
13

Simon

26 years of experience
33 reviews
Simon
26 years of experience
Honda CR-V - Car Air Filter Replacement - Washington, District of Columbia
Simon was efficient and professionally. He was very friendly and personable - I would highly recommend him
Kia Sportage - Air Filter - Fort Washington, Maryland
Simon serviced my car with professional knowledge. He was friendly and very helpful by explaining the job which was performed on my automobile.

Roberto

8 years of experience
5 reviews
Roberto
8 years of experience
Ford Fiesta - Air Filter - Phoenix, Arizona
Showed up on time and completed the task as projected. Roberto was friendly and explained what he saw and recommends going forward. I will definitely be using his services going forward. Very convenient! Thanks again!

Joseph

19 years of experience
449 reviews
Joseph
19 years of experience
Lexus GS430 - Air Filter - Clearfield, Utah
Joseph is the only mechanic I would prefer to be working on my vehicle (vehicle's) at all. He has shown me his expertise in his auto mechanic skills, and is able to answer pretty much every question you could throw at him. I will always contact Joseph for my mechanic work. He has outshined pretty much every auto mechanic I have dealt with. Thanks again Joseph!!!

Dellano

17 years of experience
386 reviews
Dellano
17 years of experience
Suzuki SX4 - Air Filter - Arlington, Virginia
Very friendly. Showed me how to replace Spark plugs so I could do it next time, and I feel confident that I will be able to.

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