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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21 years of experience
903 reviews
21 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Air Filter - Fremont, California
Friendly, punctual, highly knowledgeable, efficient. Will stick to Pradeep for all my car needs going forward.
Toyota Camry - Air Filter - Mountain View, California
Pardeep, after quickly diagnosing starting issues with my car, offered me with fixing them in the next 20 minutes. Though I only booked an appointment for diagnosing and missed to book one for fixing, he himself booked a follow up appointment, got all parts needed and quickly fixed them within the said time. A great point I want to call out here is, not only fixing the actual issue, he also suggested and offered to replace my air filters (which is very important these days!) and with complementary 50 point inspection, he also fixed other issues so that my car gets into good shape. I highly recommend him!


11 years of experience
41 reviews
11 years of experience
Ford E-350 Super Duty - Air Filter - Denton, Texas
Very professional and communicated clearly what was wrong with the engine and how to fix it. Recommended other necessary services along with the original repairs that have helped our vehicle become usable again.
Toyota Camry - Air Filter - Little Elm, Texas
Great job, best mechanic I have ever dealt with l... will recommend him to all my family and friends... and whoever needs a mechanic


26 years of experience
65 reviews
26 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Air Filter - Leander, Texas
William arrived on time, assessed the problem, fixed it, explained everything and any suggested maintenance. Having him come to our home, especially during a pandemic, was an excellent service!
Dodge Charger - Air Filter - Austin, Texas
William is an outstanding mechanic that provided two consecutive days of terrific professionalism. Again his thourghness rings through in his work. I highly recommend William’s expertise in all auto issues Mark


33 years of experience
1020 reviews
33 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Air Filter - Hampton, Virginia
This is the 3rd time that Matt has had my service calls. He’s the consummate professional. He always shows up on time or earlier than the appointment time and he gets right to work. He’s also quite personable. I’d recommend his services and I wouldn’t hesitate to refer him to anyone that I know!
Ford F-150 - Air Filter - Norfolk, Virginia
Matt is a great technician full of knowledge and recommendations to keep your vehicle running it top shape but to improve on its performance. I recommend highly everyone use him for all of their auto needs. in 45 years I have met very few mechanics of his skill set, expertise, and mental caliber.

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