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How To Choose The Right Air Filter

Owning a vehicle is exciting whether it's a means to an end by being able to get you from point A to point B, or whether they are your passion and you now have your dream vehicle. No matter how you feel about your vehicle, maintaining and servicing it is essential to ensure that its engine and performance continue to strive. 

There are many significant parts of your vehicle that ensures it runs optimally, with one of the most important being your air filter. If you are unsure about the role of an air filter, its advantages and how to maintain it, or are unsure of how to select the best air filter for your vehicle, we have you covered. 

What is an air filter?

You may be wondering what is an air filter and what exactly it does. Essentially, an air filter plays a significant role in how your vehicle performs. An air filter works to ensure the engine of your vehicle works to the best of its ability alongside the overall operation of your vehicle. As well as this, an air filter works to optimise the amount of air that enters your engine, consequently impacting your acceleration and horsepower. 

What is the purpose of an air filter? 

An air filter works by capturing any contaminants that are present in the air before they reach your car's engine and cause damage. An air filter prevents containments, dirt, and debris from entering your engine. This is significant for the performance of your vehicle as if these contaminants are to enter parts where the fluid and air flow through, this could impact the radiator, fuel lines and possibly the engine. 

Due to this, it is recommended to replace an air filter every 12 months or around 19,000kms, whichever comes first. Your vehicle owner’s manual will provide specific recommendations as your specific guideline may vary in comparison to the general guidelines. 

What are the benefits of an air filter? 

The main benefit of an air filter is the performance advantages it provides for your vehicle. Air filters have been shown to produce a 10% increase in acceleration after getting the previous air filter replaced. A new clean air filter allows for maximum flow of air and fluids throughout the system of your vehicle. 

Signs you may need a new air filter

The main sign reported when it is time to replace your air filter is diminished or reduced vehicle performance. Reduced vehicle performance may be highlighted in numerous ways such as an overall decrease in engine performance and power, the air conditioning and heat isn’t working up to usual standards or less fuel economy overall. 

What happens if I don’t change my air filter? 

If you do not change or clean your air filter regularly, you may begin to experience issues with your vehicle performance leading to further damage within your vehicle. Other signs you may begin to experience could include: 

Clean Air Filter


What are the types of air filters?

There is a multitude of car air filter types, depending on your vehicle's needs and preferences. The three main types of air filters are paper filters, cleanable filters and oil bath filters. 

 Types of air filter


  • Paper filters

Paper filters are the most common variety of car air filters as they are affordable and effective in filtering excess amounts of debris and dust, performing their core function exceptionally. As these filters are made from paper, they are not able to be reused, although since they are an affordable option many people find that their price point and effectiveness outweigh any replacement costs. 

Paper filters are made from pleated paper which utilises a special compound that is multi-layered to trap contaminants of all various sizes. Paper air filters are available in various shapes such as cylindrical, ring-shaped and rectangular to suit various vehicle models and makes. 


  • Cleanable filters

Cleanable filters tend to be more expensive than paper filters, although they last a significant amount of time and will need to be replaced less often which is seen as an advantage for many people. To ensure the performance and longevity of a cleanable filter, it is vital to clean and oil these filters regularly and efficiently. How often you are required to clean your filter will depend on the nature and frequency of usage, with some people not having to clean their filter for up to 80,000 kilometres. 


  • Oil bath filters 

The purpose of an oil bath filter is to capture large particles in the air which may cause damage to your vehicle's engine. This ensures that dust particles that go through the air filter are eliminated, ensuring no damage is caused to the engine or vehicle performance. 


How to choose the right air filter 

It can be daunting when choosing the right air filter for your vehicle's specific needs and requirements, especially when you are wanting to protect your vehicle's overall engine performance. When selecting the most suitable air filter for your car, it is important to consider your vehicle's specific technical requirements. 

Once you have an understanding as to which air filter is best suited to your vehicle and its requirements, you may wish to select a specific make of air filter from a reliable manufacturer. Your manufacturer should provide a range of options, allowing you to determine the most suitable air filter for your specific needs. 

Air filters are available in high-performance options if you are wanting to increase your performance and horsepower. If you are looking for the best air filter for performance, a cold air intake system or a short ram air intake system to provide these results. 


The Importance of Air Filters in Cars

Air filters are extremely important in relation to the performance of your vehicle. The air filter assists in guaranteeing that the air that flows through to your engine is clean, which ensures your vehicle supports maximum power and decreases your overall fuel consumption. 

Ensuring you keep up to date with cleaning and replacing your air filter in line with what is recommended within your vehicle's wonder manual will ensure your vehicle has optimum engine performance and does not experience any issues with the radiator, engine or fuel lines due to contaminant within the air. 


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