Why Are Car Air Filters So Expensive?

We'll start with the basics: these high-performance air filters cost more because they are made of more expensive filter material that can be washed and reused instead of being thrown away every 15,000 miles. The area in which you drive can also have an effect on how often the filter needs to be changed. Those who drive in congested urban areas or places with poor air quality may need to replace their filters more often. If you live in a desert climate, the filter may become clogged with dust more quickly, requiring frequent replacements.

According to AutoZone, it is important to ensure that you are breathing healthy, clean air whether you are driving or just a passenger in a vehicle. You will be surprised to see a filter covered in soot, dirt, leaves, twigs, and other debris, confirming that replacement service is necessary. If venting the folds of the air filter by hand causes dirt to fly away and leaves your hand dirty, then it is time to replace the filter. A dirty filter cannot do its job properly and filter out contaminants, so it is essential to replace your car's filter regularly.

For example, a foam filter that receives its regularly scheduled oil spray can often separate many particles using fairly loose pores. If you are servicing your vehicle at a repair shop or dealer, the technician might recommend a cabin air filter replacement. To access it, simply release the box by pressing a tab on each side and remove the old filter. Many cheaper oil filters lack the anti-drain valve commonly found in OEM filters, which means that the oil drains back into the crankcase when the engine is turned off, taking longer to raise the pressure again and thus causing more wear and tear to the engine. In acceleration races from 20 mph to 80 mph, the Charger was 6% slower with a clogged filter than with a clean one, the Camry was 7% slower and the Lucerne was 12% slower.

The engine check light may come on, especially if the engine fails to start or indicates a lean condition, indicating that the mass air flow sensor is dirty or has failed completely. In your car's owner's manual, you can find mileage marks for recommended cabin air filter changes, although they vary by vehicle type and manufacturer. I think they are worth the money and time spent cleaning them every few thousand miles if used in a performance application, but for a normal old car, the standard, cheap paper filter is the way to go. Then I tried the same test on an old paper filter with air filter (compressor) & and an old oil filter of the same brand as above. An independent test of a Subaru Crosstrek, for example, found that a performance filter added 4 horsepower (just over 2%) compared to an original equipment filter and improved its acceleration from 20-60 mph by 0.2 seconds of gain that would probably not be noticeable in everyday driving. I tested a new market-leading oiled air filter against a standard Ford factory paper filter.

It ensures that only clean air enters the engine without dust or debris that could damage the sensors or even worse - damage the engine itself.

Doug Bundley
Doug Bundley

Professional coffee aficionado. General web specialist. Avid internet guru. Subtly charming beer nerd. Infuriatingly humble bacon specialist. Hardcore web evangelist.

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