Are Aftermarket Air Filters Worth It?

Are aftermarket air filters worth it? Independent testing has revealed that these filters may not provide any performance benefit, and some types of reusable filtration units can even let more dirt into the engine. This dirt can penetrate the engine oil and cause damage to the internal parts. However, one of the advantages of a high flow air filter is that it doesn't need to be changed every year like a normal filter. All you have to do is clean it approximately every two years. High flow air filters offer better airflow and filtration of the air entering the engine.

This can lead to improved engine performance, with an increase in horsepower of 3 to 5 HP and torque. Some of the more expensive units come with a cold air intake unit, which extracts air from outside the car instead of the hot air used inside the engine compartment. Cold air is denser and burns better, thus improving your engine performance. But don't expect huge gains when you hit the accelerator. Most cars don't need an aftermarket filter, and if you're looking for more power, you'll need to spend more or be disappointed.

K&N reusable air filters are worth the extra cost upfront, as they are designed to last the life of your vehicle. They also improve fuel efficiency as they draw cold air from outside the engine compartment. The Skoda was tested with a paper filter, along with Pipercross and RamAir aftermarket filters. Disposable filters aren't usually designed for performance enthusiasts; they are designed to be simple, inexpensive, and functional. For some people, adding a high-performance air filter is not a necessity, but something worth buying simply because they are interested in modifying their vehicle. These more advanced intake systems feature filters that are tuned specifically for your car, meaning you can see a greater increase in performance compared to the standard air box, and all the other benefits that come with a kit like this, because the filter element is also reusable. When performing routine maintenance on your vehicle, one of the most overlooked aspects is the air filter.

Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained put these claims to the test and found that yes, high-performance air filters do produce more power. However, don't expect lots of extra ponies; gains aren't something you can notice much. K&N are the best-known manufacturers of aftermarket air filters and are the reference brand for many enthusiasts and even original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). But be careful when buying cone filters, as installing a poorly designed filter can cause your engine to lose power or fail to generate it. Depending on the brand's design, a gauze filter can also come with a cleaning kit that will “recharge the filter's performance”. You will only see savings after a long period of time as all you have to do is take out the filter and clean it rather than buying a new one. If you just change the filter and don't do anything like adjust your car's ECU, then don't expect a lot of power.

Of course, more performance-oriented vehicles are also modified with an improved air filter, and these vehicles will be able to get more performance out of their engines with a simple filter change. We recommend that you follow the recommendations of the OEMs but if you were investing in an aftermarket air filter make sure it is from a reputable brand with tried and tested products.