Your air filter works to filter the air reaching the engine during combustion and protects it from dust, debris, dirt and bugs. From time to time, when the air filter gets clogged, you will need to replace or clean it. Not doing so will suffocate the engine depriving the engine’s cylinders of the air required for combustion. As a result you’ll notice a lower mileage and reduced engine performance. A damaged air filter might also allow the road debris to reach the engine and may cause severe damage. Air filters can be made of foam, synthetic fibers, cotton, paper and other such materials.
When choosing the right filter you must keep in mind its maximum capacity of holding debris before it begins to restrict the airflow to the engine. The filter should also be efficient enough to protect your engine, but at the same time, should let enough air to reach it. Accordingly, look at performance cotton air filters, reusable performance synthetic air filters, and standard paper air filters. Each of these filters provides excellent protection to your engine, but you’ll need to take other factors into consideration when making your choice.
Typically, manufacturers install standard air filters in cars opposed to performance air filters due to their prohibitive costs. Studies also suggest that as a result of more efficient intake systems and air filter housings in present day cars, getting performance air filters may not improve the performance of your engine to a great extent. Further, by replacing the standard air filters with stock filters on a regular basis, you can keep your engine air clean and debris free.
Performance cotton air filters
Performance cotton air filters are the most efficient of air filters and allow the maximum of air to circulate in the engine.
You can wash and reuse these air filters when they get too clogged.
These air filters will require cleaning every 50,000 miles.
With proper maintenance these air filters will last for the lifetime of the car.
Reusable performance air filters
Reusable performance air filters are efficient in letting enough air into your engine.
You can easily wash and clean these air filters and reuse them over time without the need replace them.
These air filters require cleaning every 50,000 miles.
Standard paper air filters
Standard paper air filters are not the most efficient in allowing air circulation.
You need to replace these air filters every 15,000 miles on your car. If you drive under dusty conditions frequently, you might need to have your mechanic check them every time you take your car in for an oil change.
These disposable air filters are cheaper compared to the performance air filters. Replacing them can be easier than cleaning reusable air filters.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What's the Difference Between Standard and Performance Air Filters? and was authored by Saroj Aggarwal.