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Pros and Cons of Car Air Filters - Best Buy Air Filters for Cars

Updated on January 29, 2012

If you are searching to buy best air filters for your car, then you have landed on the right page.

The basic job of an air filter in cars is to send purified air to the combustion chamber where the air mixes with the fuel and the combustion process takes place. More oxygen means better combustion; therefore, better performance, fuel efficiency, and cleaner emissions. Keeping in mind the costs, car manufacturers make balanced type of air filters which allow clean air (oxygen) to go inside but with some restrictions. A cotton air filter’s life cycle is somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 kilometers depending on manufacturer’s recommendation. Here steps in the concept of cotton or free flow air filter, as it is commonly called. A cotton air filter is made up with special quality materials that are very strong in strength which allow completely pure airflow to the combustion chamber for better air/fuel mixture, which helps the engine to perform with increased efficiency. There are three types of cotton air filters.

  1. Replacement filters.
  2. Universal filters.
  3. Cold air induction kit.

Replacement filters are the basic ones that have the same design and shape of the original air filter though they still offer better air flow to a car engine compared to conventional filters. They are the cheapest and do their job one step above the OEM filters. They are mainly used for increased engine life and cleaner emissions.

Universal automotive air filters are the most common up gradations. As the name suggests, they have such kind of shape that they fit well in most cars without modification. They offer another step up in even more free flow of air, thus increasing a little bit of performance too along with fuel efficiency. Though hardly noticeable, there is an improvement in both.

Cold air induction kits are the most extreme type of air filter up gradations and also the most expensive ones. In their case, there is a modification required where not only the filter but the entire air flow kit is replaced. It allows complete unrestricted air flow with greater force that helps the engine to perform optimally. They seriously increase the performance by adding a few more BHPs to the car.

Standard car air filter for better performance and fuel efficiency.
Standard car air filter for better performance and fuel efficiency. | Source

Above were the basics and specifications about the cotton air filters. Now below are their pros and cons:

Pros of car air filters (cotton):

  • More purified and free flow air, so better combustion.
  • Increased engine life and strength to perform optimally.
  • Increased fuel efficiency (though negligible)
  • Increased performance (again hardly noticeable) but clearly visible and measurable in cold air intake kits’ case.
  • Cleaner emissions due to better fuel burning.
  • More free revving engine and improved deeper exhaust note.

Cons of car air filters (cotton):

  • Expensive to buy.
  • Special kit for cleaning and lubricating.
  • Have to do the cleaning and lubricating process yourself.
  • More frequent cleaning due to greater dust blocking (though it is a good thing showing that filter is doing its job better).

Buy cold intake Cosworth air filters online

But now the biggest pro which goes in favor of these filters is their life. Approximately 1600000 kilometers means no need to change the filter for the whole life of your car. In fact if you buy a universal car air filter, it will continue in your second, third, and even fourth car (if maintained properly). This alone justifies its higher price tag and converts into a value for money product so now look at its benefits. It’s simple when you are giving better food (air) to your car to perform at its best, it is converting most profitable for you and you are still not spending much money.

Now the best automotive universal car air filter brands are:

  • K&N
  • Green
  • Pipercross air filters
  • Cosworth
  • Fram
  • ITG

Out of these brands, K&N was the first to enter Indian auto market and it soon captured the market. Then came Pipercross and Green air filters. Cosworth has been launched last year and Fram and ITG are still not available in India so you can go for any brand but internationally Green and K&N are most popular. In fact, I have installed Green air filter in my car and I am more than satisfied. Green car air filter needs more frequent cleaning than K&N but that says about its better filtration performance. It is also a bit more expensive compared to others.

Now the cost for universal air filters for car engines:

  1. Green air filters cost approximately 9800 INR.
  2. K&N air filters cost approximately 8000 INR
  3. Pipercross air filters cost approximately 7000 INR

If you are planning to buy air filters for your car, I would highly recommend you to buy Green air filters as they will convert more money for you in the form of better engine performance, fuel efficiency, and clean emissions.


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      brad 3 years ago

      could u tell me anything about this filter and give me your opinion? upgr8 that's what there called double layer cold air intake filter