Auto Air Filters: Replacement Versus Performance

It never ceases to amaze me when I hear people complaining about the high price of gasoline and then learn that they do not do the simple things to improve their gas mileage. Changing the oil/oil filter at regular intervals, keeping tires at adequate levels, and replacing the air filter can all go a long way toward improving gas mileage. Nobody likes to pay $2.65 a gallon for gas…you can’t control supply and demand. You can, however, make sure your car is in top shape by doing simple maintenance which translates into maximum fuel economy. Let’s compare and contrast two different types of air filters available for your car.

1. Replacement brands. As the name suggests, these air filters are used once and then tossed after their useful life has ended, which is usually within one year of installation. If you purchase your own air filters then you are familiar with national replacement brands like Fram, Purolator, and Bosch. In addition, brands developed for car manufacturers, such as the Honda Air Filter, are also replacement air filters.

2. Performance brands. Accel, AFE, Airaird, Green Air Filters, K&N Filters, True Flow, and Volant are some of the top performance brands on the market. Originally made for race cars, each performance brand is now available to consumers for the family car, SUV, minivan, or pick up truck. Unlike replacement brands, performance air filters are washable and reusable; can last as long as 50,000 miles before requiring to be cleaned; come with lengthy warranties as long as ten years/one million miles; are designed to increase horsepower and acceleration; and they will not void out your vehicle’s warranty. Unlike replacement brands that are filling up our landfills, most performance filters will outlast your car and it probably never will see the bottom of a dump.

Of course, if you are considering purchasing a performance brand air filter you may wonder if you will pay through the nose for your filter. With a little online comparison shopping I learned that a K&N performance filter for my Dodge Neon retails for $44. Compare that price to the $10 I shell out annually for my replacement brand filter and you will see that I would realize my savings by the fifth year. Not bad, considering a performance air filter is much more productive as well as environmentally friendly. Who can put a price on that?

So, if you want a high performing, environmentally friendly product available at a reasonable price, then the replacement air filter should be avoided. You can improve your fuel mileage and help the environment by switching over to a performance air filter today.