What is the Best Air Filter for my Car?

We can’t tell you which air filter is best for your car, but we can give you the information you need to make the best choice for your vehicle. There are many factors to consider when buying an air filter and they all vary from individual to individual. We want to be certain that you’re going to get the one that’s right for you.

Some things that impact which type of air filter you might want to buy include:

    • Your driving habits
    • Environmental conditions where you’ll be driving
    • Your vehicle’s make and model
    • Your vehicle’s mechanical condition
    • Your preference for performing maintenance
    • Your personal preferences for filter media
    • Your concerns about vehicle performance

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider. Luckily, we can give you some guidance in a nutshell.

Paper air filters:

These filters provide your vehicle with bare minimum protection. They aren’t washable or reusable. Compared to performance air filters, they simply can’t compete. They’re economical, but only in the short-term because you must replace them much more frequently than reusable air filters. A performance air filter would be a better choice.

Cotton gauze air filters:

Oiled cotton gauze air filters provide superior air flow and excellent engine protection. They are washable and reusable and require re-oiling. These are good, all-around high-performance filters. Recommended for all driving conditions.

    Key brands: K&N

Dry synthetic air filters:

Dry synthetic air filters provide good airflow and protection, and have long service intervals. They are washable and reusable and do not require re-oiling. Recommended for daily street driving.

    Key brands: AEM, AIRAID

Oiled synthetic air filters:

Oiled synthetic air filters are the halfway point between oiled cotton gauze air filters and dry synthetic air filters. They are washable and reusable and require re-oiling. These filters are great for dusty conditions.

    Key brands: Spectre, AIRAID

If you feel like you want more information, we have additional reading about the different kinds of automotive air filters to help you make the best decision.