If you are searching for the best car air filters according to consumer reports in 2023 then this post is for you.
You have purchased your first car. It is the best feeling in the world, and I am sure you must be enjoying it.
Being an immature owner, you are trying to learn everything that can make your car run efficiently.
Car engine oil, all agree, that, it is the most important thing and you should change the oil regularly.
But what most do not tell is, that a car’s air filter is as important as oil.
It serves as a lung to allow clean air to pass through the engine and prevents debris from entering your car’s engine.
If your car’s air filter has expired, and you are unaware of that fact, with time, your car’s engine performance will continue to decline as dust and dirt gather on the components.
I am not saying you should change it with every oil change, but change it when needed.
But, being an immature driver, how would you know the best car’s air filters?
We are here to help. We have tested, and taken feedback from our regular customers about different air filters.
And based on the testing as well as testimonies and consumer reports, we have enlisted the top-rated car air filters you can buy right now.
In this post, I am going to review the best car air filters as per consumer reports. So without further ado, let’s get started.
7 Best Car Air Filters Consumer Reports
I have compiled a list of the 7 best car air filters based on consumer reports 2023.
1. FRAM Extra Guard Engine Air Filter
We are not expert automobile technicians. If you like taking care of your ride by yourself, and change Air filter too, you should go with an air filter that is easy to install and could easily fit in your car.
FRAM designed extra guard engine air filter helps you block contaminations, debris, and dust from reaching out your engine and enhances overall performance as well as fuel economy.
It is a paper-made filter that has been gone through rigorous testing to determine its performance. As per consumer reports, it works like a gem, with no maintenance required.
With an orange rubber frame, the white paper panels look stylish, if you like to take things aesthetically appealing even the insides of the vehicles, that’s your grab.
As per FRARM, the engine air filter doubles your vehicle power. It not only increases the overall horsepower but makes acceleration a breeze.
Your engine enjoys an undisturbed performance and absorbs as much as twice the debris compare to a regular filter and renders maximum protection.
Now, when to change this filter? It is a disposable filter, so as per experts, you should change your engine air filter after 12000 miles or once a year.
Well, you can follow the guidelines, and read your car’s manufacturer manual when to change the filter.
The last thing, before you give a shot to this product, don’t forget to check the dimensions.
Match the dimensions of this filter (10.3″ x 2.1″ x 10.8″) to your car. Mostly, it fits modern cars, and I don’t think you will have a fitting issue at all.
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- Double protection than regular car filters
- Low maintenance required
- Can be installed by the consumer
- Traps more particles, debris, and dust
- Disposable filter, not sturdy constructed
2. K&N Engine Air Filter
If you don’t like disposable filters, most of the time, they clog before their said lifespan, and second, you have to remove and dampen them every time. Buy reusable filters like K&N Engine Air Filter.
This filter maximizes protection by capturing the contamination and harsh elements that could limit your engine performance and power.
The stand-apart feature of this filter is its lifespan. If taken care of and maintained well, as per the consumer reports, and our testing too, it can last easily for 50,000 miles.
I don’t think you would have any need to replace the filter for the next few years.
Its life-long performance is due to its construction. It is made of a durable Polyurethane frame, and premium cotton is used as filter layers inside which is washable and reusable.
So, whenever you change your engine oil, take it back, clean it, and put it back again.
It comes with a cleaning kit, you would not have to spend extra on buying a cleaning kit.
When you take it out for cleaning, use the kit and clean using it to get improved cleaning and unclogging performance.
One more thing, I particularly liked about the K&N air filter is its provided user manual.
Yes, the user manual guide makes it a breeze to not only install but clean the air filter.
With a weight of only 1.6 pounds and dimensions of 12.1″ x 18.2″ x 1.8″, it easily fits most the cars.
It got an airtight seal that is designed to provide the right fitting in most cars. To clean it uses the cleaning kit, and take help from the user manual.
- Comes with a cleaning kit
- Durable Polyurethane material constructed
- Premium Cotton filter layers
- Easily lasts for 50,000 miles
- The filter performance capturing moisture is limited
3. EPAuto GP171 for Toyota Rigid Panel Engine Air Filter
If you look at most of the disposable filters you will see them dead even before their said lifespan.
That’s because of their lousy construction, and using not-premium quality material in making.
But, unlike others, EPAuto Air filter is designed by a group of technicians that aimed to produce quality yet affordable ranged air filters.
This EPAuto-designed air filter is made of premium quality cotton and got a plastic frame.
This plastic frame shares a rugged construction and is designed to let air pass through the filter without making the insides lousy.
In our testing and the feedback taken from our regular customers, this air filter easily reaches 12000 miles.
The brand claims it to be replaced after 12000 miles, but it can last way more than this.
I find this air engine filter to be easily installed. Although I am an expert, I have seen many new owners getting it replaced by reading the user manual without any big trouble.
It surely increases your engine performance and improved your fuel mileage.
In total, I can say this air filter shares a premium quality construction as well as the design.
And provides all the safety and protection required for your engine. It is a low-maintenance baby, you would not have to go through any challenges when replacing it.
The only issue you may face is it might not fit all the cars. First, check your car’s air filter dimensions, and match that with 11.8″ x 7.8″ x 2″, is designed mostly for Toyota Cars, but fits modern cars too.
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- Premium cotton made
- Special plastic design to increase airflow
- Easy to replace
- Improves mileage and acceleration power
- Might not fit your vehicle
4. MANN-FILTER C 30 005 Air Filter
If you often feel turbulence in your car’s performance, your vehicle turns off automatically, maybe your area using fuel that is contaminated or your air filter is not working.
What happens in the high-humid area, and most of the filters were not designed to filter moisture in the air. The moisture gets into the combustion chamber and renders turbulence flight.
But, MANN-Filter designed engine air filters not only removes the moisture from the air intake but other contamination like dust, debris, and many others. In other words, only the cleanest air gets to reach your engine and boost your performance and make sure your engine runs at peak efficiency.
It is a flame retardant and water-resistant air filter that comes with high dirt separation efficiency and low resistance so that your car’s combustion chamber receives as much air as needed for increased acceleration.
MANN-Filters receive this scale of performance because of their premium construction.
It got glue string technology that helps the pleats stay in place and maintain even space, and minimize bunching under high pressures.
The MANN-Filter line is aimed at producing qualitative air filters without increasing the price. I am not saying they are affordable, but they don’t cost big money.
They are aimed to design mostly higher-end cars or premium cars like Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and others.
- Filters air droplets or moistures from the air too
- Flame retardant and water-resistant air filter
- Integrated Glue String technology holds the pleats together
- Good for higher-end cars
- The delivery and packaging could have been improved
5. AEM DryFlow Air Filter
AEM-designed DryFlow air filter is among one the top reusable air filters that are designed using synthetic material.
I find this particular air filter standout in performance on dusty dirt tracks or off-road areas with lots of dust around.
As per the brand’s claims, the reusable filters capture as much as 99 percent of the harmful contaminant and render outstanding performance in poor conditions.
The best thing about reusable filters is, that you can clean them. So, for high-dust areas, if you use disposable filters, you will have to change them after some time because of the clogging.
The company promises to stand back at their products and offers a life-long warranty as long as you own the vehicle for the street vehicles.
For other types of vehicles, the warranty goes for one-year long. And About the cleaning, the company suggests cleaning the filter after every 30,000 miles.
But in my view, the cleaning is hugely dependent on where you drive and live. If it is an uneven dusty area, you might have to clean it with every oil change.
So, in my view, if you have to drive off-road, and get clogged filters even before the oil change, I highly recommend using this AEM designed a DryFlow filter.
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- Impressive performance for dusty areas
- Captures 99 percent of the contamination
- Affordable price
- Lifetime warranty as long as you own the vehicle
- Many consumers mentioned they did not receive any improved fuel mileage
6. ACDelco GM Original A3144C Air Filter
ACDelco has been making original parts of GM motors for the longest time. The brand maintained the quality and earned a big name not only in producing GM motors parts but many other products like air filters.
This ACDelco-designed air filter not only promises quality but innovation. It is not like the air filter can only be used for GM motors vehicles but for non-GM engines too.
It removes all the contamination that damages the engine and decreases the fuel efficiency as well as the performance.
Its construction shares a tight seal that keeps the unfiltered air away from entering the combustion chamber of the engine.
I am amazed at how this filter ideally filters the pollens and allergens that enter the engine very easily it is a regular air filter.
The basis on my customer’s feedback, I can say that this filter enhances the lifespan of your engine.
It secures the smooth performance of the engine through exceptional flow management and filter capacity.
Its clean air flow rate is better than many other air filters, even the premium ones.
It provides an unrestricted flow rate, and its tight seal keeps the unfiltered air from reaching the engine.
- Filters the pollens and pollutants
- Equipped with tight seals to keep unfiltered air
- Good for GM and Non-GM engines
- Meets OE expectations
- Wider for some vehicles
7. ECOGARD Premium Engine Air Filter
If you own Chevrolet Equinox models from 2010 to 2017 and looking for the best engine air filter for it, I reckon you can’t get a better option than ECOGARD designed premium engine air filter.
This air filter has been tested for the particular models, as well as GMC terrain models from the same period.
Keep In mind, for Chevrolet Equinox models, there is a different fitting for the engine filter, and most of the other filters might not fit.
So, if you commit to buying any other model from our list, we highly recommend checking the dimensions of your engine and the filter before giving it a shot.
This air filter got an appreciation for its consistently improved performance. It filters the air and makes sure only clean air reaches your combustion chamber.
With this filter installed in your Chevrolet Equinox models, you enjoy uninterrupted performance which ensures long-term power and acceleration.
As per the brand’s claims, and consumer reports suggest too, this can easily last for 12000 miles.
For the Chevrolet Equinox models, there were issues other than just fitting, about filters losing their efficiency in the shortest time.
This one lasts as per the expectations and makes you enjoy superior performance with less interruption.
In our testing, we found this engine air filter extremely easy to install. If you are not an expert and have not experienced any filter change before, you might require tools, but for an expert, they require almost no tools.
In total, I can say that this air filter provides Chevrolet Equinox models cars an optimized performance long unlike GMC motors vehicles.
- Factor fit for easier installation
- Avoid engine wear with dirty air intake filters
- Lasts for 1200 miles easily
- Contains double filter media
- Only compatible with Chevrolet Equinox models and GMC models
Consumer Reports Car Air Filter Buying Guide
I am sure you know what an air filter does. So, I am not going to discuss the guide with the question of what an air filter is.
This section is specially designed for immature drivers and car owners. With this buying guide, they can easily learn what to look for in a car’s air filter.
Although we have provided you with a list of the best car air filter. Still, in case you don’t like any of them, or can’t purchase them online, you could easily decide on the right type of air filter for you.
Types of Engine air filters
When it is to engine air filters, usually you end up with three basic types.
1. Paper air filter
As the name suggests, these filters are made using standard paper. Most of the cars being driven use this type of filter.
They got a cardboard housing with a system of paper designed in a way to collect debris and contamination in the air.
The top advantage of these types of air filters is, that they are cheap and can easily be purchased from any local store.
And the downside is, that they have to be thrown out when expired. You simply will have to buy a new one, and throw out the older one.
2. Reusable Air filters
As the name tells, these types of filters can be used again. They are made of soft plastic, different plastic layers are joined together to make it filter the air.
The best thing about them is when clogged can easily be cleaned or washed and put back in the car to use again.
Some even last the life of your car, but are expensive and come in hands at an expensive price range.
3. Oil bath auto air filter
If you are driving an old 60s model car, you might have this type of air filter.
Back then things were complex, and with these filters, you get a series of tubes containing oil, the air is forced to pass through those tubes and oil captures the contamination. Didn’t like the idea of capturing debris and dust from the air? Me too.
Design, size, fitting, and make
That’s the most important and must take care of aspect. You should always buy an air filter that is designed for your make and fits the size of your car’s engine air filter.
It is pertinent to mention that, maybe you got an expensive car, and the filters of that car might not be available in the nearest local store.
For that, you should stock up on the air filters, and replace them whenever needed.
The structure of the air filter the outer shape in which the actual air filter is placed is called the filter frame.
It acts as a seal between upstream and downstream portions of the air box.
Usually, this filter frame is made of foam, with very less stiffness. In some cases, you might get a polyurethane material constructed filter which is more durable and last longer.
In good brand air filters, the structure you will see doesn’t change its shape and last for a long time.
The stronger the material used in making the frame, the fewer overlaps it will require to hold the media in place.
If you plan to buy a reusable filter, the extra spend for you can be to buy the kit. This specialized kit is designed to clean the reusable filter.
Well, many don’t buy the idea of buying an extra kit to clean the filter, but for me, it is important and marks a big difference in opening the pores of the clogged air filter.
It can cost around 10-15 dollars extra. If you are buying a reusable filter, I recommend buying a kit if it is recommended by the manufacturer.
To this point of the guide, I am sure you must have learned most of the things a consumer should know. Again, each model and make will require a particular size and fitting of the air filter.
So, before you give a shot to any of the products, must check the dimensions and match the dimensions with your vehicle engine filter.
Cars are high maintenance, but with a little care and consideration, you can get them efficiently running without interruptions.
Change the air filter when it expired, or check it on every oil change, before it stops filtering air reaching the combustion chamber.
We can hope that you liked this guide, and the products we have added will make a good pick for you.
How does the Air filter work?
In vehicles, air filters are installed in the front of the mass air flow sensor and throttle.
This traps the particulates, contaminations, and dust particles in the environment encouraging improved clean airflow.
When air passes through the intake system, it passes first through the air filter. And as the air passes, the filter holds back particles bigger than the filter’s pores.
If you have no filter installed, the dust particles or other particulates can easily get into the combustion chamber and renders interrupted performance or risk to the internal components.
How Much Can an Air Filter Affect Performance?
In my view, an air filter decides the overall performance of your vehicle. If it is a good quality air filter that cleans the air before letting it in the combustion chamber, you get the right performance you expect from the car’s engine.
A good flow rate air filter maximizes the performance of up to 3 to 5 horsepower, the easiest way to maximize your vehicle performance.
With an air filter changed, you also get an improved fuel economy, up to 10 percent. So, if your air filter has expired, replace it right away, and enhance the fuel economy.
How often you should replace an air filter?
The simplest and easy answer to the question is, to look up the manufactures recommendation.
Generally, manufacturers recommend changing the air filter after every 12000 to 15000 miles, or as per the recommendation of the manufacturers if the car is still under warranty.
If the warranty has expired, you can change the air filter after every 15000 miles driven. Look at the air filter after every oil change and replace it if it starts to get dirty.