Mar 22 2020

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Auto air filters

Top 10 Best Engine Air Filters: Top Rated Truck, SUV & Car Air Filters (Reviews)

If you’re shopping for a new air filter then you are in for a treat. Not only is this one of the easiest modifications to make in the comfort of your own driveway or garage, but you’ll also see a boost in horsepower, torque, and fuel economy immediately. Unlike the flimsy paper filter your car, truck, or SUV came with – performance filters are made from higher grade materials, work better, and last longer.

So which aftermarket air filter is right for your vehicle? With so many to choose from it can be hard to determine. At Auto Accessories Garage, not only have we researched all the top selling air filters, we seen them, touched them, and put them to use. With that in mind, we figured it might be good for us to help you in your search by ranking some of the best of the best. Presenting the 2020 edition of the Top 10 Best Engine Air Filters for Cars, Trucks, & SUVs.

The Best Engine Air Filter

10. Volant Engine PreFilter

Hey, we heard you like filters, so we decided to tell you about a filter for your filter! Starting us off at number ten is the Volant PreFilter. This handy accessory comes custom made to fit over your exact engine air filter and it will work to maintain oxygen flow while repelling water, dust, dirt, sand, and anything else that might otherwise get sucked up by your engine air filter.

Frank Z who drives a Dodge sports car says:

The filter looks great and I expect it to stand tough for tens of thousands of miles to be honest. It seems large but it fit right into place in my Dodge [sports car].

9. aFe Pro Guard 7 Engine Air Filter

Custom made to your year make and model, the aFe Pro Guard 7 Engine Air Filter is specifically designed for the needs of heavy truck jobs like towing or high performance applications like racing. This isn’t your grandma’s engine air filter, but it will be the perfect upgrade for drivers who know they need to get some real air coming into their engine.

Jimmy T who drives a Jeep compact SUV says:

Great product and really unleashes a heck of a performance. I’m not brand loyal to many things but I will never by a filter that’s not an aFe.

8. aFe Pro Dry S Engine Air Filter

Can you get performance boosts across the board with a simple low-maintenance swap out? It sounds too good to be true but you really can with the aFe Pro Dry S Engine Air Filter. This cleanable, reusable filter boosts horsepower, torque, and fuel economy by upgrading its surface area to allow a great air flow volume to enter your engine.

John P who drives a Honda compact SUV says:

I bought two filters, one for each car. Both cars are running better and getting improved gas mileage.

7. K&N Cabin Engine Air Filter

If it’s not horsepower gains you want, but a cleaner, less allergy ridden interior, then the Cabin Air Filter from K&N is perfect for cleaning out mold, pollen, and dust before you ever have a chance to breathe them in. This filter is washable and reusable and it’s even backed by a 10-Year/10,000 Mile Warranty.

John S who drives a GMC pickup truck says:

It’s a perfect fit for a 2014 Sierra 1500. Much higher quality than the cheapo stock filter. Supposedly K&N has a cleaning/smell good spray that you clean it with. I’ll find out in a year.

6. aFe Engine Air Filter

The trick with the aFe Engine Air Filter can be found in the cotton gauze filter that scrubs dirt and debris out of incoming airflow. Purer oxygen in your engine means a better performance, pure and simple. Washable and reusable, this filter comes pre-oiled from the factory so it’s totally ready to go as soon as you open the box.

Andrew A who drives a Ford pickup truck says:

This filter is high quality. Just drop it down in and watch your throttle response improve greatly. I didn’t notice much change in MPG. For me this replaced my OEM filter which was garbage.

5. AEM Dryflow Engine Air Filter

The value of a dry filter like the AEM Dryflow Engine Air Filter is that you never need to bother with oiling it. That means easier maintenance, and no risk of over-oiling. A little bit of synthetic filter cleaner and water will keep this filter clean and in good standing for up to 100,000 miles. Plus it comes backed by a Lifetime Warranty.

Luis H who drives a Chevy subcompact car says:

Excellent craftsmanship. The quality of AEM products are always present in everything they make. Installation was as easy as replacing any factory engine air filter and I immediately felt the engine more responsive. I even get slightly better gas mileage. This is a win win!

4. S&B Intake Kit Replacement Engine Air Filter

Thanks to an 8-layer filter, the S&B Intake Kit Replacement Filter is designed to maximize airflow for better protection. Made from 100% Cotton gauze, this filter is tested to the ISO 5011 Standard and comes backed by a Million-Mile Warranty. S&B developed this filter in their climate controlled test lab and the results speak for themselves.

Dick G who drives a Toyota SUV says:

Just can’t beat it! I already see improved gas mileage and HP. Plus now when I go to get my oil changed the guys can’t try to tell me I need a new air filter. I don’t think they even look.

3. Injen High Performance Engine Air Filter

Dyno-tested for maximum performance, the Injen Universal Air Intake eschews restrictive paper filters for a cotton gauze design. The installation is quick and easy – one of the easiest things you can do yourself at home really. Plus this filter is completely washable and reusable. Injen backs this with a Lifetime Warranty.

Pete S who drives a Honda sedan says:

I ordered the Injen replacement air filter from auto accessories garage, and not only did it ship very quickly, I didn’t know which size I needed and the customer service operator was very friendly and told me exactly which filter was right for my car. Now the air filter has been replaced and my car is breathing clear again! I will definitely use auto accessories garage again!

2. Volant Primo ProGuard 7 Car Air Filter

The word ‘volant’ means ‘able to fly’ and you’ll really be flying once you get the Volant Primo ProGuard 7 Filter under your hood. Increasing horsepower and MPG, this filter also is designed to reduce heat conductivity and bring cooler air to your cylinders. Cooler air means a bigger bang and you’ll feel it in your handling and performance.

Bruce C who drives a Ford sports car says:

Big fan of the Primo ProGuard. I have one in my [sports car] already, I’m just buying a second one so I don’t have to wait to let the first one dry after I wash it hahaha.

1. K&N Engine Air Filter

If you know much about getting cars race-ready and in performance condition, you know the name K&N. That’s because K&N make a seriously mean Engine Air Filter that comes custom made for the unrestrict airflow for your specific make and model of vehicle. But even as race-oriented as this filter is, it’s still street legal in all 50 states.

Rigu who drives a Jaguar luxury vehicle says:

I run K&N filters on all my cars,truck, and bike! I get a extra 100hp (just kidding) But I haven’t worn one out yet. Performance, longevity, What more could you ask for?

Engine Air Filter Buying Guide

Motor vehicles are built on the principles of internal combustion. But there can’t be combustion without oxygen, so your car engine is always taking in as much air as it can. And your car’s not picky – it’ll take any air it can get. Dirty, smoggy, polluted, or even full of bugs, your air intake will bring it in and it will all cause damage to your engine and a reduced overall performance.

That’s Where Your Engine Air Filter Comes In

Your air filter captures bugs, dirt, pollen and more and ensures your engine will run at its top efficiency. Your engine air filter is also one of the easiest modifications to make yourself and one of the most affordable. If you’ve been wanting to see improved horsepower and better gas mileage, a new clean air filter should be your first stop.

Three Types of Engine Air Filters

There are three main types of engine air filters. Paper filters, oiled performance filters, and non-oiled performance filters.

1. Paper Engine Air Filters

Paper filters are by far the most common filter, and most likely what your vehicle came with. They are very low in price and do a decent job of filtering your engine. They are one time use only and need to be replaced every 15,000 to 30,000 miles depending on driving conditions. If you often drive through dusty dirt roads or highly polluted cities, you may need to replace your paper filter much sooner than someone who drives mostly in the suburbs.

2. Non-Oiled Performance Engine Air Filters

Any type of performance filter will cost a little more than a paper filter – but most of them last forever and only require a quick cleaning instead of a full replacement. They also usually come specifically designed to fit your vehicle exactly. This custom fit and higher quality design means these non-oiled performance filters will really open up your engine’s potential. Increasing horsepower and MPG, these also keep your engine in better shape than paper filters for the long haul.

3. Oiled Performance Engine Air Filters

Oiled engine air filters on the other hand, have a coating of oil through out. This moist layer will collect even more dirt and debris, as it sticks to the oily membrane while attempting to pass through. There’s no cleaner engine performance than what you’ll achieve with an oiled performance filter. Just like the non-oiled variety, most of these filters will last the life of your vehicle, and just need to be washed (and re-oiled) every now and then.

How Often Should You Change or Clean an Engine Air Filter?

As mentioned above, for cheap paper air filters you generally want to replace them every 15,000 to 30,000 miles depending on your driving conditions. And you’ll want to replace them every three years whether you’ve reached 15,000 miles or not – because they will start to crack and crumble after that long.

For performance filters, check the manufacturer instructions because they may vary. But with K&N for example, can ride for up to 50,000 miles before a cleaning is required – and when paired with one of their cold air intakes, they can go up to 100,000 miles before a cleaning is necessary.

No Matter the Style, Maintenance is Important

No matter the style of your air filter, proper cleaning and maintenance (or replacement in the case of paper filters) is essential for the health of your car. Failure to properly maintain or replace your air filter can cause serious damage to your Emissions Control System – not to mention draining your horse power and fuel efficiency.

How Do I Remove My Old Car Air Filter

Removing and replacing your engine’s air filter is one of the easiest modifications you can do at home. Even people who have never popped a hood can tackle this project in just a few minutes.

Open the Hood and Look for the Filter Box

Pop your hood and locate your filter box. This usually isn’t hard to do, it will be the black plastic box sitting right on top or beside your engine. Typically there’s a sizable hose sticking out of one side. If you have any trouble finding it, check your research manual, or search online for a photo or video involving your particular make and model.

Remove the Old Filter

It really is that easy. It’s not screwed in or anything. It’s just kind of sitting there. If it’s a paper filter then throw it away, and if it’s a performance filter go give it a rinse and a re-oiling if necessary.

Put in the New or Cleaned Filter

It’s not any more difficult than that. Your performance filter should fit right into place on your make an model. If you plan on replacing a paper filter, you can ask an auto store to match your old filter if you bring it in.

Cleaning a Performance Engine Air Filter

Please Note: It matters how you set down your filter after the various soakings and rinsings that follow. When soaking your filter with cleaning solution, rest it on its top; after rinsing off all the cleaning solution, rest it on its base to dry. The differences, while seemingly minimal, affect how the solution is distributed and, later, how the filter dries.

At, as well as any other reputable auto parts store, you can find an Air Filter Restoration Kit or an Air Filter Cleaning Kit to match your performance engine air filter. Be sure to find the proper solution for your brand of filter, as they will be specially designed to clean your particular Ford Ranger Air Filter. Included in the kit you will find two bottles: one of Cleaning Solution and one of Air Filter Oil.

To get started, tap out your filter to remove any loose dirt and dust. Following this, liberally apply the Cleaning Solution to the outside of your dirty Hyundai Elantra Air Filter. Don’t hold back, now: you want to really soak it. Once the outside is coated, spray the soultion on the inside of the air filter. Again, really soak the filter with the Cleaning Solution. When the inside and outside are properly coated, let the filter sit in a basin or sink for ten minutes, allowing ample time for the cleaning agents to work their magic on your filthy filter.

After ten minutes have passed, run cool, low pressure water, either from a faucet or a hose, over your filter. It is very important in this step that you take great care to completely wash all of the cleaning solution off before proceeding to the next step. You won’t need to run the hose or faucet inside the Volkswagen Jetta Air Filter itself, as the water will seep through your filter, but make sure to wash every inch of the outside thoroughly.

When you’re sure the filter is clean, shake off any and all excess water. Once again set your filter in a sink or basin and allow it to dry. This should take about 15 minutes. It is important here that it dries completely. You filter should be a drab gray color at this point.

Helpful Hint:A hair dryer or small household fan can be used to speed up the drying process if you are short on time after rinsing off the cleaning solution. Be very careful to use moderate heat at most when using such devices, but when used correctly they can expedite your drying process. It is not recommended to use either when waiting on your oil to soak in.

Now you’ll need the Engine Air Filter Oil. Evenly apply this substance, which should go on pink when applied to the outside of your Ford Taurus Air Filter. Try to get it into every crack and crevice, as it is this oil that will attract dust and dirt and keep these and other engine-harming particulates out of your intake tube. Thoroughly coat your filter, but do what you can to not overapply this oil, as it can affect the way your engine receives air. When done applying the oil, which should leave your filter a dusky pink color, be sure to wipe any excess oil off the cap and bottom lip of your filter. After wiping off the excess oil, let the filter sit for 20 minutes. This will allow the oil to absorb into the filter.

Twenty minutes later, upon oil absorption, reinstall your Ford F250 Air Filter at the head of your intake tube. You’re all set. Even with your increased performance capabilities, go easy on the other drivers. It’s only polite.

Below, you will find a video detailing how to restore an S&B Peformance Engine Air Filter:


We hope you find this information informative. If you have any further questions about performance air filters, or even just need help getting yours installed, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800.663.1570.

Auto air filters

Auto air filters

Auto air filters

Need to boost torque, horsepower & MPG? Read reviews of performance, aftermarket filter brands in the Top 10 Best Engine Air Filters for Car, Truck & SUV.
SOURCE: Auto air filters Auto air filters

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