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7 Best Engine Air Filters on the Market in 2021 Review

An engine air filter is a component in your car that delivers filtered, fresh air to your car’s engine. It is made up of a tiny piece of foam-like material that is permeable to air and traps dust and debris, and prevents them from entering the combustion chamber.

You can think of it as the lungs of a car whose job it is to purify the atmospheric air of dust particles or other contamination before it enters the engine, which you can consider to be the heart of the automobile.

Therefore, quality engine air filters are extremely important for the proper functioning of your vehicle. That’s why we decided to review the 7 best engine air filters currently on the market.

So, let’s go through them and find the best air filter for your engine…

Top 7 Best Engine Air Filters of 2021 Reviews

  1. FRAM CA10755 Extra Guard Air Filter – Easiest to Install Engine Air Filter
  2. K&N Engine Air Filter – Best Budget Engine Air Filter
  3. EcoGard XA10467 Air Filter – Best Engine Air Filter for Honda
  4. Mann Filter C 3698/3-2 Air Filter Element – Most Reliable Engine Air Filter
  5. Purolator A45314 PurolatorONE Air Filter – Best Mid Range Engine Air Filter
  6. Genuine Toyota – CAMRY 4CY (2ARFE) 17801-0H050 Air Filter – Best Engine Air Filter for Toyota Camry
  7. ACDelco GM Original Equipment A3176C Air Filter – Best Engine Air Filter For GM

1 FRAM CA10755 Extra Guard Air Filter – Easiest to Install Engine Air Filter

The FRAM filter helps facilitate airflow and prevents the entry of dirt and dust into the engine. It is super simple to install and comes with full instructions and diagrams.

This filter is of excellent quality and easy to mount, with no need for special mechanical skills or equipment. It works well, is secure, and fits in compatible vehicles perfectly.

However, on some vehicles…

It may be a tight fit, so can be harder to insert. Therefore, in order to attach the clips, you can need to press down on the cover.


FRAM CA10755 Extra Guard Air Filter

Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Improved gas mileage and throttle response.
  • Boosts engine efficiency.
  • Re-usable.

Cons

  • Square corners as opposed to rounded ones.
  • Fitting in certain filter boxes involves cutting the corners.
  • Washing the filter over and over again can be a hassle.

2 K&N Engine Air Filter – Best Budget Engine Air Filter

The K&N air filter is highly recommended because of its low cost and its improvement of engine efficiency.

If properly maintained, the K&N air filter will contribute to improved performance and a decrease in the amount of fuel you use. You just need to remember to clean it regularly, and it will keep your engine in good shape.

This best engine air filter features cotton gauze/oil that improved filtration and airflow, which leads to an improvement in fuel economy, thereby saving you a few dollars in fuel.


K&N Engine Air Filter

Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Long-lasting.
  • Enhances vehicle performance and improves fuel economy.
  • Washable and re-usable.
  • Boosts engine life
  • Easy to install.

Cons

  • The seal is a little too thick for the filter box to close properly in certain cars.
  • Not suitable for all makes and models.

3 EcoGard XA10467 Air Filter – Best Engine Air Filter for Honda

Our next engine air filter features a large surface area due to being 1.9 inches thick which allows it to stop impurities with ease.

Keeps on working…

It’s also very long lasting with recommended replacement every 12,000 miles, which is far longer than most. It also maintains your vehicles acceleration and horsepower over this long replacement interval, therefore producing greater engine efficiency.

This EcoGard filter is specially built and tested for Honda OE (Original Equipment), so if you drive a Honda, this is the filter for you.


EcoGard XA10467 Air Filter

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Optimizes the car’s output.
  • Easy and straightforward to install.
  • The material is robust and is of high quality.

Cons

  • No manufacturer’s warranty is provided.
  • Designed to fit only newer-model Honda CR-V vehicles.

4 Mann Filter C 3698/3-2 Air Filter Element – Most Reliable Engine Air Filter

Specially designed to maximize engine protection and improve overall performance, this is an excellent choice. The Mann Filter C is widely used and reliable.

Built for the road…

This air filter material is made of high-grade embossed paper. They are then plastered to prevent the entry of even the smallest particles that could cause damage to your engine. While the frame of the product is made of durable plastic.

The vinyl finish stabilizes the air filter and will not tarnish or crack under pressure. It’s built to last and will do a great job of filtering.


Mann Filter C 3698/3-2 Air Filter Element

Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Improves vehicle performance.
  • Set of two.
  • Moisture resistant.
  • Durable and reliable.

Cons

  • Has been know to not correctly seal around the rubber gasket.

5 Purolator A45314 PurolatorONE Air Filter – Best Mid Range Engine Air Filter

Purolator have been making quality filters for many years and are still as popular on the market today as they were in the past. Their air filters are high quality while also being very reliable, saving you money in the long run.

Simple to install…

The A45314 PurolatorONE Air Filter is made from high-quality materials but is still affordable. They are made of specially treated high fiber paper, which is then tightly pleated in order to provide optimum engine protection. The filter frame is made of sturdy rubber and is simple to mount.

However, because the filter is not re-usable, you will need to change it approximately every 12,000 miles or every year, depending on the region you drive in.

These best engine air filters can be fitted in most vehicles, but just to be sure, check the dimensions carefully.


Purolator A45314 PurolatorONE Air Filter

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Easy installation.
  • Features a tight rubber frame.
  • High-quality construction.

Cons

  • Not re-usable.

6 Genuine Toyota – CAMRY 4CY (2ARFE) 17801-0H050 Air Filter – Best Engine Air Filter for Toyota Camry

This is a genuine OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) product for the Toyota Camry. And the highly reputable brand assures you of the build quality of this filter. Also, being fairly lightweight, it provides less resistance to the inflow of air.

The filter’s surface area is not as large as on something like the EcoGard XA10467 Air Filter we reviewed, but it is more than adequate. Being an actual OEM, this filter fits perfectly in your Toyota engine with no issues at all. It is also highly recommended for use with Toyota motor oils.

However, this filter isn’t only for Toyotas and works well in any car with a filter housing of the correct size.


Genuine Toyota - CAMRY 4CY (2ARFE) 17801-0H050 Air Filter

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Designed specifically for the Toyota Camry, but works with other makes and models.
  • Easy to install.
  • Provides optimum performance at an affordable price.

Cons

  • Some buyers don’t like the lightweight construction, perceiving it as lower quality.

7 ACDelco GM Original Equipment A3176C Air Filter – Best Engine Air Filter For GM

ACDelco makes OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts) for General Motors vehicles. The company offer consistency and creativity with years of experience. They provide premium aftermarket engine air filters that protect both GM and non-GM engines from pollutants that could destroy the internal components of the engine.

The ultimate protection…

The A3176C not only protects the engine but also protects you from harmful contaminants and allergens which can enter the vehicle’s ventilation system. This makes this the most versatile engine air filter in our review.

By improving the motor’s efficiency and output, the engine air filter is able to prolong the life of the engine. Also, the filter guarantees exceptional flow control, efficiency, and filter power. Therefore, your engine will enjoy unlimited clean airflow thanks to this filter.

This unit is a high-quality, competitively priced alternative to unbranded aftermarket components. And is therefore highly recommended.


ACDelco GM Original Equipment A3176C Air Filter

Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Engineered to OEM requirements.
  • Super simple installation

Cons

  • Designed specifically for use with General Motors vehicles.
  • Is slightly too wide for some GM models.

Best Engine Air Filters Buying Guide

Best Engine Air Filters Review

First of all, and it’s kind of obvious, but always ensure that you buy the right size of filter for your filter housing. You can find this information online or in your car’s manual.

This is important because a filter box is hermetically sealed, and its only function is filtration. As air is pulled into the engine, it must pass through the filter, which cleans the air before it enters the combustion chamber. If it is the wrong size, too large, or too small, it will allow dirty air to pass through.

Next, we’ll answer some common questions about air filters, as well as throw in a few tips that will help you out when you buy your next one…

Engine Air Filters Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Over time, air filters get dirty as they clean the dust and other particles in the air. This means that your car won’t run as efficiently as it should, and therefore, it’s time to clean the filter or replace it.

Although all cars come with OEM filters, there are a number of high-quality aftermarket filters available that can actually boost your vehicle’s performance.

But, which filter is suitable for my car?

An automobile’s engine depends on a number of things to run, but two stand out, fuel and air. The mixture of the two is what makes your engine run and, in doing so, makes the vehicle move. Clean fuel is very important to your engine, but so is clean air.

The operation of an air filter is quite simple but crucial. The air contains tiny particles of dust which can influence the mixture of the fuel and, therefore, the performance of the automobile if they enter the combustion chamber.

Not only will your car suffer from decreased performance, but also engine wear and tear, which could cost you dearly in the long run.

So, the answer to which filter is best for your vehicle is actually quite simple. Any of the top-rated products in this review will function perfectly.

Do the best aftermarket air filters really make a difference?

Yes, aftermarket air filters really make a difference because they’re made specifically for that purpose.

Does frequent air filter replacement improve engine life?

Yes. Since air is not really clean, dirt can build up over time and clog the filter, which directly affects the amount of air entering the engine.

This will have an impact on the way your engine functions and on fuel consumption because the air-to-fuel mixture is not as it should be.

How do air filters affect emissions?

When the airflow is restricted, more gas will burn; therefore, the level of emissions will increase.

Modern cars are equipped with computer systems that determine the amount of fuel that needs to be added based on the air. If the air is limited, fuel consumption will increase, while performance will decrease.

What are the signs that my air filter needs replacing?

Best Engine Air Filters Reviews

Usually, automakers recommend changing the air filters every year or 12,000 miles, but it also depends on how and where you use the automobile. For example, if you drive in sandy areas, even quality engine air filters can clog quickly and should be cleaned or replaced sooner.

Different filter manufacturers also vary in the recommended time before the filter needs to be replaced. However, here are a few things that will show you when to replace your air filter.

The Appearance

If, when checking your filter, you find that it is only slightly dirty, it is time to wash it. However, if your best engine air filter is extremely dirty, it is time to replace it with a new one.

Reduced fuel economy

Another sign is a reduction in mileage. If you realize that your car is using more gasoline than usual, it could be due to a dirty air filter. If so, inspect your air filter to see if it is dirty or it could be torn.

Exhaust producing black smoke

Although this can be caused by a lot of different reasons, one could be a dirty air filter. This occurs when your car does not have enough air to burn with the fuel, so cleaning or replacing the filter could well fix the issue.

Loud noise when the engine is in use

If your car makes a puffing noise when you step on the accelerator, this is a sign that your engine is having difficulty getting enough air. This is a sure indication that your air filter is clogged and has restricted airflow.

How can I change or clean my car’s air filter?

Replacing the best engine air filter is as easy as cleaning your vacuum in your home. Here is a step-by-step manual for washing/replacing your car’s air filter:

Open the hood and locate the filter box. The air filter housing is easy to find in virtually any vehicle. It is usually just above the spark plugs or to the right of the engine compartment.

The filter is mounted in a box that is either cut out or clamped with screws. Unclip the upper part of the box and remove the filter. Then check that there is no damage.

Filter cleaning

Some filters can be cleaned by simply tapping them to remove dust from inside the filter. However, to properly clean the filter, you will need to wash it with detergent or soap.

Always refer to the user manual if you are cleaning your OEM filter. And, if you are cleaning a replacement filter, consult the replacement filter manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the filter.

Install a new air filter

If you suspect any damage, or it’s starting to look too dirty for a clean, it’s time to change the filter for a new one.

Need more filters for your car?

Then check out our reviews of the Best Oil Filters for Cars and the Best Cabin Air Filters you can buy in 2021.

You might also enjoy our in-depth reviews of the Best Engine Degreasers, the Best Diesel Oils, the Best Oil Drain Pans, the Best Catalytic Converter Cleaners, the Best 0W-20 Synthetic Oils, the Best Fuel Injector Cleaners, and the Best Cold Air Intake currently on the market.

So, which of these Best Engine Air Filters will we be fitting?

Air filters are just one of the important components in your car; they may be simple but are essential for your engine to function properly. Also, because they are not expensive, you don’t have to worry about replacing them regularly.

The best air filters, especially aftermarket ones, are now stiffer and more durable. Our top pick, the…

K&N Engine Air Filter

…is very long-lasting. In addition, modern filters can be reused and cleaned multiple times, so you don’t have to replace them as often as with older designs.

Therefore, air filter maintenance should not be overlooked, because saving a few dollars on filters can cost you a lot more money on engine repairs due to component and sensor failure. And that’s not all; your vehicle won’t perform as well as it should.

So always use the best quality air filters you can find. Happy motoring!

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