Maintaining a clean air filter in your vehicle is essential to keeping your car or truck in top running order. Your car’s air filter filters out unwanted dirt, debris and even insects that can clog up your engine and result in poor performance and fuel economy. There are basically 2 types of air filters available for most modern vehicles: disposable, paper air filters and more durable lifetime air filters that you can clean. So, before you purchase a new air filter, there are a few things that you should know about each type.
Disposable, paper air filters are the most common type of air filters used in vehicles today, and there are several reasons for this. The primary reason people choose disposable, paper air filters is the fact that they are generally much less expensive than more durable lifetime air filters. Disposable parent paper air filters usually run $10 to $20 and are generally about half the price of lifetime air filters. Also, there is generally no maintenance involved with disposable air filters because when they become clogged or dirty—you simply replace the air filter with a new one.
The biggest problem with disposable paper air filters is that you need to replace them at regular intervals. Paper air filters normally need to be replaced about every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Also, if you live in a particularly dusty environment, or if you frequently drive on dirt or gravel roads, you will need to replace the air filter much more frequently. If you drive or live in these types of areas, you may need to replace the air filter as often as every 6,000 miles.
Lifetime air filters are generally made of much more durable material and can be cleaned fairly easily. Some lifetime air filters may require that you purchase a special type of cleaning solution to clean the filter with; however, many lifetime air filters can be cleaned with a small brush and by simply rinsing them with a water hose.
In addition to being able to use a lifetime air filter over and over again by simply claiming it, many lifetime air filters allow for a much better flow of air into your car’s engine. Better airflow into your car’s engine allows for better combustion and results in better performance. Because lifetime air filters use much better materials, they can effectively filter engine contaminants while allowing high levels of air flow intake.
The average price of a quality lifetime air filter will generally be 2 to 3 times the price of a comparable disposable air filter. However, depending on the area that you live in and your driving habits, the added costs of purchasing a lifetime air filter may well be worth it. In many cases, purchasing a lifetime air filter will pay for itself within 2 or 3 years and generally allow for better performance.