Automotive

Air Filter Efficiency?

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 10, 2010
3371 posts
1756 upvotes
Ottawa

Air Filter Efficiency?

So I bought an air filter for the cabin from ebay because I found it was way cheaper than having the dealer install one when I bring the car in.

When I compared the filters, the OEM one had about 40 folds, but the one from ebay had 34 folds. Less folds, but the paper was a little thicker and more fluffy.

I'm wondering how the different designs affect the efficiency of the filter and being able to push air out into the cabin. It is supposed to be with more folds we have larger surface area, but there is a difference in the thickness/fluffiness of the paper too. not really sure how it works out to which one is better. (not that it matters much since it is just the cabin air filter)
17 replies
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20713 posts
14172 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
I've never seen any published rating on cabin air filters... it would interesting to see how they compare to the home ones especially the ones that are washable.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36455 posts
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Ottawa
craftsman wrote: I've never seen any published rating on cabin air filters... it would interesting to see how they compare to the home ones especially the ones that are washable.
https://www.carcareninja.com/best-cabin ... r-reviews/
https://innotechfestival.com/best-fresh ... ir-filter/
https://bestreviews.com/best-cabin-air-filters

Personally, I use one that has charcoal as the filter is for eliminating noxious gasses and charcoal does that well. I would not use a washable/re-usable one as you never know if you get it real clean enough...it is air coming into the cabin that you are going to breathe, not the engine for combustion.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
32069 posts
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Toronto
Change it once a yr and you are good to go. No need to go into technical analysis
Deal Fanatic
May 4, 2014
5170 posts
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Toronto, ON
eugene188 wrote: So I bought an air filter for the cabin from ebay because I found it was way cheaper than having the dealer install one when I bring the car in.
You discovered the ultimate secret. Everything is cheaper outside the dealership.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 26, 2007
6781 posts
4351 upvotes
Toronto
Unless you replace the bioweapon grade filter in Tesla with cheap knockoff, I wouldn't worry too much about it. And if you cheaped out on Tesla air filter, I will see you next time as zombies.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 10, 2010
3371 posts
1756 upvotes
Ottawa
Pete_Coach wrote: https://www.carcareninja.com/best-cabin ... r-reviews/
https://innotechfestival.com/best-fresh ... ir-filter/
https://bestreviews.com/best-cabin-air-filters

Personally, I use one that has charcoal as the filter is for eliminating noxious gasses and charcoal does that well. I would not use a washable/re-usable one as you never know if you get it real clean enough...it is air coming into the cabin that you are going to breathe, not the engine for combustion.
I totally wanted to try out the carbon ones, but since they were more, and I wasn't sure if it was going to fit.
booblehead wrote: Change it once a yr and you are good to go. No need to go into technical analysis
yea since it is the cabin air filter I don't really care. But I wonder how it applies to the engine air filter. Having more folds/surface area with thinner paper, vs less folds with more fluffy paper.
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May 10, 2005
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eugene188 wrote: I totally wanted to try out the carbon ones, but since they were more, and I wasn't sure if it was going to fit.



......
Every filter is made for specific vehicles. You put in your vehicle information and it will let you know what pat number filter you need.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20713 posts
14172 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Pete_Coach wrote: https://www.carcareninja.com/best-cabin ... r-reviews/
https://innotechfestival.com/best-fresh ... ir-filter/
https://bestreviews.com/best-cabin-air-filters

Personally, I use one that has charcoal as the filter is for eliminating noxious gasses and charcoal does that well. I would not use a washable/re-usable one as you never know if you get it real clean enough...it is air coming into the cabin that you are going to breathe, not the engine for combustion.
Those aren't really published ratings nor are they truly reviews... those articles are just rephrasing of the advertising/marketing descriptions on the side of the products boxes. I doubt that any of those sites have even purchased the products they have supposedly reviewed. They seem to be in it to collect the referrals as each one of the products have a referral link to sites like Amazon.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20713 posts
14172 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
booblehead wrote: Change it once a yr and you are good to go. No need to go into technical analysis
You can do that but you might be getting ripped off in getting an inferior product for a premium price.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
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Ottawa
craftsman wrote: Those aren't really published ratings nor are they truly reviews... those articles are just rephrasing of the advertising/marketing descriptions on the side of the products boxes. I doubt that any of those sites have even purchased the products they have supposedly reviewed. They seem to be in it to collect the referrals as each one of the products have a referral link to sites like Amazon.
Was just trying to give the OP some information for comparison and reference purposes.
By all means, if you have ratings and data, please provide it and make all of us smarter.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
18112 posts
9171 upvotes
eugene188 wrote: yea since it is the cabin air filter I don't really care. But I wonder how it applies to the engine air filter. Having more folds/surface area with thinner paper, vs less folds with more fluffy paper.
Here is a test - you would have to look at the brand specifics to potentially answer your questions:
http://www.gmtruckcentral.com/articles/ ... study.html
Deal Addict
Feb 6, 2011
2007 posts
2319 upvotes
eugene188 wrote: But I wonder how it applies to the engine air filter. Having more folds/surface area with thinner paper, vs less folds with more fluffy paper.
Major problem I find is the seals, not the paper. After a while, the seals compress, filter fits loose and allow dust to bypass the filter. K+N and Napa seems to be the worst. I always see a layer of dust after the filter, where it should always be clean.

Stay with factory filters.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
33251 posts
15131 upvotes
Counting folds on a replacement cabin air filter....only on RFD, lol. People get so crazy about the weirdest things here, I tell you. I mean I doubt you will even find people on BITOG that question stuff like the "efficiency of a cabin air filter". Good greif, I mean do some of you never open a window in your car ever? Because the moment you do that whatever your cabin air filter does or doesn't do is out the window (pardon the pun?) anyway.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
18112 posts
9171 upvotes
ES_Revenge wrote: Counting folds on a replacement cabin air filter....only on RFD, lol. People get so crazy about the weirdest things here, I tell you. I mean I doubt you will even find people on BITOG that question stuff like the "efficiency of a cabin air filter". Good greif, I mean do some of you never open a window in your car ever? Because the moment you do that whatever your cabin air filter does or doesn't do is out the window (pardon the pun?) anyway.
No offense but opening the window while driving can decrease fuel efficiency to the point that it would cost the average RFD'er $0.58 cents a year extra in fuel. I highly doubt anyone on RFD does that - after all that $0.58 cents could be put towards a used oil filter that still has a good 2000 KM left in it.
Deal Expert
Mar 22, 2004
15264 posts
6327 upvotes
RFD
TrevorK wrote: No offense but opening the window while driving can decrease fuel efficiency to the point that it would cost the average RFD'er $0.58 cents a year extra in fuel. I highly doubt anyone on RFD does that - after all that $0.58 cents could be put towards a used oil filter that still has a good 2000 KM left in it.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 10, 2010
3371 posts
1756 upvotes
Ottawa
ES_Revenge wrote: Counting folds on a replacement cabin air filter....only on RFD, lol. People get so crazy about the weirdest things here, I tell you. I mean I doubt you will even find people on BITOG that question stuff like the "efficiency of a cabin air filter". Good greif, I mean do some of you never open a window in your car ever? Because the moment you do that whatever your cabin air filter does or doesn't do is out the window (pardon the pun?) anyway.
Well counting the folds wasn't the first thing I did. It wasn't until I took the OEM one out and noticed something was off when I compared them. Then I stacked them on top of each other to see what was going on. Then my science brain kicked in and was all wondering. Like I wrote earlier, I don't really care either way because it is just the cabin air filter. But I wanted to know.
Pete_Coach wrote: Every filter is made for specific vehicles. You put in your vehicle information and it will let you know what pat number filter you need.
yeah, but i figured with stuff from ebay you never really know.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
9618 posts
9107 upvotes
Cabin air filter is more about longevity of HVAC system then saving occupants from the element.

Clean it out yearly, usually after winter and you are good to go.

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