Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
High quality of the fuel-air mixture is a guarantee of long and trouble-free operation of the engine throughout the entire operation of the car. For the purity of the air supplied for the preparation of the mixture, special air filters are responsible, which trap dust and other contaminants on a perforated paper or non-woven surface.
Today, dozens of companies around the world are engaged in the production of filters, but not all of them are popular among consumers and market experts. Through its own research, the magazine has selected 12 of the best air filter manufacturers recommended for automotive use by professionals and power users.
Rating of the best air filter manufacturers
|How to choose an air filter||1||Mann||5.0|
How to choose an air filter
The choice of an air filter includes the determination of the geometric shape and type of filter curtain, which affects the degree of air purification from dust particles.
According to the geometry of the working section, all air filters are divided into 3 types:
- ring – old samples of air filters, which are installed mainly on carburetor cars. The peculiarity of this design is expressed in the presence of an aluminum frame reinforcement, which increases the strength and allows you to compensate for high air pressure. The disadvantage of ring filters is the small filtration area and, as a result, reduced drain intervals.
- panel filters are widespread filters in the form of cassettes, which are used in modern injection and some carburetor cars. Virtually flawless in design, with the exception of exposure of curtains to crushing under air pressure. However, in this case, a compromise can be found: the presence of a plastic frame and a plastic / metal mesh significantly increases the strength and resistance of the element to static-dynamic loads. Their advantage: large cleaning area, compact dimensions and ease of replacement.
- cylindrical – filters designed for commercial vehicles and passenger cars with diesel engines. They require less space than ring counterparts, but significantly surpass them in the area of the filter curtain. They are easily installed and have high structural rigidity even without the use of additional reinforcing elements.
According to the degree of cleaning, all filters are divided into 4 types:
- 1st degree purification filters are the simplest type of filters, which have only one layer of filter paper in their composition, taking all the air pressure. Cleans well, but not for long, and therefore costs minimal money.
- second-degree cleaning filters – a layer of paper curtains in them is preceded by a special synthetic pre-cleaner that captures the largest fractions of dust. This approach to filtration is typical for the operation of vehicles in severe dusty conditions, and therefore these filters are recommended to be installed on SUVs, crossovers and other cars that often drive on dirt and sandy roads.
- cleaning filters of the 3rd degree – these filters operate on the principle of preliminary cyclonic cleaning, which allows you to sift out most of the debris even before the passage of the pre-cleaner and the filter curtain. The turbulence is created by the impeller or by the geometry of the filter itself, and as a result, dust particles settle inside a special container. Such filter elements are used mainly in diesel cars, where the air quality and the volume of its absorption are much higher than in gasoline internal combustion engines.
- Zero resistance filters are a special type of filter element that is usually outside the scope of general classifications. It differs from the main array of filters in that it is impregnated with a synthetic material with special dust-repellent compounds, as well as double metal reinforcement of the frame (with a special mesh), which allows ensuring the maximum possible air intake with minimal resistance and constant filtering properties. It is advisable to use “nulls” only in sports cars or cars with a forced engine. In other cases, their effectiveness will border on unreasonable expenses for the purchase, because such filters are many times more expensive than ordinary ones.
The first place in the rating by right of the strong goes to Mann, which supplies the market with consistently good and high-quality filters for fuel, oil and air. From a random sample across the entire range, it was Mann's air filters that performed best in air purification, fit and durability.
As for the controversial points in the assortment of Mann, here it is worth noting the high cost of proposals in comparison with the market. Of course, we are not talking about all the models in the manufacturer's lineup, but in cases where the difference in price with the closest (and often less well-known) analogue is about 500-1000 rubles, the question of the advisability of such a purchase involuntarily arises. But, be that as it may, Mann will be an excellent choice for those who value quality over cost, often operate a car off-road, and also do not like to change filters on time (the nominal mileage of these filter elements is 20% higher than the capabilities of competitors).
The second choice in our rating is Filtron car air filters, the main advantage of which is the perfect balance between price and quality. Each new filter model is checked for compliance with the parameters of strength and resistance to air flow, and, if necessary, is equipped with additional elements of reinforcement, a more durable frame, adjusted to a fraction of a millimeter relative to the originals.
A small problem with Filtron filters is their poor adaptability to off-road driving – in such conditions, the mileage before replacement will be no more than 8-9 thousand kilometers. In turn, when entering highways and city roads, it is possible to double the filter life, up to 16-18 thousand kilometers with a small remainder of the working resource. Thus, lagging behind the main competitor – Mann – in terms of operation, Filtron wins on price, which ensures a precarious equality in a difficult dispute between leaders.
One line below is the manufacturer Mahle, working in tandem with a partner in the corporation – the company Knecht. It differs from Filtron mainly in terms of price, remaining approximately the same quality of workmanship as the competitor. Naturally, this feature should be considered as the main drawback, as well as the presence of counterfeits on the domestic Russian market.
As for the advantages, here we can highlight the high quality of the material used in the manufacture of filters: high density of synthetic or paper curtains, optimal mechanical characteristics of the plastic frame (balance of strength and ductility), the presence of reinforcements such as polymer or aluminum mesh. Depending on the market segment, the mileage of one filter can vary from 14 to 16 thousand kilometers when driving on city roads. However, with frequent off-road trips, be prepared to change the filter every 5-10 thousand kilometers.
Every second person on the territory of Russia knows about Bosch corporation – first of all, about household and construction equipment, as well as small household consumables. However, few people know that, among other things, the German grand is one of the strongest representatives of the auto parts market. In their assortment, there was also a place for air filters, which belong to the level above average, both in terms of quality and in terms of cost. Some filter models are installed on cars (mostly German) as original ones, which once again proves the consistency of Bosch as a manufacturer for the car segment.
Despite all the regalia and advantages of Bosch air filters, experts quote them lower than counterparts from Mann, Filtron and Mahle. But, knowing how these firms can raise prices for their own product, our contender sometimes comes out on top in the ranking of trust and frequency of purchases by loyal consumers.
The fifth place in the rating goes to Fleetguard, whose assortment includes about 2700 items of air filters for various brands and models of cars. As in the case of Bosch, this brand relies on a balance of quality indicators (structural strength, fastening of elements, the amount of dust retained, etc.) and prices, which often wins competition even from the recognized leader in the person of Mann.
Independent testing has determined that the prototype Fleetguard filter retains about 99.87% of total particulate dust. As the manufacturers themselves note, this is achieved through the use of special gluing of the filter material and the frame using hot melt glue. Thanks to this, the edges at the folds are not exposed to cracking from vibrations, and, as a result, do not allow dust to pass into the engine. Add to this the nice cost, and you get an excellent consumable in stock in case of urgent replacement of the old filter.
A company about which less is known than about other participants in our rating. Mapco is headquartered in Berlin and presumably also houses some of its production facilities. Barcodes on products often point to Southeast Asia, where, presumably, the main pool of enterprises is based. All this indicates that the brand belongs to the budget segment … which we can see when looking at the prices for the assortment.
However, this is the very strange case when the quality turns out to be an order of magnitude higher than expected. Yes, the filters will not withstand extreme loads (such as frequent overcoming of rough terrain, driving on sand and soil), but in the conditions of the city and country roads they will be very cool. The mileage level between replacements can reach up to 16 thousand kilometers, but only under the condition of very rational vehicle operation. If there are no alternatives in the form of products of the above companies, feel free to buy filters from Mapco.
The seventh place in the BluePrint rating is due to the fact that the company is not very popular among Russian consumers, but gradually, step by step, it takes the market share from the strongest representatives of the air (and not only) filter segment. The reason for this lies in the fact that the British manufacturer is used to relying on quality, even at the expense of attractive prices. The fruits of this can be seen already at the stage of choosing a filter for your car: almost certainly the minimum off-road mileage will be about 10 thousand kilometers with 15 thousand on city roads.
Another advantage of BluePrint filters is the nominally higher air loads that the filter curtain can carry without crushing. This is done, first of all, due to the frame reinforcement (polymers or light-alloy metals), as well as due to the selection of high-density filter material. If it weren't for the high cost, we would have gotten an excellent candidate for segment leadership.
The difference between the UFI and Pilenga brands is small – both companies came to the market from Italy, both have factories in other countries, and both produce filters for a huge range of brands and models of European cars. Just being a budget company, UFI also captures part of the Asian car industry, adjusting its product to the quality standards of several territorial groups at once.
If we analyze the UFI advantage in more detail, then higher indicators of mileage intervals and working life will come to the fore. Replacing these filters may be required after passing 12-14 thousand kilometers in the urban cycle, while in the case of Pilenga, this figure may not reach 10 thousand. However, you will not be able to 'walk around' on these consumables either: users strongly recommend observing the standard speed limit typical for moving within the city, as little as possible going down on dusty country roads and carefully monitoring the maintenance intervals.
On the ninth line of the rating is a manufacturer from the budget segment, whose enterprises are located in 3 countries of the European continent: Italy (head office), Cyprus (the bulk of production facilities) and Spain (several factories). For relatively little money, the company produces fairly high-quality air filters, the main advantage of which lies in the full compliance of the sizes with standard seats.
The Pilenga assortment includes a filter for almost any European car, including AvtoVAZ products. As in the case of the Japanese Champion, the Italian company abandoned the use of paper filter curtains in its consumables, adopting a synthetic material for manufacturing. This step made it possible to significantly increase the efficiency of the filters (the increase was about 20% of the initial value), as well as to reduce their cost, which was reflected in the final price. As a result, Pilenga filters have become very popular among lovers of budget car maintenance, and are often purchased as a reserve in case of urgent replacement of a regular filtering consumable.
For more than 20 years in the domestic market, Champion has managed to maintain its reputation as a reliable supplier of consumables from Japan, supplying them to more than one generation of car owners. In addition to candles and wiper blades, the company supplies the segment with high-quality filters made in compliance with the required standards in Europe and Asia.
The main material for the filter curtain at Champion is synthetic fabric – they have long abandoned the use of paper pleats. It is not uncommon for filters with a cyclone to appear on sale, the mileage of which is estimated at 20+ thousand kilometers. If we take the average test mileage, then they vary in the range from 10 to 15 thousand kilometers when driving around the city. However, the assortment of the Japanese company has several interesting proposals for off-road, the working resource of which is approximately at the same level. As for the shortcomings, there is, in fact, one thing here: the filters from Champion rarely fit the size of standard air filters, which is why there are some difficulties with their installation in the seat.
Outside the top ten is the Japanese manufacturer Nipparts, whose range of air filters is focused on both the Asian and European markets. The landing dimensions of the models clearly fit the standard nests, blocking the air ducts and preventing dust from entering the engine. Price indicators are also at an acceptable level for consumers: some filters can be purchased for less than the market average cost.
Despite all the listed advantages of Nipparts, it should be understood that their filters are designed primarily for the operation of cars in urban conditions, where the air is less dusty. Thus, the target audience of the company includes passenger cars of the middle and representative class, as well as urban crossovers. The average travel time on one air filter in case of movement only on city roads will be 7-12 thousand kilometers. If you neglect the advice and “heap” on the road, the modest 5 thousand kilometers can become extreme.
The rating is opened by one of several representatives of Japan in today's rating – Sakura, which is focused on working in the middle market segment. Moreover, the average level is maintained both in quality and in terms of cost: adjustment to the dimensions of the original filters is accurate to hundredths of a millimeter, which reduces the risk of dirty air being sucked in from the environment.
An important factor in the choice of Sakura was the fact that their filters are ideal for use on Russian roads, where the mileage between replacements can reach 10-12 thousand kilometers. But we do not recommend going off-road with them: as users note, the real service life in such conditions can drop to 3 thousand kilometers, and the blow to the engine (the so-called air starvation) will be significant.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.