The common air filter is one of the most overlooked parts of the automobile or motorcycle. It’s relatively inexpensive cost can fool many consumers into believing that the cheapest one is just as good for their vehicle as more expensive filters. Unfortunately, that is simply not true as air filters directly affect the overall performance of your car, truck or motorcycle.

Most people associate aftermarket auto accessories with more expensive, custom modifications such as carbon fiber spoilers, lips, grilles, hood, trunk lids and so forth rather than simple parts such as air filters. However, the air filter is an important part of the overall health of your vehicle. The same is true for motorcycle aftermarket parts that include filters, side cover, panel and protectors.

While the most expensive filter is not necessarily the best, it is true that a washable and reusable air filter is generally superior to a cheap paper-type one that can clog up much faster. In fact, when taken over a time a paper air filter will have to be replaced about every 30,000 miles while a reusable one simply has to be washed. This means that over the life of your vehicle, you could spend up to three times the amount of money on paper filters than a reusable one.

Design Flaws of Factory Paper Air Filters

Paper air filters are designed primarily to trap dirt, debris and other particles which mean that they actually restrict airflow more than some other types of filters. With the emphasis being on trapping the particles, the result is that the computer which controls the fuel injection system has to compensate for the reduced airflow. This means that a less than ideal mixture of fuel will result in combustion that is less efficient and will reduce fuel mileage and overall performance.

Advantages of Aftermarket Performance Air Filters

Instead of simple paper, most good aftermarket air filters are created using cotton gauze which has a special type of oil added to the mixture that creates a more tacky surface. When used in combination with the multiple layers of cotton fibers results in a filter that does not restrict the flow of the air while still trapping the particles. This means that your fuel economy and engine performance is maximized while still being protected by the air filter.

Another powerful advantage of a reusable cotton filter is on the environment. Paper filters are thrown away and can create environmental damage in their own way while a reusable filter will last far longer. For those interested in protecting the environment as well as maximizing overall engine performance, the reusable cotton air filter is highly preferable to the disposable paper one.

By spending less money on filters through the lifetime of your vehicle and getting better engine performance you save far more money when purchasing a high quality cotton reusable air filter than a seemingly cheap paper filter. Plus, you reduce the number of trees being used to create paper filters by using the cotton alternative.