Sparesbox Blog

5 Big Myths About Filters

By Andrew Palmer

Tue Nov 25 2014

When it comes to motoring, there are lots of people out there who are just dying to sell you a whole load of smoke and mirrors. That said, there is one piece of advice you can count on: it is essential to make sure you prioritise the quality and care of your filters.

And with 15% off all our Filters, now is the perfect time to purchase some new ones or simply stock up with some spares.

Now, when it comes to filters, there are quite a few myths floating around, so to help you distinguish between fact and fiction, we have decided to identify, and dispel the biggest of those fabricated fairy tales.

Without further ado, here are they are…


1. The Same Type of Paper is Used in Both Cheap and Expensive Filters 

People will have you believe that there are only a hand full of filter paper manufacturers worldwide. While the number of material manufacturers is small, the range of paper grades available from these suppliers can vary dramatically – affecting the filter’s performance.

Not only does poor filter paper compromise the quality of the overall filter media, it also minimise its performance life.

The Lesson learned? When you’re making your decision, choose a manufacturer who boasts well produced and processed paper – you can’t tell anything from its origin, so ensure it has been well treated and you’ll reap the benefits.


2. Unlike Oil Filters, the Quality of Air Filters is Not an Issue

Although a critical component, oil filters aren’t the only things that have the power to significantly improve or indeed, reduced the performance of an engine. Here’s why:

  • Contemporary engines are becoming increasingly efficient, and as a result, placing an even heavier demand on air filters
  • An efficient air filter is the basis for optimum fuel combustion. An engine that breathes easy produces more power, more efficiently.
  • If water enters the housing of an air filter ( a result of heavy rain), the correct function of standard air filters can no longer be guaranteed, which can lead to a drop in engine power or engine damage.

So let’s bust the myth – buying and installing a solid, high-spec air filter really does matter – don’t compromise!


 3. My Air Filter Will Work Fine if I Just Clean it Once in a While

Simply cleaning your air filter or blowing it through with compressed air is not only bad practice, it can also be incredibly dangerous – it’s imperative to get it changed during every vehicle inspection.

Due to constant temperature loading of around 80 degrees or more during vehicle use, even the highest quality materials can age and suffer fatigue at a fairly rapid rate. Not to mention, any attempt to physically clean an air filter can cause detrimental effects such as pleat rupture and weakening of the filter paper.

In short, regularly replacing your air filter is good practice if you want your vehicle to be smooth and reliable.


4. It’s Okay to Buy a Cheap Filter if You Change it Twice as Frequently

We’re not talking about a cheap pair of undies here, we’re talking about the safety and efficiency of your engine performance, and surely that’s important?

Like many things, looking for a cheap short-term solution not only serves as a major form of false economy, it can also severely backfire.

Whether it’s been fitted for an hour or a day, a cheap filter will offer uncertain results, and sure-fire problems: possible leaks, lower separation efficiency, incompatible materials, uncertain levels of durability…the list goes on.

In conclusion ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’, and only a high-quality filter will protect your engine right from the start. Pay a little bit more and over time you will ultimately save money – and hassle too!


5. Don’t Worry About Changing the Cabin Filter, Just Give it the Once Over

If you take water and brush to a cabin filter, it may look cleaner, but common particles such

as pollen, fungus or mould spores will still cling to the surface. In fact, the cleaning process can actually loosen these particles so that when the ventilation system is operated, they will enter the passenger system, causing a whole host of problems…

  • Misting of your windows during the slightly cooler months, and during damp weather
  • A reduced cooling effect due to residual air particles blocking the system
  • Minimise (or zero) filtration of additional particles due to loss of the filter’s electrostatic charge

So, what do you need to do? You need to change your cabin filter either once a year, or after every 15,000km of driving, and also choose a quality cabin filter made of 100% synthetic materials to ensure moisture absorption.

There you have it, the 5 biggest myths about the use and maintenance of air filters. Just to drive it home, the message here is not to take a C.I.Y (Clean It Yourself) mentality when dealing with your filters; change each of your major components regularly and don’t buy cheap, poorly processed, bottom of the range products – you’ll pay for it in the end!



If you’re looking for quality air filters, take a look at our full range of MANN-FILTERS – a set of products you can really rely on.