How Do Vehicle Air Filters Work Hard for You?

There are several vehicle air filters that go within every vehicle on the road. What some people don’t know is that there are two filters that work hard for your comfort and the health of your vehicle. The two filters that work hardest for the air you breath are the engine air filter and the in-cabin air filter. These filters are extremely important and it is a great idea to get to know the facts.


Types of Vehicle Air Filters


Engine Air Filter

The engine air filter is like an engine’s armor. Without air flow, the engine does not work and without clean air flow, the engine won’t work for long. The engine works hard to bring power and movement to your vehicle and, all the while, it is taking in air. Without an intake filter in place, large particles or objects could be sucked into the engine – this could cause unthinkable amounts of damage.


In-Cabin Air Filter

The quality of the air in our vehicle is very important. The cabin air filter takes in air from outside and filters out particulates. This can include, pollen, dirt, mold or any other forms of matter that might otherwise be breathed in. Filters that have carbon in them will also be able to absorb harmful chemicals, odors and other contaminants that could cause you alarm or discomfort.


Materials Used for Vehicle Air Filters

Like most things, there are several different versions of the same type of filter and several different materials used to get the job done. There are four common materials used in most vehicle air filters. The most common vehicle air filter materials are foam, paper/wood pulp, cotton gauze and metal mesh.




Foam filters are typically seen as a sheet component that can be removed and cleaned or replaced. These filters get clogged very easily in dusty climate regions. Foam vehicle air filters can be cleaned, but you will want to keep a good eye on the quality of the foam. Some foam can break down easily with time, wear and cleaning and it will need replaced if it starts to fall apart. It’s great to be able to reuse items, just make sure you are buying quality first and foremost.


Paper or Wood Pulp Fiber:



This is the most popular type of vehicle air filter. You will see more variety and variations of this filter than any other. These filters will need to be replaced more often, but they are incredibly reliable. Paper or wood pulp fiber materials can become clogged easily and are made of the cheapest material possible, but they are typically the best option.


Cotton Gauze:


The manufacturers claim the cotton gauze vehicle air filters increase power, but they only help minimally if at all. These filters are typically after market and are not recommended by most vehicle manufacturers. These filters typically have oil covering them, so they will attract more dirt and grime, making them susceptible to failure via clogs and obstructions of airflow. Luckily, these filters can be cleaned. You will typically only ever need to buy one of these filters. Just make sure to clean and reoil it regularly for the best performance within your vehicle.




These filters are made with tightly woven mesh made of stainless steel and do not require oiling. These types of air filters are less reliable for air quality because metal cannot catch small particulates as well as a finer fiber like cotton, wood pulp or foam. Metal air filters are the is the least popular type of filter.