The Best Aftermarket Air Filters For Cars

The year is 20XX. You’ve been buying the same old FRAM air filters for quite a while. One day, you wake up with the sole purpose of finding the best air filter for your car. In your mind, the golden question sets in. What are the best aftermarket air filters for cars?

Best Aftermarket Air Filters For Cars: Definitely Not FRAM!

For years, consumers have been attracted to FRAM’s competitive pricing. Customers don’t really tell the difference between good quality and bad, apparently.

FRAM is one of the worst choices for your vehicle. It’s a choice when one simply cannot afford a good one — or one just doesn’t care about the car. FRAM air filters, cabin filters, and oil filters are just paper filters that don’t filter very well. They just don’t get the job done.

Best Aftermarket Air Filters For Cars: STP Just Doesn’t Get It Down Right

Another very popular aftermarket air filter for the car, STP seems to get it right — but then it doesn’t.

STP air filters are known for not fitting correctly. It’s as if they were reverse engineered — the wrong way. This isn’t a good idea, especially when you want a tight-sealing fit. Without a good fit, how can you guarantee debris won‘t direct itself into the chute anyways?

Best Aftermarket Air Filters For Cars: ACDelco

ACDelco, not going to lie, produces OK stuff. Their filters are heavy duty. For that reason, ACDelco air filters are best used for heavy duty cars and those that are under high loads.

Interestingly, ACDelco is GM’s Original equipment manufacturer. This says a lot about ACDelco, being an OEM. As a result it has risen to the OEM ranks.

Best Aftermarket Air Filters For Cars: Denso

Denso, one of the better brands to buy, is 25% owned by Toyota. This is a really good brand that you should buy.

If you have a Toyota, Denso air filters, cabin filters, and oil filters are the best of the best for your vehicle. You normally want to stick to equipment that were specifically designed for your vehicle — especially when Toyota simulates their vehicles and designs them with the same equipment!

Best Aftermarket Air Filters For Cars: WIX

WIX air filters are great quality that meet or exceed OEM specifications of quality. It has been shown that WIX air filters are best at filtering air.

WIX has been trusted for decades — whether for air filters, cabin filters, fuel filters, oil filters, etc. They simply produce the best stuff. 

Best Aftermarket Air Filters For Cars: Denso and WIX

When it comes to the best air filters you can find, Denso and WIX are the choices to make.

Denso is an OEM that you should go with if it is cheaper and more readily available. However, due to WIX’s high manufacturing characteristics, WIX stands up to Denso.

So, the general recommendation is choose either Denso or Wix — whichever is cheapest at the time. You can’t go wrong with this recommendation.

person in black shirt and gray pants standing beside black car
Photo by cottonbro on

Best Aftermarket Air Filters For Cars: Conclusion

It’s important to understand that generic air filters are made by a generic manufacturer such as FRAM. There is nothing specifying that specific air filter manufacturers are better than others. It’s simply the quality that speaks for itself.

The other air filter that I haven’t mentioned — the K&N — has been omitted at this time due to how difficult it can be for the non-mechanically inclined.

With that said, don’t spend the extra money on a more expensive air filter when you can choose between Denso and WIX. A higher price isn’t always better. 

No matter what, the air filter you choose is always going to be your choice. I would be lying to you if I told you any of these filters are horrible (FRAM is horrible but whatever). After all, let’s be honest. Having an air filter is better than having no air filter.

But, do keep in mind that when it comes to filtration in the engine, it’s perhaps wiser to make sure that you’re buying something that does its job appropriately. I wouldn’t necessarily cheap out and buy a FRAM oil filter, for example. I’m fully aware that this would perhaps break my car down the road.

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