Automotive filters are used to remove contaminants from process fluids and air. They constantly run workshops trying to debunk the main myths about their products.
You can buy a cheap filter because the papermakers are the same. It seems that paper costs the same everywhere, so why overpay? But the same manufacturer produces different types of products. One paper is good for a toilet, and the other is as thick as cardboard. So why should the situation be different with filters? There are really a limited number of companies that make filter media. But every big filter manufacturer has their own unique paper type, which they order. The wood, the type and amount of synthetic fibers, the formulation of chemical resins, temperature and drying time, and so on are also taken into account. It is usually agreed that the paper manufacturer is not authorized to supply this product to other competing filter manufacturers. Cheap filters are left with outdated basic paper types that have to be used in all models. Such products are also offered for cars, where initially the requirements for filtration quality are increased.
It is better to buy not German filters, but Polish, Korean or Chinese ones. There is an opinion that filters of the same MANN-FILTER company are unreasonably expensive.In other countries, labor is much cheaper than in Germany, which leads to a lower cost with comparable quality. In Europe, salaries are indeed higher than in Asia. But the level of automation on MANN-FILTERS conveyors is also higher. Therefore, the cost of production is not high at all because of the salaries of employees. There are almost none of them in production. One of the largest MANN factories in Germany produces 520 thousand filters per day. But the Korean production in Russia, producing 70 thousand units of products, has twice the staff. The level of salaries is clearly not 14 times higher. So the share of wages in the cost of the German filter is even less. And the high cost of the product is achieved only at the expense of materials. In the MANN filter, more than 80% of the price falls on high-quality sources - steel, seals, filtered paper. Cheaper products are obtained through the use of low-quality materials and old assembly technologies.
The oil filter should be of the highest quality, and the air filter should be the simplest. It is believed that all air filters do not particularly differ among themselves and do not affect the operation of the car. The oil filter does play an important role, but the air filter has grown in importance over the past decades. Now it was he who became the main one in the car. Machines are getting more powerful, while the engine displacement is decreasing. The engine depends on the air that gets into it. The air consumption also depends on the engine power. Today, twice the volume passes through the air filter than 15-20 years ago. And the engine compartment itself was oversaturated with new elements and thickened, which markedly changed the location of the filter. Previously, it was located in the depths of the engine and a long pipeline led to it, which additionally filtered dust and moisture. In modern realities, the filter housing immediately takes over the entire stream of contaminants without preliminary cleaning. This translates into increased stress. And the technologies themselves have gone ahead. Aluminum alloys and silicon spraying are actively used in the engine. If the air filters are not effective enough, this will lead to abrasion of the surface layer of the cylinder bore. Repair of a cylinder block in a modern design is impossible - it changes completely. All this speaks volumes about the importance of using a quality air filter.
It makes no sense to purchase an expensive air filter if the car is purchased for a year. In this case, the purchase of a cheap filter carries an illusory profit. The mass flow sensor, among others, is responsible for optimal fuel combustion. It is designed from the ground up to use a quality air filter to keep the device clean. And a cheap analogue will let through dirt particles that will settle on all elements of the air system. The heat transfer will be different, and the control unit will receive incorrect signals about the amount of incoming air. Experimental data indicate that fuel consumption will increase by 3-7%. If we take the average mileage of the car per year 20 thousand kilometers and the fuel consumption of 10 liters per 100 kilometers, then taking into account a deviation of only 3%, we will get an overrun of 60 liters. Wouldn't buying a quality filter for 300-500 rubles be more profitable?
It is not necessary to replace the air filter during maintenance. Many car enthusiasts prefer to blow the filter with compressed air using a compressor, believing that this will restore the characteristics of the product. But with this blowing, only large particles will be removed from the surface itself. Modern products provide depth filtration. In other words, most of the dirt ends up in the back of the filter. There it is bound with special resins, and no compressor can blow them out. Blowing through the filter can only result in visible cleanliness, but the flow rate will be low. This will affect engine efficiency and fuel consumption.
The cabin filter can be simply brushed or washed. Similar savings ideas apply to the cabin filter. A modern car is a closed space with a constant temperature inside. Thanks to the air conditioner, moisture collects in the same place - the best environment for the development of microorganisms. So a modern cabin filter does not just clean the air from dust that gets inside. This device provides the highest degree of filtration, particles with a size of 0.5 microns are retained here, which is 140 times thinner than a hair. This allows you to retain viruses, pollen. To achieve this level of filtration, electrostatics are used. Also, the cabin filters have an antibacterial impregnation that prevents mold from appearing. The cabin filter is made entirely of synthetic materials to prevent moisture absorption and fogging. Over time, the cabin filter loses its protective properties, so it is worth changing this element once a year, regardless of how long the car has passed. Cheap products are usually devoid of impregnation and electrostatics, which determines their price. And washing a good filter removes its virtues. Then first the device itself, and then the interior, will be covered with fungi, mold and microorganisms. A musty smell when the ventilation is turned on is an eloquent signal that the system is completely dirty and needs to be cleaned completely with special chemical compounds.
A good effect can be achieved through frequent replacement of cheap filters. This is only partly true. You need to be sure that a cheap filter immediately works just as well as an expensive one, but it just loses its properties faster. Usually, the economical option initially does its job less efficiently. Such filters can allow large particles to pass through, which leads to rapid wear and tear of equipment or is harmful to health. In other words, if a domestic car is changed every month, it will not become a foreign car.
Reliable operation of the air filter is achieved by impregnating it with oil. There are manufacturers of original filters that use “wet” technologies. But does it make sense if technology already achieves improved filtering? Impregnation will help surface filtration. Even the smallest particles will stick to the filter surface. A solid crust will form on it, and there will be nothing in the depths. These filters work effectively under certain conditions. And the "dry" filters themselves in the depths of the layers use resins to bind the smallest particles. So oil impregnation is another technology, definitely not the best one.