It seems many truck owners are not satisfied with their stock air filters, and are shopping for more durable replacements.
The standard factory filter really should be replaced every 5,000 to 6,000 kilometres or with every oil change. A reusable replacement may cost more than $60, but pays for itself in a couple of years over the cost of the regular replacement of factory filters, which start at $35.
Aftermarket companies such as Green, aFe and K&N have a wide selection of filters to fit most vehicles and are adding more all the time.
Be careful of some replacement filters that use four layers of cotton gauze. This material is good for filtering, but the drawback to using it is that it is similar to a gauze bandage.
Holes can be worn though the gauze, from cleaning and general everyday wear. Also, little pieces of the warn cotton can be drawn into the engine from the intake pressure.
Green filters use two layers of woven cotton, which is stronger than gauze.
There are three main benefits to woven cotton – it is thinner, holds oil better and is stronger. The benefit of being thinner is it enables a better flow of air without sacrificing the filtration, and it holds the oil more evenly.
Gauze is also more sponge-like, so the oil can be pulled out by engine intake pressure, but with woven cotton, you don’t have this problem. The biggest benefit of the woven design is that the filter can be cleaned many more times.
Edges around the rubber will tend to stay sealed to the air box. If the filter is more flexible, it could cave in due to engine intake pressure. This allows dirty air to leak into the gap made between the seal and air box, which defeats the purpose of having an air filter.
If the rubber is cut off the aftermarket filter, you can stretch the filter out and you would have a larger piece of cotton than in a gauze filter. The more surface area you have, the more air you can pass though the filter and into your engine to create more power.
Diesel engines also benefit from aftermarket filters, because the compression ignition of them dictate tolerances that are much tighter than in gasoline engines. These tight tolerances require clean air and lots of it. In fact, diesel engines require seven times more air than a gasoline engine of equivalent size. Aftermarket filters deliver cooler, clean air needed for extended engine life, better fuel economy and additional power.
Reusable filters are not only good, but better for the environment. The filters are made from cotton, which is a renewable resource versus paper filters that are made from cutting down trees. They are washable and reusable, eliminating large volumes of discarded filters in our landfills, and they allow the engine to breathe easier than paper filters, reducing emissions and keeping pollution levels down. See – I am not always about destroying the environment!
Ian Harwood is the manager of Custom Truck Parts in Surrey, BC and has over 20 years experience in the truck accessory business. You can contact him at email@example.com