Air Filter Efficiencies

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1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
So after quite a bit of research on BITOG, Google, and several manufacturer websites, I can't seem to dig up enough data to answer my questions. I would like to know the efficiencies of common air filters. The only data I can find is from Purolator. The regular air filter is 96.5% efficient, and the oiled PureOne is 99.5%. They did not state what micron size. I am looking for data on WIX, Fram, Purolator, and AC Delco (unless I am forgetting a major one. This is for my Impala). I do NOT want ANY K&N filters or info on them. I know any big name SHOULD do just fine. However, considering Purolator is having oil filter issues, I have to question the air filters too, and therefore I am questioning every brand. The other question I have is (strictly comparing paper to paper) are there any flow differences between the brands, or any correlation between efficiency and flow? I am only considering standard paper and oiled paper filters. Thanks in advance!
 
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3,333
Location
Bolivia
Air filters are not rated by microns, but by percentage of efficiency and total load before showing restriction at a certain level. My Suzuki filter says on the box 98.7%. I'm not sure anymore, but I think there are two tests, one that takes a given amount of dust and measures how much is caught, while the other keeps feeding dust until the filter hits restriction, then calculates the percent. There are a lot in this market that catch the larger part of dust, but are very restrictive, while at the same time letting very fine particles through. I use Donaldson where I can. These little bottles of dust show the difference from 99% to 99.99%
 
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13
Location
NH, USA
Originally Posted By: tony1679
... The other question I have is (strictly comparing paper to paper) are there any flow differences between the brands, or any correlation between efficiency and flow? I am only considering standard paper and oiled paper filters.
This link may help: http://www.nicoclub.com/archives/kn-vs-oem-filter.html * Provided due to the ISO testing - not to recommend / endorse one brand vs. another. Providing the vehicle has an efficient air intake duct that allows good airflow to the filter media at neutral pressure, or positive pressure to the air box -> filter media (a.k.a 'ram-air intake'), media thickness should not be a factor in air flow. I understand your concern re: Purolator, although my experience has been positive with air filters of that brand, a Purolator Classic is the preferred brand on the Kia Sportage here, quality filter media with excellent airflow, no issues.
 
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12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
This data is hard to find indeed, if only it was required. I know Fram tests for this data, since they have a video on it but they don't show any data on their website for it. I really want to use the TG panel air filter in my vehicle since i looked at it in the store and was really impressed with the construction, but i also wish i had some efficiency numbers. I think OEM cellulose based air filters are always going to be a solid choice. AC Delco and Motorcraft air filters are always great looking.
 
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13
Location
NH, USA
I wouldn't have a problem installing any of those brands of air filter in my vehicle: Fram EG/TG, AC Delco, or Motorcraft - each are known for quality filter media and solid construction. * However with all mass-produced items, there are variations within a given product line, so I always visually inspect each air filter prior to purchase to verify quality. (I wouldn't leave the store without inspecting the air filter first.)
 
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27,573
Location
PNW
Originally Posted By: widman
Air filters are not rated by microns, but by percentage of efficiency and total load before showing restriction at a certain level. These little bottles of dust show the difference from 99% to 99.99%
There has to be dust particle size in the equation to make any sense out or the rated efficiency. What size particles are the efficiencies associated with?
 

tony1679

Thread starter
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1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: GottaCruise
Originally Posted By: tony1679
... The other question I have is (strictly comparing paper to paper) are there any flow differences between the brands, or any correlation between efficiency and flow? I am only considering standard paper and oiled paper filters.
This link may help: http://www.nicoclub.com/archives/kn-vs-oem-filter.html * Provided due to the ISO testing - not to recommend / endorse one brand vs. another. Providing the vehicle has an efficient air intake duct that allows good airflow to the filter media at neutral pressure, or positive pressure to the air box -> filter media (a.k.a 'ram-air intake'), media thickness should not be a factor in air flow. I understand your concern re: Purolator, although my experience has been positive with air filters of that brand, a Purolator Classic is the preferred brand on the Kia Sportage here, quality filter media with excellent airflow, no issues.
(Note: The Purolator was reported to have a seal malfunction...) Exactly my point. crackmeup Thanks for the link. It was a good read. So between Wix and Delco, am I correct when I say the Delco is much more efficient, but more restrictive and costs more? Between those, I think I'm leaning toward the Wix, because of the flow/cost. Especially considering I will never let it reach it's "full" life.
 
Messages
13
Location
NH, USA
Originally Posted By: tony1679
Exactly my point. crackmeup
Yeah, not exactly a stellar endorsement. smile But I've seen failure on most every brand of air filter over the years, so that doesn't concern me so much as the filter for =my= specific vehicle application, and Purolator makes a nice panel filter for the Sportage. grin
Originally Posted By: tony1679
So between Wix and Delco, am I correct when I say the Delco is much more efficient, but more restrictive and costs more?
That was my take on the findings as well. For cost, I would also consider a CarQuest or a Parts Master air filter for a short-interval change, good value for the money. Can't speak for your application, the Wix panel air filters for the '00 Sportage are heavy media, on par w/ a Delco filter. It is obviously a well constructed filter, but almost too good - I've had fitment issues with the thicker gasket seal (vs. other brands) in the air box, for this particular vehicle. I also change out frequently, 2x/yr (late fall / late spring), following 'severe' schedule for the Sportages, due to road salt & heavy 4x4 use in winter months.
 
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3,333
Location
Bolivia
Quote:
There has to be dust particle size in the equation to make any sense out or the rated efficiency. What size particles are the efficiencies associated with?
There is a SAE (or ASTM) test dust that is required for the test. It is a specific mix of fine dust that is prepared for the test.
 

tony1679

Thread starter
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1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
So I guess I am not the only one that can't seem to find efficiency data? I wonder if calling a few of the manufacturers would do some good? Or would they just feed me garbage?
 
Messages
13
Location
NH, USA
I don't think it would be in their best interest to give you false information: in order to warranty or state they 'meet or exceed OEM', the filter offered must -meet- the stated efficiency of the (OEM) filter. Why not try giving them a call, with the specific filter part # you are interested in for your application? Wix: --- Sales: (704) 864-6748 Filter Interchange/Application Hotline: 1-800-949-6698 Customer Service: (704) 864-6748 Purolator: --- Pro Response Office: 1-800-526-4250 *Responses during weekdays only.
 

tony1679

Thread starter
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1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
^Thanks I'll try this the next time I'm off. On a side note, I can't find an "oiled" paper filter for my application. frown There is no Fram TG10014, and no Purolator PA25245 (those are the only two I know of). Does one exist? Or am I just not finding them? If they don't make one, it makes my decision a lot easier... Another question, is the plastic back or metal back better? Examples: Wix (Metal) http://www.amazon.com/Wix-49115-Air-Filt...words=wix+49115 Fram (Plastic) http://www.amazon.com/Fram-CA10014-Extra...ords=fram+10014 Does it matter? shrug I would think the metal would be better under high loads, because metal would "give" less.
 
Messages
13
Location
NH, USA
The folks @ Purolator should be able to give you better feedback, re: no PureOne filter available at this time. re: metal or plastic, I like a metal mesh screen, it's a personal preference. It looks like the ACDelco filter -also- uses a plastic screen though - can you examine the original OEM filter to determine what type of screen material used? If the OEM is plastic, and the replacement filter is high quality, then I would be ok with that. Side note: the ACDelco A2962C filter on Amazon looks nice.. Lots of pleats and dimpled as well, lots of surface area for good airflow to the motor. Edit: see the 'Save an extra 20% on select ACDelco products' on Amazon, nice deal for that filter..
 
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Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Originally Posted By: tony1679
^Thanks I'll try this the next time I'm off. On a side note, I can't find an "oiled" paper filter for my application. frown There is no Fram TG10014, and no Purolator PA25245 (those are the only two I know of). Does one exist? Or am I just not finding them? If they don't make one, it makes my decision a lot easier... Another question, is the plastic back or metal back better? Examples: Wix (Metal) http://www.amazon.com/Wix-49115-Air-Filt...words=wix+49115 Fram (Plastic) http://www.amazon.com/Fram-CA10014-Extra...ords=fram+10014 Does it matter? shrug I would think the metal would be better under high loads, because metal would "give" less.
The ACDELCO Part # A2962C has a plastic Frame, so if its good enough for OEM its good enough for the aftermarket. I would go with that part number on Rock Auto for $15.88. The Delco air filters are always good efficiency and high pleats.
 
Messages
53
Location
SF bay area, CA
Originally Posted By: tony1679
So after quite a bit of research on BITOG, Google, and several manufacturer websites, I can't seem to dig up enough data to answer my questions. I would like to know the efficiencies of common air filters. The only data I can find is from Purolator. The regular air filter is 96.5% efficient, and the oiled PureOne is 99.5%. They did not state what micron size. I am looking for data on WIX, Fram, Purolator, and AC Delco .......
I went on the same research last week, and want to add my findings to the forum because i have gotten so much out of this forum. I called baldwin tech support because the air filter comparison article published in this website shows high performance by baldwin. For my car, the panel filter from baldwin has 98.84% efficiency, according to the company tech. Baldwin sells higher quality filters beyond standard Panel filters. I have Coolant reservoir & Air filter images of my 1996 Altima. The current Purolator classic (A24278) standard panel type filter has been run for about 25k miles in San francisco bay area roads. As pointed out by OP, this has 96.5% efficiency. From many other images i have seen on net, this filter does not seem to be in need of replacement, even after 2 years and 25k miles. But, i am considering a replacement for 2 reasons:
  • Nissan owners manual as well as Purolator recommend replacing the air filter every year or two.
  • I want to clean out my 115k engine as much as possible, and for that reason I am thinking about changing oil as well as air filter more often than usual. For air filter, the best candidate i have found is the 99.5% efficient Purolator PureOne. For oil, i am using Purolator PureOne oil filter and Mobil One synthetic.
This car is about to get a valve cover gasket replacement & repair for a noisy valve. At 115k should i consider a major maintenance job with
  • [1]Water pump replacement [2]Timing chain check/replacement [3]Other gasket replacements like the spark plug ones - since i am opening up the top of engine for valve cover gasket [4]Does the photos of the coolant reservoir indicate that it is too dirty and needs to be replaced ? (I know the coolant level is low because of a leak somewhere.) [5]There is oil leak around valve cover gasket (has been going on for a year or two years, but no drips onto the floor) - my research reveals in such cases, the spark plug well would be flooded with oil, and the gaskets there/spark plugs/ignition wires would have to be changed. Any opinion on this ?
Thanks for all suggestions.
 
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Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Skip the Purolator products and go with Fram Tough Guard air and Fram Ultra oil filters. The Purolator PureOne filters have been having quite a few issues with media ruptures. The Fram Ultra is 99.5% efficient at 20 microns and 80 % @5 microns. The Fram air filters aren't commonly rated but they are typically top quality.
 
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1,701
Location
'murica
By thinking about your air filter, you are in the top 10% of drivers. By having an opinion on air filter brands, you are in the top 1% of drivers. By writing a forum post about air filters and researching the efficiency of different brands and wondering about the testing process and shortening your filter change interval, you're the king of air filters. Cars make it to 250k or 350k miles all the time just by having the filters replaced when they look dirty. That's what licensed, trained automotive technicians do: see if they look dirty. Depending on the vehicle and the geography, it might be a long time before you need an air filter. The filter is arguably more efficient when it's partially filled because it will trap smaller particles. [1] Water pump is not really a maintenance item. I assume you've been changing your coolant(?), so the water pump will last a long time. [2] The timing chain is also not a maintenance item. Timing belts are very important maintenance items, but timing chains will outlast the rest of the car as long as you change the oil. Or if it's a 2.4L Chevy. You're on BITOG, so you've been fanatically changing your oil, so your timing chain is probably shinier than he||. [3] That is the valve cover gasket, which is already being replaced due to your valve repair. [4] The coolant in there doesn't look great. How fast is it leaking? [5] No, nothing else probably needs to be replaced. The valve cover gasket is already being replaced. The wires are probably OK. And the plugs are bits of metal and ceramic which don't give a s**t if they're covered in oil.
 
Messages
53
Location
SF bay area, CA
Ethan, Thanks for your clear reply. Regarding [3], i was referring to the gaskets that are being changed HERE, in this youtube video. Notice that this guy fixed the valve cover gasket before 1 month, and the car came back in for repair again, costing the customer twice. My valves need adjustment after 115k miles, because i hear noise from the top of engine. As i open up the engine head, i want to get as much of work done as possible, to avoid future problems - my intention is to try to get this car to run another 50k miles, atleast. I know head gasket failures are rare, and so i don't have to dig that deep into the engine.
 
Messages
53
Location
SF bay area, CA
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Skip the Purolator products and go with Fram Tough Guard air and Fram Ultra oil filters. The Purolator PureOne filters have been having quite a few issues with media ruptures. The Fram Ultra is 99.5% efficient at 20 microns and 80 % @5 microns. The Fram air filters aren't commonly rated but they are typically top quality.
901Memphis - thanks for your feedback, i will consider Fram Ultra next time. But, during my research for several days studying oil filter comparison articles, i noticed that Fram ULTRA was not mentioned anywhere. This could be because the reviews were several years old and Fram ULTRA was not in production at that time. Check out this article. This topic would make for a great article here in BITOG, but is meant to be done by someone with more time/money and a proper lab for scientific study. Of course, manufacturers could do this study, but will not release their results.
 
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