Does Pleat Count Matter?

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I changed the Nissan factory air filter on my 2014 Altima 2.5L and I used a Fram Extra Guard air filter. Finding an air filter for this car in a retail parts store was a pain. That aside, the OEM filter had 52 closely spaced pleats on each side while the Fram had 28 pleats on each side. The Fram fit just fine and I've always had good results from Fram's air and cabin filters. But I can't help but wonder why there is such a difference in the number of pleats.
 
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The OEM filter for my Silverado was packed tight with deep pleats. The Fram version was so skimpy, that they had put 3 beads of glue across the pleats to try to keep the spacing of the pleats even and in place. They were still wavy, and unevenly spaced... and weren't anywhere as deep as the OE filter. No thanks, Fram.
 
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Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
The OEM filter for my Silverado was packed tight with deep pleats. The Fram version was so skimpy, that they had put 3 beads of glue across the pleats to try to keep the spacing of the pleats even and in place. They were still wavy, and unevenly spaced... and weren't anywhere as deep as the OE filter. No thanks, Fram.
Fram makes great air (and oil) filters. Use with confidence.
 
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Pleat count isn't always apples to apples, since the type of media is different you can't determine which is better by a visual count. If one manufacture uses 40 pleats and another uses 20 pleats, but the one with 20 pleats has media that holds twice as much contaimination, then the filters are nearly equal. Fram Extra guard oil filters use higher quality media than the basic entry level filters made with cellulose only, so i see no reason to doubt they use a high quality media on the air filters too. Also with air filters you never know if they are making the filter themselves or just buying from another supplier if they have low volume sales. I know the ones they build themselves usually have way less issues than the stuff they source from China when they have to meet demand. What is the particular model air filter number in question? I prefer the Tough Guard filters if they make them and i use them or PureOnes almost always due to the nice media they both offer.
 

dkryan

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mrsilv04 - The pleats on the Fram were as straight as a row of soybeans in a central Illinois farmer's field. No waves or glue, either. Just an obvious difference in pleat count.
 

dkryan

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901- If I could have found a PureOne or Tough Guard I'd have purchased it. Mine is a CA11450. I have a "side-by-side" photo but no clue as to how to post it.
 
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Just curious, do you live in a dusty area? Why change air filter on a 2014 so early? I put back my old Purolator air filter that came with the car 1.5 years ago and took out the K&N...I just change the rubber around the air filter is all, it's more efficient old then new as long as there are no tears(which I have personally never seen)
 

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01_celica_gt: I change the air and cabin filter every year. I bought this car in October of 2013 so I'm one month early.
 
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I believe it is the total number of media square inches that is important and not the number of pleats. In fact, fewer pleats together with more sq in would be best. Ed
 
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OP unless you go to an aftermarket air intake system, the typical air filter brands you see at the auto parts store (Fram, Purolator, Wix, Hastings etc.) are all going to filter about the same. There really is very little difference as long as it is the OEM style. You should be fine.
 
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Yearly air filter changes aren't optimal for efficiency. Air filters gain efficiency as the dirty side gets dirty. Set a solid interval based on your environment and stick to it. Probably 30k for dusty areas and 60k for normal. Hard cut off at 5 years due to rubber age.
 
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Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Yearly air filter changes aren't optimal for efficiency. Air filters gain efficiency as the dirty side gets dirty. Set a solid interval based on your environment and stick to it. Probably 30k for dusty areas and 60k for normal. Hard cut off at 5 years due to rubber age.
that actually makes sense to me, I'm thinking of just renewing the rubber every 3-5 years only and watch for restriction other then that, I'm not changing until ACTUALLY necessary. higher filtering efficiency is >
 
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Originally Posted By: Eddie
I believe it is the total number of media square inches that is important and not the number of pleats. In fact, fewer pleats together with more sq in would be best. Ed
Not sure how you can get a filter with more square inches in a given package without increasing the pleat number...
 
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Hi Shannow. The distance between the high point and low point of the pleats would be greater. Depth of the pleat maybe be a better way of visualizing it. Ed
 

dkryan

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Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Yearly air filter changes aren't optimal for efficiency. Air filters gain efficiency as the dirty side gets dirty. Set a solid interval based on your environment and stick to it. Probably 30k for dusty areas and 60k for normal. Hard cut off at 5 years due to rubber age.
True, the air filter may gain "efficiency" as it loads up with dirt and debris. But at some point (and probably sooner than most think) the amount of filtered air sent to the engine will decline noticeably. And probably your gas mileage, as well. I've heard the same logic with HVAV filters, depending upon the system.
 
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Originally Posted By: dkryan
Originally Posted By: 901Memphis
Yearly air filter changes aren't optimal for efficiency. Air filters gain efficiency as the dirty side gets dirty. Set a solid interval based on your environment and stick to it. Probably 30k for dusty areas and 60k for normal. Hard cut off at 5 years due to rubber age.
True, the air filter may gain "efficiency" as it loads up with dirt and debris. But at some point (and probably sooner than most think) the amount of filtered air sent to the engine will decline noticeably. And probably your gas mileage, as well. I've heard the same logic with HVAV filters, depending upon the system.
This wouldn't be true for gas engines. The gas engines do not suffer large MPG hits with a dirty filter even at maximum restriction. A diesel engine will show a difference with a loaded filter, but not gas EFI. You may experience a difference in butt dyno with a new filter, but actual acceleration isn't much difference either. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/pdfs/air_filter_effects_02_26_2009.pdf
 

MolaKule

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Originally Posted By: dkryan
I changed the Nissan factory air filter on my 2014 Altima 2.5L and I used a Fram Extra Guard air filter. Finding an air filter for this car in a retail parts store was a pain. That aside, the OEM filter had 52 closely spaced pleats on each side while the Fram had 28 pleats on each side. The Fram fit just fine and I've always had good results from Fram's air and cabin filters. But I can't help but wonder why there is such a difference in the number of pleats.
The depth of the filter AND the number of pleats determine surface area, and area is the important factor here. If the depth of the filter is the same for both brands, then the filter with more pleats will have a larger surface area.
 

dkryan

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Originally Posted By: MolaKule
Originally Posted By: dkryan
I changed the Nissan factory air filter on my 2014 Altima 2.5L and I used a Fram Extra Guard air filter. Finding an air filter for this car in a retail parts store was a pain. That aside, the OEM filter had 52 closely spaced pleats on each side while the Fram had 28 pleats on each side. The Fram fit just fine and I've always had good results from Fram's air and cabin filters. But I can't help but wonder why there is such a difference in the number of pleats.
The depth of the filter AND the number of pleats determine surface area, and area is the important factor here. If the depth of the filter is the same for both brands, then the filter with more pleats will have a larger surface area.
Isn't the quality of the media a factor, as well?
 
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