New Hengst air filter would not fit my BMW

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How common is it for quality European car parts made for a certain car to simply not fit? I tried replacing the air filter in my BMW 535d today, but the Hengst filter I got from ECStuning would not fit. Although the old and new filters look identical visually, the filter gasket was ever so slightly bigger than the one on the Mahle that I was replacing. Result was the filter would not seat fully, which kept the cover from being able to close. I tried for over an hour without success; to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong, I reinstalled the old filter a couple of times and it fits and seats perfectly. I cleaned and vacuumed the old air filter as well as I could and reinstalled it until I can get a new filter, probably from the BMW dealer. In retrospect, I should have checked to see what brand of filter it had in it before ordering the Hengst. Frustrating! Hopefully ECS will refund or exchange the filter.
 
How common is it for quality European car parts made for a certain car to simply not fit? I tried replacing the air filter in my BMW 535d today, but the Hengst filter I got from ECStuning would not fit. Although the old and new filters look identical visually, the filter gasket was ever so slightly bigger than the one on the Mahle that I was replacing. Result was the filter would not seat fully, which kept the cover from being able to close. I tried for over an hour without success; to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong, I reinstalled the old filter a couple of times and it fits and seats perfectly. I cleaned and vacuumed the old air filter as well as I could and reinstalled it until I can get a new filter, probably from the BMW dealer. In retrospect, I should have checked to see what brand of filter it had in it before ordering the Hengst. Frustrating! Hopefully ECS will refund or exchange the filter.
Never had that issue with Hengst. Contact ECS.
 
Never seen that either. What brand is the old filter? Mann?

On my E39, some filters were available in the "cold weather" version which included an extra layer of foam pre-filter (snow splash guard), making the overall filter a little taller, but it still fit in my case.
 
Never seen that either. What brand is the old filter? Mann?

On my E39, some filters were available in the "cold weather" version which included an extra layer of foam pre-filter (snow splash guard), making the overall filter a little taller, but it still fit in my case.
Old one is Mahle and seats perfectly. I was very surprised the Hengst wouldn't fit. I tried and tried and tried with no luck. I was afraid if I tried any harder to get it to fit I was going to break something.
 
Never bad any problem w/ Hengst or Mann. I have noticed that Hengst oil filters on one of my cars seat significantly tighter on the center tube than others, but never a problem. Please update us on what ECS says.

Hengst is also an OEM to BMW.
Hengst being an OEM to BMW is why it surprised me so that it wouldn't fit like the Mahle.
 
1) Things happen... (not at all satisfying, I know)
2) Is there a number on either filter? Check 'em both.
3) ANY chance a rubber lube applied to the Hengst helping the lid of the box squeeze it into place? (not that I'm suggesting that, just asking)
Other brain cells.....Report in, please.
 
2) Is there a number on either filter? Check 'em both.
3) ANY chance a rubber lube applied to the Hengst helping the lid of the box squeeze it into place?...
2) See pics below of Hengst that didn't fit. Don't remember the number of the old Mahle filter. It's back in the car for now.
3) I wonder if a little water-based lubricant might help the Hengst gasket to seat properly... I'm doubtful but may try this.

IMG_20240107_160429861.jpg
IMG_20240107_154526992.jpg
 
It's better that it was too big to fit, than a bit too small and with a poor seal that went unnoticed, which I've experienced before. When it comes to air filters, it's usually worth the few extra dollars to get OEM.
 
MANN, Mahle and Hengst are all OEM. They are OE for different models. Not all models come with Hengst made or Mahle made filter. Most common OE would be MANN.
Since the old filter that is back in the car for now is a Mahle, that's what I'm going to order to replace the Hengst. The Hengst seems like a very well made filter, so I'm disappointed I won't be able to use it.
 
Had a similar experience but with a Mann intake filter on a P2 Volvo where Mahle is OE. The Mann (made in Mexico) had excess (and sloppy) gasket material which made it a very tight fit.

Sad to see the European OEMs join the race to the bottom.
 
European OEMs join the race to the bottom.
I hear what you're saying but I don't think variations in "foam products production" (the seal) constitutes the "race to the bottom" which so characterizes big businesses' desire to make cheap garbage or thoughtless consumers puzzling (and lazy) tendency to accept continually cheapened products.
 
I hear what you're saying but I don't think variations in "foam products production" (the seal) constitutes the "race to the bottom" which so characterizes big businesses' desire to make cheap garbage or thoughtless consumers puzzling (and lazy) tendency to accept continually cheapened products.

Fair enough, but I've had my share of poor experiences with production changes from European OEMS. Some recent examples that come to mind:

1. Lemforder - moved a lot of suspension parts production to Asia with a noticeable drop in quality and durability. Eg new Lemforder end links snapped mid cornering. Even M539 explicitly advises against Lemforder now
2. Mann - a batch of oil filters, OE to BMW applications, had globs of excess glue on the clean side of the element which came loose with no effort. Production had moved from Germany to Mexico.
3. INA - tensioner production moved from Germany to Slovakia and bearings failed within 15k km (was changed as preventative maintenance). Swapped the original German made one back in and still trouble free after 80k km.

I understand their motives but it doesn't make me feel any better about it. It's sad as I never found reason to doubt European OEM parts until now.
 
I think it's also important to note that just because a company serves as an OEM to a marque, it doesn't mean that they necessarily made the parts for that particular engine, chassis, or assembly.

Or, in a broader sense, a company can claim to be a BMW OEM, like Bosch. But Bosch may be supplying wipers, alternators, and spark plugs to them, not filters, so just because Bosch is "OEM" or "OEM quality" doesn't necessarily mean much, if anything, in the context of a filter.

The oil filter housing is my BMW is made by Mahle. I would have no problems using Mann filters in it, and have done so, but given my experience with the quality and price of the Mahle filters I've used (perhaps at least until recently), I've had little reason to choose anything else.

The genuine BMW filters I've bought have been made by either Mahle or Mann, so I know BMW also approves of both.

But I've never come across one made by Hengst. Would I feel uncomfortable using one? No, but there is also little to nothing compelling me to do so, and in lieu of such a factor coming to light, I probably won't.

In general, all three would be high quality, and likely would serve well. These are not aboslutes. But there can be nuances, and distinctions between them, and those can count.
 
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Have strong preference to replace like for like brands. particularly on German vehicles, although have also had no issues with the occasional and usually cheaper engine and cabin air filters from other brands. On the fence but considering K&N lifetime filter options at next service on both the 3 series BMW and Merc SUV. (Already installed one (a cone filter) with success in my Triumph Thruxton motorcycle). Easy enough to wash/clean and reoil from prior experience, and you don't have the worries when future replacement/service times come around once you buy the correct one that fits. Expect to pay more for the K&N initially but they pay for themselves after a couple of swaps. Of course, you need to spend some extra time and care cleaning them every service.
 
Have strong preference to replace like for like brands. particularly on German vehicles, although have also had no issues with the occasional and usually cheaper engine and cabin air filters from other brands. On the fence but considering K&N lifetime filter options at next service on both the 3 series BMW and Merc SUV. (Already installed one (a cone filter) with success in my Triumph Thruxton motorcycle). Easy enough to wash/clean and reoil from prior experience, and you don't have the worries when future replacement/service times come around once you buy the correct one that fits. Expect to pay more for the K&N initially but they pay for themselves after a couple of swaps. Of course, you need to spend some extra time and care cleaning them every service.
I suggest you not. That's a good way to foul up a MAF sensor which leads to other problems.

Stick to quality OEM paper filters, they actually filter and no oily residue to worry about.
 
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