A cabin air filter is a useful part of your car. It keeps the airflow into the cabin as clean as possible. If you own a Ford, you’re supposed to change your cabin air filter every 15K-20K miles. However, that’s only if you have an OEM air filter in your vehicle, which brings up the question:
Are OEM Ford cabin air filters better than aftermarket cabin air filters?
The answer is yes. OEM cabin filters offer so much more value than aftermarket cabin air filters. Here’s why:
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Aftermarket companies are notorious for cutting corners. That’s a big reason why aftermarket parts are cheap. It’s common for aftermarket filters to be built with a porous filter material and a low pleat count.
When it comes to cabin air filters, the filter material and the pleat count determine how well the filter performs. The higher the pleat count, the better the filter. OEM air filters are packed tight with deep pleats, and many aftermarket air filters have shallow, widely spaced pleats. When you lay the media out flat, you’ll see how much more material tight, deeply-pleated filters have compared to shallow, widely-spaced pleated filters. The more material a filter has, the more debris it’s able to trap, therefore the longer it lasts.
For optimal performance, an air filter also has to have just the right amount of pores of the right size. Ford spent time and money researching, testing, and developing an air filter that’s porous enough to let an adequate amount of air through to the cabin while trapping as much debris as possible. It’s unlikely that aftermarket companies spent as much time researching, testing, and developing air filters as Ford did. It’s common for aftermarket companies to use cheap, porous filter material just to save a few bucks. Using a low-quality aftermarket cabin air filter in your car means you’ll be exposed to dust, pollen, harmful exhaust gases, and pollution right inside the cabin.
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Not only are most aftermarket air filters rather skimpy, but they also don’t fit well. It’s rare for an aftermarket air filter to be built with exactly the right dimensions just for your Ford. An aftermarket air filter might be a tad bit too big, too small, too wide, too long, etc. for your Ford. It’s common to modify an aftermarket air filter to cover the entire opening between the heat and A/C vents and the rest of the HVAC system, and that can compromise the filter’s ability to filter out all the debris.
OEM air filters are built to fit your Ford. They’re direct fits, meaning no modifications are necessary.
OEM air filters come with guaranteed quality and warranty. You’ll have the peace of mind that your OEM air filter will fit your car each and every time, and in case something goes wrong, you’ll get to have the filter replaced for free under warranty.
Aftermarket air filters are a hit or miss in terms of quality, fitment, and warranty. Even if you find a high-quality aftermarket filter, chances are that it doesn’t fit your car well or it doesn’t come under warranty. So the chances of finding an aftermarket air filter that is made of high-quality filter material, fits your car perfectly, and is backed by a warranty are very slim.
Where to Find Affordable OEM Cabin Air Filters
There are two types of companies that sell OEM Ford cabin air filters:
- Ford dealerships
- Authorized online sellers
You would be hard-pressed to find an affordable OEM cabin filter at a dealership, as dealerships tend to mark up their prices by about 30%. You’d have much better luck online. In fact, we’re an authorized seller and we offer wholesale pricing for genuine OEM Ford parts, including cabin air filters. All you have to do is to look up your Ford to find the right part number.
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