Wix vs. OEM Air Filters- Are Aftermarket Air Filters Any Good?

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 I know what you are thinking, why should so much thought go into a disposable product like an engine air filter. Even more so when no aftermarket product could outperform the original, right?

Well, in this Wix vs. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) air filter review, we make a case for aftermarket engine air filters and find out just how well they stack up against OEM filters.

Aftermarket air filters were not originally held in such high regard. Their low price point perpetuated the idea that they weren’t in equal standing with an OEM air filter. But just like everything else in this capitalist economy, the increased manufacture of aftermarket air filters caused producers to improve quality and lower prices in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Plus, the high cost of OEM filters can be attributed to the number of intermediaries the product has to go through before it reaches your local auto parts store. So, how does one choose from the myriad of products in the market?

How can you identify a good quality aftermarket engine air filter? In this article, we highlight some of the factors you should consider by comparing an aftermarket engine air filter, Wix, with an OEM air filter.

Wix vs. OEM Air Filter- How do they compare

Quality

The most important part of the air filter is the filter media. This is what traps dust and dirt from the air that flows into the engine to facilitate the combustion process.

Without it, dirt and road debris would get sucked into the engine causing irreparable damage to various components. It is, therefore, essential for your filter media to maintain its integrity throughout its duration of use.

Due to the extreme temperatures that exist under the hood, manufacturers (OEM and aftermarket) ensure that their engine air filters have a heat resistant feature.

Wix, however, goes the extra mile, and on top of having heat resistant filter media, they integrate a self-extinguishing element to fortify the integrity of the filter media.

I can’t stress how much of a perk this is, by stopping the spread of the flame, Wix saves your vehicle from extensive fire damage.

Pleats

When we talk of OEM, we refer to the engine air filter that comes with the vehicle at the time of the original purchase. Every car model comes with an engine air filter made by the manufacturer that made the vehicle.

Now that we are on the same page let’s talk about pleats. The number of pleats the filter media has is a very important feature in an engine air filter. A higher number of pleats mean a larger surface area and a greater filtering efficiency.

OEM engine air filters, usually boast a large surface area and are therefore considered superior to aftermarket products since they will be able to trap more dirt for longer.

However, Wix has 130 pleats, whereas an OEM engine air filter for a 2015 Toyota Highlander has 74 pleats. In this case, you would be better off with a Wix engine air filter, which has a filtering efficiency of 98%.

Still, a case can be made that engine air filter with substantially large surface areas, restrict airflow to the engine, which can also cause problems.

Fitting

The engine air filter you choose needs to be a direct fit with your vehicle; otherwise, unfiltered air will still make its way to the engine. OEM engine air filters are designed according to the specifications of a specific vehicle make and model.

So, there is a 0% chance of any OEM engine air filter not fitting correctly. Aftermarket air filters, on the other hand, cannot afford to specialize and need to be compatible with a wide variety of vehicles. As a result, they offer different sizes of engine air filters but within a specific range.

However, aftermarket manufacturers such as Wix provide a database on their websites where customers can input their vehicle model numbers and get matched with engine air filters that are similar in size.  This way, you are assured of actually using the products your purchase.

Wix vs. OEM Air Filters-A Product Review

Wix engine air filters

Wix engine air filters are designed for easy installation and maximum engine protection. Their pleats are held in place by a heat resistant adhesive that guarantees product efficiency throughout its lifespan.

Wix air filters seals are airtight and long-lasting. They are made of polyurethane, which allows them to maintain elasticity even when exposed to extreme temperatures. They use highly advanced filter media that has self-extinguishing properties in addition to being heat resistant.

Their radial filter alternatives cater to customers that have older vehicles that cannot accommodate the panel design. Additionally, they come fortified with a mesh screen that provides double the engine protection while maintaining filter media integrity.

Pros

  • Offers both radial and panel shaped air filters
  • Compatible with a wide range of vehicle makes and models
  • Has highly advanced filter media that traps micron-sized particles
  • Airtight and heat resistant seals and adhesives

Cons

  • More expensive than other aftermarket engine air filters
  • High number of pleats can restrict airflow

OEM engine air filters

OEM engine air filters are undoubtedly of high quality. They are specifically designed to meet the needs of a particular car model, and that is one reason why they last longer than any aftermarket engine air filter.

Their deep and compact packed pleats ensure that your engine stays protected from unwanted contaminants, which also improves performance. When it comes to filter material, OEM engine air filters deliver a steady flow of filtered air without allowing even the smallest particles to pass through to the engine.

The fact that they are custom made for your vehicle will enable them to have longer change intervals than their aftermarket counterparts. Additionally, OEM engine air filters have a larger surface area than 80% of aftermarket air filters. This feature is the reason why OEM filters have a high filtering efficiency rate.

Pros

  • Fits your engine perfectly
  • Filter media has a large surface area
  • Uses high-quality filter material
  • High filtration efficiency

Cons

  • They are more expensive than aftermarket engine air filters
  • Compatible with specific vehicle models

In Conclusion

Not many aftermarket engine air filters can be in equal standing with an OEM air filter. However, brands such as Wix have set themselves apart by making stable and durable products.

You can tell that a lot of work goes into their product design. From self-extinguishing filter media to the use of heat resistant adhesive. With Wix, you are guaranteed maximum engine protection even under strenuous driving conditions. Wix air filters also maximize engine performance and improve fuel economy.

They also offer a wide variety of products to choose from, designed to work in different environments, and meet particular needs.

Their only drawback is that they are pricier in comparison to other aftermarket air filters. But that can be overlooked, especially when you consider what they have to offer.

You should, therefore, consider Wix as a replacement option once its time to change your OEM filter.  Remember to always check the Wix website for official distributors before buying this product to avoid receiving counterfeit goods.

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Steven Reilly
Steven Reilly is a qualified mechanic and his passion for cars goes beyond just the technical aspects. He is also an amateur racer and all round car enthusiast. When he is not driving them, he can often be found in his garage under the hood of a rare model. Steven Reilly has lost track of the number of hours he has spent setting up his fine collection of rebuilt models. He believes that cars can provide a constructive and fun opportunity to teach the youth important life skills. In line with this, he is developing a community outreach program, potentially dubbed ‘Cars for change'.

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