Guide to performance panel filters.

"Thanks for reading our guide on panel air filters"

The air filter is probably one of the most common modifications we see on car projects.

We look at panel filters and compare these to induction kits and look at the pros and cons of each type of filter and the performance benefits you'll get.

We get asked a lot about induction kits and intake kits, and generally we find that the average car will not benefit from it because the standard airbox flows sufficiently well so there is no improvement to gain.

Some smaller engines even suffer from flat spots when an induction kit is fitted.

Our usual recommendation is to go with a washable performance panel air filter.

A cars airbox is designed to reduce the noise of the engine and have various vanes and angles cut to maximize this noise reduction but it can hamper flow.

We have seen benefits from smoothing out the internal parts of the airbox and using a performance panel air filter.

They are cheaper in the long run as they last for many years, if properly looked after.

They provide sufficient filtration but flow better than the OEM filters so if you've done other mods to your car you might see a little more power.

They never seem to create flat spots, or suffer from the issue of sucking warm engine bay air into the engine.

If I'm honest I view performance panel air filters as a convenience rather than a performance modification.

I put a panel air filter in my 2.0TFSi turbo engine and it improved economy and the car seemed to coast much further on throttle lift off.

The performance panel air filter is quite simply a better flowing filter for the intake air and sits in your cars airbox.

When I tried a panel filter in my 2.0 TDI (BKD PD engine from 2007) I didn't notice anything at all.

But was happy I wouldn't have to replace the air filter every service time.

An OEM paper filter, removed from a car during a service, it shows an acculmulation of dirt, which is the whole point of the filter.

Notice how long the filter is, whereas most performance panel air filters are about half as deep.

The best filtration medium in our opinion which gives a good filtration whilst minimising drag and resistance are those made from cotton gauze.

You can get performance paper filters, foam filters and even plastics and metal gauze filters, but none of these compare with a cotton filter for cleaning the air and minimizing the restriction from the airbox.

So a panel air filter or induction kit does not improve performance it may release a restriction if you have tuned your car and it needs more air than the standard OEM filters can provide.

They are incredibly easy to fit, usually requiring just a screwdriver and 10 minutes of your time.

Make sure everything is clipped back into place, as air leaks can cause a loss of power and response.

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