OEM style air filter vs oiled cotton filter

1.8-liter VVTL-i (2ZZ-GE) and VVT-i (1ZZ-FE) engine, transmission, exhaust, intake, and performance tuning discussions
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OEM style air filter vs oiled cotton filter

Post by bigdoug » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:22 pm

So, I have to eventually replace the air filter in my vibe. I have considered going with a Spectre ($25) or K&N ($50) or other oiled cotton type filter. This would be with the stock air setup, as CAIs are rather expensive. Eventually I may upgrade.

Here's the thing though. While I have heard that cotton does let in a little more air, I have heard it also lets in a little more dust as well, presumably due to larger pores on the surface. I have also read the Bob Is the Oil Guy reviews on filters:

So, the question I have, is it worth the additional $20-40 for a cotton filter that I believe the only benefit is you can reuse it, and possibly lets in more dirt? I am assuming that the reason you get more performance out of a K&N or Spectre cone filter is because it's attached to a CAI or other aftermarket intake, and the performance is not due to filter, but due to the shorter intake that doesn't snake through the car frame all over hell and back.

I'm sure this topic has been argued before, but I'd like to hear your guy's opinion on it.

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Re: OEM style air filter vs oiled cotton filter

Post by vibenvy » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:34 am

I avoid oiled filters as over-oiling can damage the MAF sensor. If you are wanting to stick with a drop-in filter as opposed to a CAI or SRI, check out aFe. They make drop-in filters that do not need oil.
2009 Liquid Platinum Metallic Vibe GT - 5-Speed Auto – Garage
2009 Steel Blue Metallic Vibe GT - 5-Speed Auto – Garage

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Re: OEM style air filter vs oiled cotton filter

Post by jolt » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:21 pm

Your right on all aspects, stick with the OEM and change it if you are worried about restriction. Filtration is restriction; the finer it filters, the more restrictive it is.

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Re: OEM style air filter vs oiled cotton filter

Post by circuitsmith » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:50 am

Wait until shortly after it's rained (when the air is cleanest) and take a short drive with no filter.
You'll get the most you could theoretically gain.
And the gain will be the most with wide open throttle & rpm near redline.
2006 Matrix 5-sp

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