Your Shopping Guide to Getting the Best Air Cleaner Mount
An air filter or cleaner is a component of your car composed of fibrous materials that remove particles such as bacteria, mold, dust, pollen, and other solid particulates that could circulate throughout your automobile via its A/C or ventilation. It could even remove airborne molecular contaminants like ozone or VOCs (volatile organic compounds). The air cleaner mount or gasket, on the other hand, fastens the filter to your car correctly. It makes sure all air goes to the filter and no unfiltered air can get into your car as well.
Things to Consider
- Air Cleaner Mounts Are Vehicle Specific: As per usual, check your user's manual or the driver's side door jamb or of your car to get the specific year, make, and model of your car. As with any car part or component you want replaced or added, it pays to know this information so that you'll have an easier time talking to a car shop owner or going online to find the correct air cleaner mount for your specific vehicular needs.
- OEM versus OEM Standard: If you were to buy a mount that's OEM, then it's practically problem solved as far as vehicular compatibility is concerned (unless there are factory defects to the part, but that's a separate issue altogether). Even when you're going the aftermarket route, you'll often come across the promise that the mount meets "OEM standard". You'll usually see these with model-specific mounts (not so much with multi-model-compatible mounts).
- The Shape of the Filter compared to Its Mount: You can also know if you're buying the right air cleaner mount or not judging by the shape of the mount. Obviously, if you have a rectangular air cleaner like you'd see on an A/C at home and the mount you got is circular in shape, then you're not getting the right fitting mount for your specific cleaner. Sometimes the shape of the mount will save you from buying the exact wrong mount for car models with multiple filter types through the years.
- Air Cleaner Filter Classes: It's also easier to narrow down which mount or gasket you should purchase for your air cleaner by knowing what the cleaner's filter classes are. You have the primary filters (G1, G2, G3, and G4), secondary filters (M5, M6, M7, F8, F9), Semi HEPA (E10, E11, E12), HEPA (H13, H14), and ULPA (U15, U16, and U17).
- Brands and the Quality of the Mount Itself: Specific brands of air filters come with their own compatible (or even branded) mounts. Knowing your air cleaner brand can even let you zero in on the correct and compatible replacement mount as well.
Aside from having the important job of sealing the air so that every bit of it is filtered out, an air gasket or mount should also be quite durable. Replacement mounts have the reputation of being less than durable than their OEM counterparts, but there are aftermarket options that meet or exceed all OEM specifications.