Ford F-150/F-250: Air Filter Reviews

Air intakes are a simple upgrade that can change the way your truck makes power. The following brands are reliable names with small differences. Find out which best suits your F-150 or Super Duty.

By Pizzaman711 - September 16, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014) and Ford F-250 Super Duty (2005-2014).

A worn out air filter can really hinder performance on your Ford F-150 or non-Diesel Ford F-250 Super Duty by starving the engine of the oxygen it needs. Without the proper amount of oxygen, your engine can't burn the fuel as efficiently as it needs to. This can have negative side effects, including loss of power, loss of gas mileage, and the dreaded System Too Rich code in extreme cases. So why replace that filter with some no-name knockoff (that'll last you a year if you're lucky) when you can pick up a quality replacement that'll give you a few worry free years, as well as added benefits including being cleanable?

Please note that the price is based on a 2004 F-150. The air flow rating is based on a cone style filter.

Air Filter Brand Comparison

K&N
Spectre
Airaid
Price $46 $25 $55
Dry/Oiled

Oiled

Oiled

Both Available

Cleanable Yes Yes Yes
Air Flow 881 CFM 8-900 CFM 542 CFM (Dry), 820 CFM (Oiled)
Filtration Rate 96-99% 95-99% 99.99%
Warranty Limited Lifetime Limited Lifetime Limited Lifetime
Best Quality: Airaid

Best Value: Spectre

K&N

K&N Air Filter for 5.4L V8 F-150
Price: $46
Dry/Oiled: Oiled
Cleanable: Yes
Air Flow: 881 CFM
Filtration Rate: 96-99%
Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Probably one of the most common aftermarket filters on the market, K&N is definitely a step above the OEM disposable paper filters. The oil on the filter helps attract dirt and dust down to around 5 microns in size and keeps it from entering your system. In addition, the filter is higher flowing, which means your engine can get the oxygen it needs easier. K&N rates this filter as having a million mile lifespan as long as it's properly cleaned and re-oiled every 30-50k miles. The downside to having an oiled filtered is you need to take care not to over oil it, otherwise you can dirty the mass air flow sensor causing problems. Recommended for anyone looking for an upgrade over OEM who doesn't mind taking the time to properly clean and oil it.

Spectre

Spectre Air Filter for 4.6L V8 F-150
Price: $25
Dry/Oiled: Oiled
Cleanable: Yes
Air Flow: 8-900 CFM
Filtration Rate: 95-99%
Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Spectre is a great choice for those who want an oiled filter and don't want to spend double for K&N or Airaid. These filters are very similar to K&N in both design and performance. The only real differing factor is Spectre recommends a cleaning schedule of every 7-10k miles for optimum performance. So you'll have to clean the filter more often, but for the price it's not too much of a con. Recommended if you don't mind the cleaning schedule as you'll get the same performance as the K&N for less than half of the cost normally.

Airaid

Air Raid Air Filter
Price: $55
Dry/Oiled: Both Available
Cleanable: Yes
Airflow: 542 CFM (Dry) - 820 CFM (Oiled)
Filtration Rate: 99.99%
Warranty: Limited Lifetime

I'd rank these a little bit higher than K&N because they come in both dry and oiled versions, providing more options. On top of that, Airaid filters have a higher filtration rate and can pick up particles down to 2 microns in size. Both the dry and oiled versions of these filters are cleanable, which means you can buy one, clean it every 30-50k miles, and never have to replace it. Like the K&N, the initial investment is a bit higher than getting a disposable, but overtime it will pay for itself and end up saving you money. Recommended for those who want a high quality, higher flowing replacement that they'll only have to buy once.

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