Are OEM Nissan Cabin Air Filters Better Than Aftermarket?

Are you in the market for a new Nissan cabin air filter? One of the first questions you’re asking may be, “should I get an aftermarket cabin air filter instead of an OEM filter?” Actually, we get this question pretty often. That’s why we decided to put together this comparison guide. We'll go over the differences between OEM and aftermarket Nissan cabin air filters.

It’s up to you which filter you choose, and we want to make sure that you're educated on both types of filters. We want to help you make the right decision.

Which Is Better: OEM Or Aftermarket?

The bottom line? An OEM cabin air filter is a much better investment than an aftermarket cabin air filter. A lot of people may think that OEM cabin air filters are too expensive compared to aftermarket ones. That’s a common misconception for two reasons:

  1. While it’s true that OEM cabin air filters usually cost more upfront, they actually cost less in the long run. It’s because they usually last longer than aftermarket filters, so you get more value out of an OEM filter.
  2. OEM cabin air filters may be pricey at Nissan dealerships, but they can actually be cheap online. We’re an authorized seller of genuine OEM Nissan parts. You can score a cabin air filter from us at wholesale pricing. Often times, our prices are lower than aftermarket prices.

So here are 3 reasons why OEM cabin air filters offer so much more value than aftermarket ones:

1. Perfect Fitment

Filter fit

Image Credit: CarZone

OEM cabin air filters are direct replacement parts. That means the dimensions are always correct. (Click here for details about cabin air filter replacement.)

Aftermarket cabin air filters don’t always come with the right dimensions. If you end up with a poor-fitting aftermarket cabin air filter, you would have to either:

  • Return the filter
  • Alter the filter

The last option - altering the filter - is quite problematic. An altered cabin air filter will either restrict airflow or let dirty air leak through. If you look on Amazon, you’ll find boatloads of complaints about poor-fitting aftermarket cabin air filters. We rounded up a few:

  • “[My aftermarket cabin air filter] does not fit my ’07 Nissan 350Z.”
  • “[My aftermarket cabin air filter] is wider than the OEM filter, making it impossible to snap the cover piece back in. Also, it’s only half as thick as the OEM filter.”
  • “[My aftermarket cabin air filter] is 2 inches longer and 1/3 the thickness of the original factory filter.”
  • “The filter I got was the wrong size. I wasn’t happy. I put my year, make, and model in and I was still sent the wrong filter. Will not buy again.”

2. High Quality Filter Material

filter material

The filter material plays a big role in how long your cabin air filter will last. It's the only part in the filter that traps all the dirt and debris in the air. So you want a cabin air filter with material that:

  • Has the correct sized pores
  • Has densely packed pleats
  • Is thick enough to withstand large debris and heavy air flow

After extensive research, Nissan developed an air filter material that fit all the criteria above. No other company knows your Nissan's HVAC system better than Nissan does. So their OEM cabin air filters are on point when it comes to filter material quality.

You can't say the same about aftermarket cabin air filters. It's common for aftermarket manufacturers to use flimsy filter material with pores that are either too large or small. This increases the risk of the filter failing early on.

3. More Surface Area

Filter surface

The cabin air filter is one of those parts the average driver doesn't want to worry about. You just want to replace your cabin filter once or twice a year and not have to worry about it until the following year. That's possible with OEM Nissan cabin air filters, and not always possible with aftermarket ones. Why? Two words: surface area.

The more surface area a cabin air filter has, the more dirt and debris it can trap. OEM cabin air filters come with deep and tightly packed pleats. In other words, OEM Nissan cabin air filters have more than enough surface area to last a long time

Most aftermarket cabin air filters don't come with deep, tightly packed pleats. If you look around, you'll find that many aftermarket cabin air filters come with shallow and loosely packed pleats. In other words, there's less surface area that can trap dirt and debris. Because of that, aftermarket cabin air filters don't usually last that long. This is another reason why aftermarket cabin air filters are so cheap.

Got any questions? Feel free to contact us