Air filters play an important part in your vehicle performance. Having a high quality, new air filter means the air passing through your engine will remain clean and prevent engine issues. In this article, we look at two of the best air filters on the market. The STP vs FRAM. Read on to find out the differences between them both, and which air filter is the most suitable for your vehicle.
FRAM Air Filter
The FRAM air filter claims to offer twice the engine protection and last for 12,000 miles. The FRAM air filter has three layers of adhesive from top to bottom, and is lighter than other air filters, only weighing 441 grams. This air filter has a static pressure of 2.75, and an airspeed of 54.9 miles per hour. FRAM filters need to be oiled regularly to maintain their quality. You can do this by using air filter oil. This prevents the air filter from becoming blocked with dust and dirt particles. The FRAM air filter is typically more expensive compared to the STP, but this is because the FRAM lasts much longer. The FRAM air filter also filters out smaller particles than the STP can.
STP Air Filter
STP stands for Scientifically Treated Petroleum. The STP air filter needs changing every 10,000 miles to ensure your vehicle maintains high performance levels. These air filters are manufactured in Mexico, which means they’re cheaper to produce, and therefore cheaper to purchase. This is the perfect air filter if you want to save a few dollars, and is likely better quality than your car’s original equipment. STP Air Filters do not need to be oiled, which is less maintenance compared to the FRAM filter. This air filter can catch small particles such as pollen, spores, and mold.
Differences between the STP and FRAM Air Filters
The two filters seem very similar, but if you look closely, they have little stark differences between them. For example, the STP filter is finished to a higher standard. The quality of the injection of the foam that seals the filter to the airbox is much better, the quality of the foam is higher too. It also has three strips of glue to keep the filter element bands separated, and the front filter has a little worse quality finish on the foam. The foam seems a little bit flimsier and cheaper, and it only has one strip of glue to separate all of the filter element bends comparing the steel mesh. we can see that the STP it’s a little bit thicker.
The steel mesh has vents that make the filter sturdier and more resistant to bending. This is different to the FRAM filter which is made of a thinner material and it also comes with no vents.
Comparing both filters, the material bends differently. the FRAM filter comes with 86 plies, which gives more filtration surface. The STP filter only comes with 80 plies, so the FRAM has six more bands of material in it. However, if you look closely, especially the FRAM filter, you can see that none of the plies on the edge are usable.
The first four on each side are not usable because of imperfections in the injection of the phone. This means the first four layers are not going to filter anything because they do not have any airflow. So I found the FRAM air filter has 79 plies in the middle that are usable. The same happens with the STP. But the STP plies are better quality, with 76 usable plies.
Quality of Material
Looking at the filter elements individually, you can see the STP is much finer, while the FRAM is not as smooth and it’s more translucent. This means that the STP is going to filter contaminants much better than the FRAM. However, I do believe that the FRAM is going to flow more CFMs. The FRAM filter element seems a little bit spongier. If you take a look at the STP filter, you can see that is much smoother, and is more consistent throughout the fibers.
I do believe the STP is a little bit better quality, better filtering material and better built. However, the FRAM flows a little bit more air.
But at the end of the day, which of these two is better? It depends on your application, the STP is going to be a better choice. However, it’s going to cost you horsepower and torque. The FRAM has cheaper foam injection and the foam is cheaper, but the filter element seems like it’s not going to filter as much or as well as the STP filter. This is going to give you a better performance. It has a little bit more surface area, and even though it’s going to allow a little bit of dirt particles going to the engine, this shouldn’t be a big deal.