How to distinguish fake filters: oil, fuel, air

Fake filters Auto

Everyone has long been accustomed to the fact that almost any product is counterfeited. From food to technology. Sometimes, fake outwardly does not differ from the original, and the difference in price makes it simply attractive.

The situation is similar in the auto parts market. Just remember that the car does not play a decorative role. And fakes during its maintenance are dangerous to the owner, the car and others.

How to spot fake filters

The main task of a car filter is to clean: oil, fuel or air. How well it copes with its functions depends on the quality of the components and workmanship.

Do you want to learn how to distinguish a real filter from a fake?

General differences

Most often fakes appear from China. Even the packaging clearly says Made in China. Such fakes are easy to distinguish from branded ones. The color of the container, inscriptions, weight differ.

On external examination, uneven coloring and streaks can be seen. Due to the difference in weight, it can be concluded that there are differences in the choice of ingredients.

Of course, there is no need to talk about the quality of these products, since everything in it is done to reduce the cost.

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When buying an original filter, you need to pay attention to the presence of degrees of protection:

  • company logo on the packaging
  • company badges
  • VIN code, confirmed through the catalog
  • have installation instructions
  • manufacturer's data

Oil filter

Each branded spare part has its own distinctive features. Oil filters are needed to clean the oil from wear particles. They are divided into three types according to the quality of cleaning:

original oil filter:

Full flow Partial flow Combined
passes all the oil cleans all grease partial flow cleans the oil in parts
basic basic main and additional
works on the basis of a bypass valve works in two circuits: direct from the pump and cleaning through the filter acts as a hybrid of two filters
allows contaminated oil to enter the engine grease is cleaned more slowly, but qualitatively grease is cleaned efficiently and lasts longer

Read also: how to check oil for authenticity

How to check the oil filter:

  • the weight of the real differs from the analogue
  • the size of the fake is smaller
  • high-quality branded packaging and protected from opening
  • the fake itself is distinguished by the size of the holes, poor coloring and rolling
  • the bypass valve for fakes is sometimes missing

Oil filters

Fuel filter

Before gasoline enters the engine, it must be cleaned of drops of water and various impurities. For this, a fuel filter is used. There are two types of filters according to the degree of purification:

  • pre-cleaning - coarser
  • final cleaning - fine

The principle of operation of the fuel filter is that gasoline, before entering the fuel line of the engine from the tank, passes through a preliminary cleaning. The cleaning element rids the fuel of particles of various impurities.

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For final cleaning, the filter is installed in the fuel line or as part of the pump.

For analogues, in order to save money, the material for filtering is rather coarse and weak. With such cleaning, small particles enter the engine, and when ruptured, dirty fuel.

This leads to damage to the injectors and wear of the injector.

How to distinguish a fake from the original: compare the quality of the body painting, markings, labels, sealing rubber bands, even the diameter and location relative to the bracket at the fitting is different. 

Fuel filters for car

Air filter

An air filter is needed to clean the air entering the engine from dust, sand and other particles. The combustion of one liter of gasoline requires 14.7 liters of air. If the air was dirty, all combustion products will settle on the engine nodes.

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The design feature of the air filter is that air can only enter the engine through the cleaning element.

How does the analogue differ from the original:

  • body color
  • marking
  • package
  • cleaning area

Air filters for car

What oil filter to put on a car

The oil filter in the car is changed along with the oil. When choosing, you need to consider: the degree of purification, the price-quality ratio.

According to the degree of purification, full-flow, partial-flow or combined. But when buying, you need an oil filter test.

What to check in an oil filter

Check element Indicators
bypass valve opening pressure one tenth of a bar above the upper system pressure limit
stop valve a closed valve holds a little more system pressure
paper thickness the thicker the paper, the better the cleaning
oil heating temperature the heating temperature for the filter is higher than the engine oil heating
hull integrity no external damage, damage to valves and filter paper

Rating of the best oil filters

The range of auto parts stores is simply huge. There are major manufacturers of oil filters that most motorists use.

Despite the fact that the functions are the same, there are a number of differences: cleaning quality, reliability, other performance characteristics, counterfeit protection.

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Mann filters for car

A very popular brand all over the world. High product quality, durability, continuous improvement are the hallmarks of Mann auto parts. The increased demand for products made it interesting for scammers as well.

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What is the difference between original and fake:

  • the packaging of fake products is paler
  • on the case of a fake, the print is pale and blurry
  • the lid of the counterfeit is matte, faded with scratches from compression
  • sealing gum in a fake can be easily obtained
  • the thread of the central hole in counterfeit is simpler, coarser with burrs


Mahle filters for car

Mahle branded filters are produced with a high level of control over the work and the quality of the components. The body is made with anti-corrosion coating. Reliability and high quality correspond to the high price of products. Many analogue manufacturers sell their products as branded ones, but the quality differs very much:

  • marking of fakes is thinner
  • color is different
  • glossy counterfeit packaging
  • bad rolling on fake filters
  • cleaning element filled with glue

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Bosch filters for car

Bosch brand oil filters are the most budget option. Good quality and relatively low price make them very popular. Unfortunately, this brand is popular not only among motorists, but also among scammers.

Analogues do not have the qualities of branded products: a high degree of oil purification, a housing with anti-corrosion protection, and reliable design.

Distinctive features of the Bosch brand:

  • product information on the end face of the filter element matches the information on the packaging
  • on the packaging and on the case, the inscriptions are easy to read, without errors and defects
  • on the surface of the case there are no divorces, not stained areas, dents
  • elastic rubber sealing ring


Fram filters for car

Pretty good quality and common consumables. They are distinguished by reliability and a large area of the cleaning element. A small drawback can be considered a thin sealing ring. The low price eliminates the complexity of installation.

There are many fakes of Fram oil filters, it comes to 50%.

It is difficult to distinguish the original from the fake, but there are some differences.

Signs of a fake:

  • the color of the package is paler
  • low quality printing
  • The markings on the case are illegible.
  • there are stains, unpainted areas


Delphi filters for car

Delphi brand car oil filters are high-quality, reliable and high-tech products. There are two drawbacks: an American company makes auto parts for American cars and a high price.

There are many fakes and it is difficult to distinguish them from the original by external signs:

  • valves differ in shape
  • the marking on the case is made in a different font
  • the inscription on the spring is different
  • the quality of the cleaning element is very different


Union filter for car

Oil filters of the Japanese company Union are reliable, durable, and provide a high degree of purification. The quality is truly Japanese. Updates are released regularly. Good oil filter for car.

The level of protection against counterfeiting is not high enough. There are many who want to take advantage of this. The quality of their products is very different from Japanese:

  • body painted unevenly
  • the marking is faded, hard to read
  • sealing gum is easy to remove
  • thread rough, uneven, with burrs


Sct filter for car

Quite a wide range of products, for almost any car. The low price of branded parts made the Sct brand popular.

One must take into account the mediocre quality of Sct products in general and oil filters in particular. Even the original ones have different height, workmanship. Flat preload spring, filter element filled with glue.

Let's be honest - the quality of analogues is not too different from the quality of the original.


Lynx filters for car

The Japanese company Lynx produces reliable high quality products. Now it is also being produced in South Korea. The price of oil filters from Korea is much lower, but the quality remains the same.

One big drawback of the products of this brand is a huge number of fakes. It is almost impossible to find an original Lynx car oil filter.

The quality of the counterfeit is much lower:

  • bypass valve plastic
  • cleaning element made of thin paper, placed unevenly
  • made in China
  • hard rubber check valve


Tsn filter for car

Oil filters of the Tsn brand belong to the middle category of quality and price. The low quality of cleaning and short service life is offset by the low price of the product.

There are no problems with installation and operation, but there is no anti-corrosion coating even inside the product. To purchase Tsn products or not is a personal matter for everyone. Analogues almost do not differ from branded products either in quality or in appearance.


Belmag filter for car

NPO "BelMag" from Magnitogorsk produces automotive oil filters for domestic cars. A large assortment, good quality and reasonable price are the features of Belmag spare parts.

If the products are in demand, then there are fakes. But there are not so many of them, and the quality leaves much to be desired. When buying, you can take the original filter for comparison:

  • package
  • printing quality
  • marking
  • size
  • weight
  • appearance

big filter

Big filter for car

Consumables are quite reliable with a good degree of cleaning. Anti-corrosion coating inside and out. Produced by BIG Filter LLC, a domestic manufacturer.

Fakes are produced in China, the article is put the same as on the original. This is where the similarity ends. Even the manufacturer on the Chinese packaging is written incorrectly.

It is not difficult to distinguish counterfeit from branded products.


Filters Auto-assembly for car

Avtoagregat OJSC is one of the leaders in the production and supply of auto parts in the Russian Federation and the CIS countries. Most of the products go to factories. Very little is left for retail. It is difficult to find an automobile oil filter on the shelves.

Quality of cleaning, reliability and durability at a high level. At the same time, the price is acceptable. So there are fakes too.

  • there is no brand name on the packaging
  • labeling is different
  • points of contact welding 6, not 8
  • sealant is noticeable on fakes
  • rubber seal falls off


Finwhale filters for car

Finwhale brand products are manufactured in Germany. These are auto parts of high quality and reliability. Oil filters are produced with increased operating potential up to 20,000 km. This was achieved thanks to the quality control of production and the unique composition of the cleaning element.

When buying, you need to pay attention to the packaging. There is a protective optical mark with a unique number. Latent image technology has been introduced into the brand - if you look through a special key, a whale appears as on the company logo. The seller must have the key.


Patron filter for car

Patron oil filter production is located in China. Product quality is high: good cleaning element, corrosion protection of the case, low price. The disadvantages include saving paper: a small height and an insufficient number of ribs in an accordion. You will have to change more often than similar consumables from other manufacturers.

There are analogues, but their quality does not differ from the original.

Ufi filters

Ufi filters for car

The brand is little known, but the company produces various auto parts, including oil filters. Production is located in Indonesia. The quality is average as is the price. Can be used to save money.


Purflux filter for car

Oil filters of this brand are produced for Renault. A distinctive feature - the cleaning element is laid with a double accordion. The filter area, with small dimensions, is decent. Original assembly, thoughtfulness of details. The price is correspondingly high.

Design features reliably protect this brand from fakes.

Nevsky filter

Filters Nevsky filter for car

Products of the Nevsky Filter brand are of poor quality. Significant traces of contact welding. Flat pressure spring. The height of the cleaning element is uneven, size fluctuations reach up to 1mm. The only advantage is the low price.


Filtron filters for car

Polish-made consumables have a rather interesting design. There is only one metal cover and the filter element is glued to it. The second cover is a rubber check valve, simply put on the tube. In general, the filter is ordinary, of good quality.

You can easily distinguish a fake:

  • the original case is smooth, without scratches and dents
  • laser marking on the body is not palpable
  • it is difficult to get the sealing gum in the original


If a car enthusiast wants to save his car, health and nerves, auto parts must be purchased from trusted dealers who provide certificates and other necessary documents. Better original, according to the technical documentation of the car.

How often do you change the filter on your car?
I pull to the end
On the recommendation of a master from a car service
Every 10,000 km
Every 30,000 km
I don't know if my husband does it
Voted: 10
Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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OriginalPoddelka - how to distinguish a fake from the original
Add a comment

  1. Boris

    like nothing serious. but I somehow got a fake air filter. the car didn't want to move at all.

  2. Boris

    like nothing serious. but I somehow got a fake air filter. bought on the highway, the car did not want to go at all

  3. Andrey

    Nowadays, there are a lot of high-quality fakes, especially filters for cars, recently I replaced the filter at a service station, there wasn’t much time, they did everything quickly, but they pushed a high-quality fake

  4. Victoria

    car filters are really so good, now I will know which ones are better thanks to you, now I don’t have to stumble upon fakes, because thanks to your article I know how to find out which one is fake at all. good articles here

  5. Anatoly

    It is better to buy an original filter, put it on for several years, than a fake that will often break down, so these articles are useful to learn how to understand this and not stumble upon scammers.

  6. Matvey

    I brought myself a car, I need to change filters, I want to put only the original, so I came here to be safe and not stumble upon a fake, I learned a lot, thank you.

  7. Andrey

    It is better to put only original spare parts on the car, so in order to avoid fakes, you need to familiarize yourself with the difference from the original, the car will last longer.

  8. Ilya

    While we are considering signs of a fake on the packaging, because. these filters are sold in boxes, and you, as a buyer, first of all encounter “defects” in the appearance of the package, and only later directly with the filter itself.

  9. anton

    yes, in our time they have learned to fake any spare part, but is it really impossible to fake it better

  10. Arkady

    car filters are really so good, now I will know which ones are better thanks to you, now I don’t have to stumble upon fakes, because thanks to your article I know how to find out which one is fake at all. good articles here