Air filters prevent debris from getting into your car, and since they are in place to catch dirt, leaves and whatever else may get blown up into the vehicle, they need to be changed regularly. When it comes time to replace the filters, drivers have a number of options to consider. Choosing a performance air filter can be a good route to better fuel economy and more power output from the vehicle's engine.

Better air intake systems allow for cleaner air to reach the combustion chamber, which will lead to cleaner and more accurate combustion. This will take some of the performance pressure off of the engine, as the vehicle's ability to do things like accelerate will improve.

Performance filters fall into two basic categories - those that last longer and filter more particles from the air, and those which allow more air to flow into the engine. The latter, which are known as high-performance filters, help engines produce more horsepower and improve acceleration and torque.

These filters work well in conjunction with cold and short ram air intake systems to improve a vehicle's performance.

Cold air intake systems draw air from outside the engine compartment, which allows for cooler air to reach the engine. Colder air flowing through the machinery will help the engine from getting too hot. Short ram intakes are located closer to the engine, which can result in hotter air being pulled in. However, these systems can be beneficial for vehicles with turbochargers because they will heat all air near the engine anyway, which would cancel out the cool air brought in by a cold air intake system.

Performance filters are also handy because they are often made of reusable material and are designed to be cleaned and reused, rather than being thrown away and replaced by new ones.

Drivers who would prefer a quieter ride over increased performance may want to stick with the original manufactured air filters, as these are designed to keep airflow down so only a moderate amount of horsepower is generated by the engine. If you want a loud car, which is often the case for muscle car owners and custom car lovers you will want more airflow, which means you will need a high-performance filter.