Has anyone used a "made in China Air filter" ?

Coast2Coast

2006 158 Cargo
Just wondering what brand of air filter was most superior in quality. Do you use the one w/ or w/o foam attached to bottom? Mann, Mahle, Hengst, Fram, Wix, Full, Opparts, Meyle etc?
 
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Boater

New member
I have been told that ones in MB packaging are usually either Mann or Hengst - don't know if this is true but seems widely believed.

The filter with the foam on the bottom is for use in sandy/dusty areas, you should get better airflow through the other type if you don't have a lot of sand/dust to worry about - performance vs peace of mind. I have in my head an idea that Denver is dusty?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I haven't ever edit: knowingly used one.

There are some of the techs who post here that have indicated they don't like the knockoff filters. The comments which I remember are more related to the filter not fitting properly and unseating the seal, not that the filter media is the real issue.

Unless you have some indication that the one you choose has good performance history it is probably better to stay with OEM or name brands.

Just an opinion. vic
 
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mendonsy

Member
Everyone, knowingly or unknowingly, has used a made in China everything.
Unfortunately that is very true!!
It is really irritating to buy brand name stuff only to find out that it is cheap Chinese junk anyway.
 

Coast2Coast

2006 158 Cargo
The Chinese OP Parts filter is $11 and the Hengst and Mann ones are $16, do you think it's worth the extra $5. I was tempted just to try the opparts one out just one time to see what it's like.

I'm not always in Denver, the sprinter get use in all states. It's not too dusty up in Colorado.
 

sailquik

Well-known member
Coast2Coast.....it's your engine that's going to be eating all the sand and abrasives out of the air.
You replace the engine air filter every 20K (at the "B" service) so that would be $20 difference in cost per 100k miles.
For what it costs to replace an engine, I think I'll stick to Mann/Hengst/OEM from MB.
The air going into my engine through the air filter cannot be too clean....period...end of story!
Roger
 

shortshort

Dis member
Harbor Freight tools are made in China and often one would be better served by cutting the picture of the tool out of the ad and attempting to use that. iPhones are also made in China to a very high spec. Chinese is not synonymous with crap. This is good, because damn near every drug we take comes from there.
 

Oilburner

2004 2500 140"cargo l/r
Who knows, how many Sprinter assembly parts are made in China. When I see rusted 4 years old Sprinters, I am very suspicious..
 

mendonsy

Member
Harbor Freight tools are made in China and often one would be better served by cutting the picture of the tool out of the ad and attempting to use that. iPhones are also made in China to a very high spec. Chinese is not synonymous with crap. This is good, because damn near every drug we take comes from there.
At least with Harbor Freight you know what you are getting and they are priced accordingly.
 

Boater

New member
Harbor Freight tools are made in China and often one would be better served by cutting the picture of the tool out of the ad and attempting to use that. iPhones are also made in China to a very high spec. Chinese is not synonymous with crap. This is good, because damn near every drug we take comes from there.
Always nice to see someone else understands how manufacturing works!

China can produce products just as accurately and just as usable as anyone else, but when they do they cost the same. Chinese manufacturers therefore offer cheaper alternatives built to a lower spec in order to gain massive market share.

Unfortunately IP doesn't seem to mean much in China, any number of European and US companies have moved manufacturing out there, taken the time to work with the factories to get them to produce the quality they need to the specification they need, only to realise that the same factory has also started making the product to the same drawings but using lower spec materials, wider dimensional tolerances (so less wasted product to throw away, the customer gets it!), cheaper finishes etc. etc. and is undercutting them by supplying them to the same market as grey imports.

So what do you get when you buy a brand name air filter made in china? You get something that meets the OEM dimensional tolerance and materials requirements which will seal properly in your air cleaner housing so it defintiely filters the air.

When you buy an unbranded (or unrecognised) chinese grey import what do you get? Do you get something from the same factory with lower quality checking applied, that may or may not meet the dimensional tolerance and seal properly, does it have lower spec materials (larger pores for dirt to pass through, less strength so deteriorates more quickly), is it a copy from another factory who have reversed engineered it with no idea what the dimensional tolerances or material requiremetns are, or are you simply buying one that failed the OEM suppliers quality check and the factory stuck it in their own brand box instead of in the skip....???

That HF tooling is a nice example - a lot of their machines come from Shanghai Industries, you can trace them to many other cheap outlets and brands in the UK and US (one UK site even sells them under the manufacturers name). People have mixed experiences, bolts that break or holes that are misthreaded, burrs on machine surfaces and slideways etc. etc. whilst others have none of these - low quality doesn't mean every product will be crap, it just means the measure of whether it is crap enough to be rejected or not is set quite low.
I can think of 2 companies in the UK that offer these machines at a higher price, they import them ex-factory, strip them and remove the storage grease, remove burrs, sort out threads and bolts etc. and adjust the machines so that they work as intended and will cut to a good level of accuracy and repeatability (1 of the companies also sells them in the ex-factory condition to do yourself if you want to spend less). Another company goes to a similar level of trouble and fits digital readouts, stepper motors to the controls and adds a whole CNC package. Underneath you have a cheap machine which is probably maligned in reviews all around the world, yet when that company has finished with it, you have a low budget but very useable CNC machine which gets great reviews. So the Chinese manufacturer ends up with a wide range of markets and price points but can keep on building the machines cheaply so as to offer something for every budget!

Obviously that doesn't really work with air filters - if the silicone seal doesn't fit your cleaner housing, you can't really fettle it to fit!

The important thing to understand is that when we complain about made in China, we are actually complaining about low price goods - if you want it to fit better, you have to pay more because the factory will have to scrap more of it's output and the price differential to Europe or US will reduce dramatically - it really is that simple!
 

Coast2Coast

2006 158 Cargo
$5 less is all it is... but if you buy 5 and change it more frequently that is my logic.

I wouldn't go chinese oil/fuel filter. I currently have a chinese automatic trans filter and a german oem gasket.

And watch out for some sketchy restaurants when visiting chinatown. :)

http://www.europortparts.com/searchitem.epc?lookfor=090 33056 501&s_temp_transfer_key=_3TN0JYOKR

I just went 40k on my last change and I felt it was too long so I want to change the air filter more periodically.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...
I just went 40k on my last change and I felt it was too long so I want to change the air filter more periodically.
That is about my miles on my present filter also. I feel the same way, but my ASSYST filter minder hasn't shown any red at all. Most of my driving is on pavement. Very seldom on gravel or sand roads. I can't remember the last time I was on dirt roads. So the service interval on my filter may not be excessive so far. :idunno:

Right now I'm holding off on the filter change because I do believe in the ASSYST technology related to oil change interval. MB provides me the tool so I'm thinkin' I should use it. People say to read the operator manual and follow the recommendations. ASSYST is in the manual and in BEVO.

When I do replace the air filter it will be with an OEM or one of the names associated with OEM.

I'm hoping to get some real world experience input on the ASSYST filter monitor in my filter monitor thread.

ASSYST Filter Minder Experience
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27413

vic
 

NBB

Active member
You get something that meets the OEM dimensional tolerance and materials requirements which will seal properly in your air cleaner housing so it defintiely filters the air.
I agree with most of your post, but just to clarify:

You are ONLY assured your part meets OEM requirements when you buy the OEM stamped part.

Period.

Everything else is an assumption.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
boater said:
When you buy an unbranded (or unrecognised) chinese grey import what do you get? Do you get something from the same factory with lower quality checking applied, that may or may not meet the dimensional tolerance and seal properly, does it have lower spec materials (larger pores for dirt to pass through, less strength so deteriorates more quickly), is it a copy from another factory who have reversed engineered it with no idea what the dimensional tolerances or material requiremetns are, or are you simply buying one that failed the OEM suppliers quality check and the factory stuck it in their own brand box instead of in the skip....???
Long before "made in China" was the saying, people would say the same things about parts bought at NAPA shops.
The same factories (in the US or not) would build (or remanufacture, such as cylinder head assemblies) and then test them.
Those "in spec" got the automobile manufacturer's labeling and boxing "OEM parts"
Those "out of spec" were sold as "generic" brands through the NAPA-like shops.
I'm sure there were the "almost in spec" buckets that went to some dealers/labels (BAP/GEON back in the days...)
and the "wildly out of spec" that were "white boxed"

(for VW body parts circa 1970, "hecho in Mexico" was the thing not-to-buy.. and they weren't sold by VW dealers)

I'm aware of many other industries that (a) moved production to China (b) had a few shipments of horribly-manufactured product (c) sent a US-trained Quality Assurance exec over to the factory (d) started getting MUCH more reliable product.

Since the US is a tiny fraction of the Sprinter consumable parts market and the vendors have little impetus to provide quality instead of "lowest price", poorly-built filters (etc) will continue to appear at the price-sensitive shops.

--dick (who opens the filter boxes in the store to see where they're built)
 
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lindenengineering

Well-known member
Well I haven't used one, but I did take one out of a rig that had suffered severe cylinder bore wear!

Thing didn't fit nor filter too well.

As for u oil K'n N's--In short don't!
The oil vapor carry over often coats the MAF sensor element and cause lots of running problems.
Dennis
 

glas1700

Member
I have a brand new, still in the box, Mann air filter and the filter itself is stamped, "Made in China" on one end and "Mann" on the other end.
 

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