Best Air Filters For Duramax Diesels – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: December 25, 2021

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If you are a person that is into vehicle maintenance, then you should know what an engine air filter is. For those who don’t know, every combustion engine needs a steady supply of air to function properly. It is important that the air that enters the engine is particle free. If not, then it will start clogging it, ultimately leading to engine failure. An air filter prevents dust, grit, and other small particles from getting inside the engine. It plays a vital role in keeping your engine operation smooth and running.

Duramax diesel is one of the best engines today. Ever since its introduction in 2001, it has gained the phenomenal reputation of being the most reliable engine. An engine like this requires a reliable air filter that protects it from particles and ensures its smooth running. If you are a Duramax diesel owner and are looking to change your engine air filter, then we have a list of the best ones to recommend for you. These are carefully chosen products that have the reputation of being the best. Read on to find out about them. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Air Filters For Duramax Diesels

  • Equipped with tight seals to keep unfiltered ai
  • Excellent filter capacity and efficiency
  • Enhances performance and efficiency of engine
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  • State-of-the-art filtration media
  • Provides up to 50% more airflow
  • Comes pre-oiled and ready to use
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  • Best for the Money
  • Traps airborne particles before they enter the engine
  • Supplies the cleanest possible air with least airflow restriction
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  • Best 2005 Duramax Air Filter
  • Comes equipped with tight seals
  • Boosts the engine's performance
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  • Best 2006 Duramax Air Filter
  • Offers very good filter capcity and efficiency
  • Helps extend the engine's life expectancy
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  • Best 2018 Duramax Air Filter
  • Tight seals to keep unfiltered air from entering combustion chamber
  • Enhances the engine's performance
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How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?

Since different engines have different powers, the time to change their air filter also varies. However, as a general rule, it is advised that you change your air filter every twelve months. But if you are a regular driver who drives in extreme conditions like heavy traffic and dusty areas, then you should consider changing it more often. It’s better to refer to your engine owner’s manual to find the exact suggested time the manufacturer recommends an air filter replacement.

Are All Air Filters The Same?

The simple answer to this question is no; these are not all the same. When we talk about vehicle air filters, there are two kinds. There is one that is installed for the protection of the engine and a second that is installed on the outer side of the air inlet of the vehicle cabin. The engine air filter prevents external particles from entering the engine.

Accumulation of dust or grit on the engine severely affects its performance and, in worst cases, leads to engine failure. Cabin air filters create a barrier against dust particles, pollens, and other allergens. They create a cleaner air stream for the cabin air conditioning and heating system. Although both these filters are important, the engine air filter is essential for the vehicle to perform well.

Why Did These Air Filters Make Our List?

An air filter is one of the inexpensive yet indispensable components of your Duramax Diesel. The auto market is full of air filters of every size and kind. Choosing one can be a daunting task if you are new to self car repair. We have made the task easy for you by pointing out some of the best available. You may have wondered why we chose only these out of the vast range. The answer is, all the products we have mentioned on our list are carefully chosen on a number of factors. These include:


Since we were selecting air filters for Duramax Diesels, the number one factor we considered was their compatibility. We went through a number of products and selected only those that were very compatible with a Duramax Diesel. These not only fit well but they also effectively prevent particles from entering it.

Better Performance

All the products that make our list help improve the overall performance of your engine. They increase fuel efficiency, gas mileage, and acceleration. Combine all of these, and you have an amazing driving experience every time.

Reduce Emissions 

The air filters we have chosen greatly improve the airflow towards the engine. This helps the vehicle’s emission control systems maintain the air to fuel ratio. A maintained air to fuel ratio means fewer engine deposits and reduced emissions. It also prevents ignition problems.

Help Save on Engine Repairs 

The products we recommend effectively inhibit dust, grit, and other damaging debris from entering the engine. In doing so, they help keep the engine in its top shape, so you don’t have to take it for regular repairs. Thus they help save time and money that is otherwise spent on engine repairs.

Review of the Best Air Filters for Duramax Diesels

Now that you have decided to replace the air filter of your Duramax diesel, we advise you to do your research beforehand. The market is filled with a huge variety that claim to be the best. Some are single-use, while others are reusable. However, you need one that is just as reliable as your Duramax Diesel.

For that purpose, we have rounded up some of the best and reliable air filters. You can have a look at these and decide which one works for you better.

Best Overall:
ACDelco A3141C Professional Air Filter


  • Factory OEM part
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Provides better protection to the engine
  • Effectively keeps the damaging particles at bay
  • Offers plenty of airflow towards the combustion chamber


  • Does not fit every Duramax model
  • Some units had manufacturing defects

What Recent Buyers Report

People who recently bought this filter really like it. They report that it is the original GM factory filter, so it lives up to all the expectations. They also like it for its price, fit, and performance. There has been nothing but good things and reviews to hear about this air filter.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out to us as the best overall for Duramax diesel. It is very effective in keeping out the dust, grit, and other small particles. It comes at an affordable price and is easy and quick to install. It not only fits the engine well but also helps keep it in its top shape. It does so by providing a steady supply of air to the combustion chamber.

Who Will Use This Most 

Since it is the OEM model, Duramax owners of recent years are likely to use this the most. Drivers who want an auto air filter that protects and improves the performance of their engine will also like using this product. People who want dry filters for their cars will also benefit from using this model.

Bottom Line

ACDelco is the original after-sales parts provider of General Motors. If you are looking for an OEM air filter for your Duramax, then this is the right product for you. It is easy to install and does not cost much but does serve the engine a lot.

K&N Engine Air Filter


  • It is washable and reusable 
  • Can go 50000 miles before service
  • K&N backs it up with a Million a mile warranty
  • Provides exceptional engine protection against foreign particles
  • Designed to increase horsepower and acceleration of the engine


  • It comes soaked in oil 

What Recent Buyers Report 

Drivers who recently bought this product report that it does improve the overall engine performance. They have also noticed a slight increase in acceleration. They noticed an improvement in fuel efficiency by half to 1 MPG. Being reusable, people have been able to use it much longer than the stock air filter.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This product stands out to us as a great product. It is an oiled filter, so it ensures smooth airflow to your engine. It is reusable so you can wash and use it again and again. K&N provides a Million-Mile Warranty or 10 years extensive warranty to show that it really is a reliable product.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are fond of using oiled air filters for their engines are likely to use this the most. Drivers who like to go green and opt for reusable filters will also like using it. Not to forget, those who own Duramax Diesels will also benefit from using this filter because of its compatibility.

Bottom Line

This filter is an eco-friendly product. If you want to take a greener approach towards auto air filtering, then you will surely like using this. It not only protects your engine but also improves its acceleration and fuel efficiency. All in all, it’s a great air filter for a Duramax Diesel.

Best for the Money:
iFJF A3231C Air Filter


  • Made from strong, sturdy material
  • Does not restrict airflow in any way
  • Features a porous design for better filtration
  • Boosts the overall performance of the engine
  • Successfully traps airborne parts before they can enter the engine


  • Does not fit every engine
  • You have to install it upside down to make it work

What Recent Buyers Report 

People who recently bought and used this air filter have reported it as a satisfactory product. They say that it fulfills all its claims and really helps keep the engine safe. Users report that it keeps the engine ventilated with a steady supply of air, increasing its performance during the process.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This stands out to us as the best air filter for its money. It comes at an affordable price but does not compromise on the quality. It effectively prevents contaminants from getting inside and damaging the engine. It maintains a steady air supply towards the engine so that its performance does not suffer in any way.

Who Will Use This Most  

People who are on a tight budget and are looking for a replacement that is not a burden on their pocket are likely to use this the most. Drivers who want an efficient air filter to improve the efficiency and performance of their vehicle will also like using it. People who own a Duramax will also like using this because of its compatibility.

Bottom Line

We sum up by stating that this is one product that is very pocket-friendly but also very effective in trapping culprits. It is an all in one product that does not cost much, serves its purpose, and saves you a lot on engine repairs. All in all, it is a product which will score you major wins.

Best 2005 Duramax Air Filter:
ACDelco A1618C Professional Air Filter


  • Comes at a very pocket-friendly price
  • Designed to satisfy with its fit, form, and function
  • Improves the performance and efficiency of the engine
  • Extends the engine’s life by keeping out the damaging contaminants
  • Maintains a clean and steady airflow towards the combustion chamber


  • It is a bit more restrictive
  • Equipped with a smaller glue strip

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who have recently purchased this unit report that it is a great air filter. Being an OEM model, users say that it is as effective as the stock filter. They have noticed a difference in design, especially in the reduction of glue strip, but are satisfied with its performance. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find this to be the best choice for Duramax 2005. It comes straight from the original parts' manufacturer of GM, so we cannot have a single doubt about its quality. It effectively enhances the overall performance and efficiency of the engine. It has the perfect design and fit for a Duramax 2005, so really there are no complaints.

Who Will Use This Most

Since this is very suitable for a Duramax 2005, people who own one are likely to use this most. It comes from the GM original replacement parts manufacturer, so people who have GM vehicles will also like using this filter. People who don’t want to mess with oiled air filters will also put this to great use.

Bottom Line

This is a great filter for Duramax Diesels, especially for Duramax 2005. It is quite affordable but does not compromise on quality for a low price. It enhances and improves engine performance by preventing the small external particles from entering it. All in all, it’s a great buy at an incredible price.

Best 2006 Duramax Air Filter:
ACDelco A3087C Professional Air Filter


  • It is a perfect fit for a DURAMAX
  • Provides fast and clean air to the engine
  • Comes with a ring for the installation purpose
  • Features a high quality built that is similar to OEM
  • Equipped with a tight seal to prevent unfiltered air from entering the combustion chamber


  • It is a bit lighter and less dense
  • Two-piece design complicates installation

What Recent Buyers Report 

People who recently purchased and used this air filter report it to be an excellent product. They like its two-piece design, but it has complicated the DIY installation for some of them. Users say that once installed; it surely lives up to all its claims of better engine performance and fuel efficiency.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

For us, this is the best option for Duramax 2006. It features a two-piece design that comes with a ring to ease installation. It is sealed tight so that it does not allow unfiltered air from escaping towards the engine. It is a great product that also improves the mileage of your vehicle.

Who Will Use This Most

This is most compatible with the Duramax 2006, so people who own one will find this to be a useful product. People who want an OEM air filter for their Duramax are also likely to use this the most. Plus, those who want a single-use filter that will last them long will also benefit from using this air filter.

Bottom Line

This is quite similar to the stock one. It comes cheaper and fits well so that you don’t have to go to dealers or a part house for a replacement filter. It effectively eliminates airborne particles and improves the mileage of the vehicle noticeably.

Best 2018 Duramax Air Filter:
ACDelco A3231C Professional Air Filter


  • Just as good as the original GM OEM
  • Suitable for many GM and non-GM vehicles
  • Does not restrict airflow towards the engine 
  • Excellent filter capacity, efficiency, and flow management
  • Supplies clean and particle-free air to the combustion chamber


  • Slightly big for some models

What Recent Buyers Report

Users who recently bought this really like it for its performance. They report that it has certainly brought about a noticeable increase in the mileage and noise levels of their vehicle. Users say that although it is priced a little higher than its counterparts, it saves them around that much on engine repair. All in all, it is an admirable product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love that this is a very durable and sturdy product that makes sure that none of the pollutants try to enter your vehicle’s engine. It maintains a steady, clean, and efficient airflow towards the combustion chamber that results in an overall improvement in the engine's performance. It is also very easy to install, making it one of the best air filters that are currently available in the market.

Who Will Use This Most

People who own a Duramax 2018 equipped vehicle will benefit from using this air filter because of its compatibility. Drivers who want a dry air filter for their engine will also like using this product. People who want a filter that is easy to install and maintain will also find great uses for it.

Bottom Line

All in all, this product certainly lives up to its hype. It is efficient and reliable, so you blindly trust it for your engine’s protection. It is easy to install and replace, so you won’t have any issues with it. It is the best air filter for 2018 Duramax. So, if you own one and cannot afford the dealer’s replacement, then this is the right choice for you.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Air Filter

Although air filters don’t cost much, we strongly advise you to buy a high-quality one. You have a Duramax diesel, the most reliable engine. You cannot risk its performance with cheap, low quality and unreliable air filter. Investing in a quality option is very important. It saves you and your engine from a lot of trouble. Here’s how:

Protect the Engine

When you install an air filter, you trust it with your vehicle’s engine. You rely on it to keep external damaging particles at bay. If these particles manage to get inside, they will cause serious damage. If you invest in a quality air filter, you are sure that it will trap small particles like grit, debris, insects, etc. A quality auto air filter effectively protects your engine.

Improves Engine Performance 

A reliable product maintains a steady supply of air to your engine. Air is important for the engine to achieve combustion. In other words, the more air it receives, the better it performs. Air equals performance, and a quality air filter means better air supply.


Air filters are usually the last things that cross our minds when we think of car engines. They are usually simple and inexpensive. But if you go for a higher-end one, it will perform better and last longer, saving you some money in the process.

Improve Fuel Efficiency 

The air determines how efficiently the car uses the fuel you put in it. The more air it gets, the less fuel it will consume. As mentioned above, good, quality products maintain a steady air supply to your engine. They greatly improve the fuel efficiency of your car.

K&N Engine Air Filter

How to Change the Filter on a Duramax Diesel

Your Duramax diesel needs air to function properly. But that air needs to be filtered to rid it of dust, debris, and other solid particles, so they don’t accumulate inside the engine. This is the job of an air filter. It supplies your engine with clean air so that it can start combusting. Because of all the driving conditions you get your vehicle into, small particles like dust, leaves, bugs, pollens, etc. find their way towards the engine.

A filter successfully prevents them from getting inside but gets itself clogged and dirty in the process. When such a situation arises, you need to replace the filter to maintain the peak performance of your Duramax Diesel. Replacing an air filter is easy enough. You can do it yourself and save on the costs of having it replaced at an auto shop. You can get it done within minutes. Here is how to do it.

  1. Start with parking your car in a ventilated space. Pop the hood open and secure it with the rod. 

  2. Locate the airbox. It is placed near the engine and has a duct next to it running all the way to the front. 

  3. Remove the cover of the box by undoing the screws holding it in position and lifting it off. 

  4. Once the cover is removed, you will see the filter. Grasp it firmly and lift it out of the housing. 

  5. After removing the dirty filter, take an air hose and blow away the dust and debris lining the filter box. Make sure to seal the air conduit first, so the particles don’t blow towards the engine. 

  6. Now take your new filter out of its packaging and place it inside the filter housing. Be careful that the rubber rim faces up and seals the edges. 

  7. Put the cover back on and tighten the screws. 

  8. Double-check the firmness by gently rocking it. 

To understand the procedure better, we suggest you give this video a look before you head off to change the air filter of your Duramax diesel.


All car owners realize the importance of an auto air filter. It not only protects your engine but also keeps it in top working condition. Duramax Diesel is one of the best and reliable engines out there. If you own one, you will know how crucial this is for its performance. But finding that great filter is one tough task. To take you out of your misery, we have presented a concise review of some of the best air filters for Duramax diesel. You can choose any one of these and be sure that they will surely improve and protect your engine.

People Also Ask

Air filters are confusing as is. You get filters for HVAC systems. Then you get air filters for combustion engines. In the auto world, you are faced with both; an HVAC filter for cabin and auto air filter for the engine. We think that the engine air filter is much more important for your car. But choosing the right one will spin your mind. You will find yourself questioning a few things. To help you out, we have collected some of the frequently asked questions and answered them below.

How to Remove Air Filter on Duramax?

Removing or installing air filters on Duramax is a very easy task. You can start by popping up the hood. Spot the airbox and remove its cover by unscrewing the screws and taking out the inlet hose. This will allow it to be visible. Now all you have to do is take it out.

Where is the Cabin Air Filter on a 04 Duramax?

Duramax has stopped installing cabin air filters since 2003. The last Duramax diesel with a cabin air filter was the 2002 model. After that, GM discontinued them. You may find auto part sellers trying to tell you otherwise, but this is the actual fact. You can have one installed, but that task is an ordeal in itself.

Sean comes from the forums actually and drives an OBS Ford. He writes fantastic DIYs and knows his way around a camera, too. We keep him caffeinated and away from DPF filters to avoid another rant about recent emissions restrictions.