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Is it safe to use aftermarket air filters or oil filters? {What you NEED to Know}

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Looking to save some money and use an aftermarket air or oil filter on your lawn mower?

Or maybe an aftermarket air filter is the only option you have available.

Whatever the case, is it safe to use an aftermarket air filter on your commercial lawn care equipment?

Well, we have done the research! 

Whether you are looking at air and oil filters for your lawn mower, or weed eater...

Below you will find everything you need to know about using off-brand air and oil filters on your equipment. 


Quick answer: Is it safe to use aftermarket air and oil filters?

Yes, generally you can use off-brand or aftermarket oil and air filters on your lawn care equipment without any issues. While it is always recommended to use OEM parts when possible, it is unlikely that using off-label oil and air filters will cause you any issues. Simply be sure to perform regular maintenance on your lawn equipment.

But lawn care professionals have a different take...

What Do Lawn Care Pros Say? OEM or aftermarket air and oil filters

What Do Lawn Care Pros Say?

Look, lawn care pros have a different take on this, with over 65% saying that they only use OEM filters on their lawn care equipment

Why?

Well, it's quite simple actually...

Why lawn care pros use OEM parts

One of the biggest reasons lawn care pros only use OEM filters is to maintain the warranty on their equipment. The last thing any lawn care pro wants is to give the manufacturer an excuse to not honor the warranty. 

So while it is unlikely that aftermarket filters will harm your equipment. They may create issues with the warranty. Despite this, 35% of lawn care professionals still use aftermarket filters on their equipment. 

Some lawn care pros also argue that taking the chance with cheaper filters simply is not worth the risk.

Are you a lawn care pro in GreenPal's service area? Why not join the team?!

clean air filter on push mower

Aftermarket Parts Vs. OEM

Look, it’s typically your safest bet to use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts when possible. And aftermarket parts are by definition anything but that. 

Aftermarket definition:

“Aftermarket parts are replacement parts that are not made by the original equipment manufacturer.” -Source Investopedia

However, when it comes to oil and air filters, there are a lot of options to choose from.  And there are truly a lot of good aftermarket options. Some may even be superior to OEM parts.  But when it comes to air filters at least, research has shown that there is little to no improvement in performance to using aftermarket air filters. 

The most common OEM oil and air filters for mowers will come from either Briggs & Stratton, or Kohler. But much like your car, you typically don't need OEM oil filters or air filters on your lawn care equipment.

When it comes to aftermarket oil and air filters, they either serve their purpose or don’t, and that's really all that matters.  

Uisng a makeshift air filter on a lawn mower

The Purpose of Oil and Air Filters

Here’s the deal, filters whether they are for oil, air, or even gas have a simple job. Keep debris and particulates out of places they don’t belong. Unless you use a battery-powered lawn mower, oil and air filters are crucial components of a combustion engine.

clean air filter on lawn mower

Purpose of Air Filters

It’s no secret, lawn mowers kick up a lot of dust and debris. And that is why your air filter is so important. Look, your small engine needs air to combust gasoline properly. But if dust and debris enter the internal engine, it can cause premature wear and tear. 

Aftermarket oil filter on lawn mower

Purpose of Oil Filters 

And as your engine's internal components wear down, they can end up in the oil. This is exactly why you need to use and replace your oil filter regularly. Otherwise, your engine may be filling up with harmful particulates

Which can damage your engine's piston rings, or scrape your engine's cylinder walls. This can lead to a loss of compression and engine power. Which will eventually lead to your engine being inoperable. 

Pro Tip! Regularly replacing oil, air, and gas filters can prevent debris from entering your engine, which will prevent long-term engine damage. 

Is it safe to use aftermarket or off-brand oil and air filters on my lawn mower?

Truly there isn't anything complex about oil and air filters. They have a simple job, and once they are too dirty to perform any more, they need to be replaced. While there may be certain aftermarket brands that you should steer clear of. Most serve their purpose. 

In my experience, I always recommend reading the reviews when possible. 

So if you can save 50% by purchasing oil and air filters that are off-brand, I don’t see what issues could occur. Just be sure to change them out regularly. Not only changing the oil filter, but also the oil in your lawn mower.

Changing oil in a lawn mower with kawasaki oil

Aftermarket Oil and Air Filters at the End of the Day

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you regularly replace your air and oil filters. That way they don’t get clogged up and will continue to filter out particulates and protect your engine. 

So you can cut as many lawns as possible, with as few issues as possible. And at the end of the day, that is what they are for!

This is true for any of the lawn care gear you may get for your lawn care company including small engines such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, or weed eaters. 

After all, think about it, you don't use an OEM air or oil filter in your car, and really lawn equipment is no different.

Looking for more to read? Check out this guide to winterizing your lawn care equipment.

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