Best Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke
Engine

Best Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke Review & Buyer’s Guide

Clogging: it’s the #1 enemy of any modern-day engine. If you do a lot of off-roading, best believe your motor will be struggling to keep all the dust, smoke, pollen, and debris at bay. That’s where air filters come in. They are available at a reasonable price and do an excellent job of protecting the engine bay from weather elements. So, you can stop worrying about overheating, loss of HP/torque, and expensive repairs.

Our focus today will be on the best air filter for 7.3 Powerstroke. Ford introduced this mighty V8 back in 1994, and it’s still one of the strongest powertrains for trucks. The following list includes five top-notch air filters. I did a lot of research before writing this review and vouch for every single product on the table. Take a look!

Comparison Table – Best Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke (Updated April, 2021)

Product Product Information View on Amazon
Editor’s Choice

Donaldson B085011 Filter

1) Donaldson B085011 Filter

  • Best Features:
    – Very easy to mount and remove for cleaning
    – Impressive efficiency on any terrain
    – Lightweight, yet durable and reliable
  • Fits Models: Ford F-Series Super Duty V8-7.3L (1999–2007)
    – Air filter, primary duralite

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WIX Filters - 46637 Heavy Duty Air Filter

2) WIX Filters 46637 Air Filter

  • Best Features:
    – Large surface area: very effective against debris
    – Makes the engine sound beefier compared to stock
    – Compatible with a long list of Ford vehicles
  • Fits Models: Ford F-Series Super Duty V8-7.3L (1999–2007)
    – Pleated paper filter

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ECOGARD XA5446 Premium Engine Air Filter Fits Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L

3) ECOGARD XA5446 Engine Air Filter

  • Best Features:
    – Factory, OE-type of fit and installation
    – Specifically designed for heavy-duty Ford trucks
    – Available at a very affordable price
  • Fits Models: Ford F-Series Super Duty V8-7.3L (2000-2003)
    – Helps engine has clean and efficient air flow

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Motorcraft FA1757 Air Filter

4) Motorcraft FA1757 Air Filter

  • Best Features:
    – Easily handles moisture and oil
    – Leak-proof design for maximum efficiency
    – Comes recommended by Ford Motors
  • Fits Models: Ford F-Series Super Duty 7.3 L Powerstroke V8 (1999–2003)
    – Efficiently filters outside air

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K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

5) K&N Cold Air Intake Kit

  • Best Features:
    – Also includes a tube and housing
    – No maintenance required for up to 100K miles
    – Backed by a very generous warranty
  • Fits Models: Ford F-Series Super Duty V8-7.3L (1994-1997)
    – Improves acceleration and uphill performance

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1. Donaldson – Best Air Filter for a 7.3 Turbo Diesel

Donaldson B085011 Filter

For the average driver, it’s very important to know that he/she will be able to make sense of an aftermarket air filter on their own. I’m talking about installation, removal, cleaning, maintenance – all of that. Well, you won’t have to worry about that with the Donaldson filter, as it’s as user-friendly and straightforward as they come. On top of that, it features a lightweight, yet durable and reliable design and can handle whatever’s coming its way.

Most importantly, this gear is highly efficient at filtering out debris and contaminants on any type of road. It can be a dusty desert or a rocky trail – Donaldson will keep everything at bay. There’s one downside, though: when pushed really hard, the filter tends to make a sizzling noise. It doesn’t happen all the time and isn’t very frustrating, but this is still a (minor) con.

Product Rating
Durability
5 / 5
Easy to Install
5 / 5
Performance Increase
5 / 5
Value for Money
5 / 5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Easy installation, removal, and maintenance
Does an excellent job of filtering the debris
Lightweight and reliable design
Makes noises when pushed to the limit

Expert Recommendations
Anthony Guma
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Ease to mount, dismount, and maintain: that’s the best way to describe this replacement air filter. It’s very good at blocking contaminants and boasts a trendy, light, and sturdy design. You might hear squeaking noises at times, especially when the filter has a lot on its plate. Fortunately, that happens rarely.

2. Wix – Best Stock Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke

WIX Filters - 46637 Heavy Duty Air Filter

The next filter on our list was designed and manufactured by Wix. Its biggest selling point is the large surface area that has proven to be effective in real-world tests. So, if you live in a pollution-rich area, Wix will serve as a brick-strong wall for the engine. Another standout “feature” is the enhanced compatibility. This gear fits a rather long list of Ford trucks powered by the Powerstroke motor.

During my review, I was pleased by the roaring, or, rather, growling characteristic of the filter. Yes, it changes the sound a bit, introducing a “masculine” touch to it, and most drivers tend to like that. Overall, this is one of the best aftermarket air filters on the market. Some buyers report minor issues with the shipment (long delivery, missing parts); if you find yourself in a similar situation, get in contact with the support agents.

Product Rating
Durability
5 / 5
Easy to Install
4.9 / 5
Performance Increase
4.9 / 5
Value for Money
5 / 5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Larger-than-average surface area for added efficiency
Makes a growling sound upon acceleration
Fits a wide range of Ford trucks
Minor shipment/delivery issues

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Anthony Guma
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Despite the occasional delays in shipment and delivery, the Wix air filter is a bargain. It’s compatible with many Ford pickup trucks, makes the engine sound a lot better than with the factory setup, and has a wide surface area.

3. EcoGard – Best Air Filter for 7.3 Diesel

ECOGARD XA5446 Premium Engine Air Filter Fits Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L

Some drivers go only for state-of-the-art third-party gear; others look for something affordable. If you belong to the second group and are a bit limited in funds, EcoGard can be a very good purchase for you. It offers an excellent balance of quality and price and will keep the engine safe and sound. Plus, thanks to clever engineering, it’s going to be an OE fit – the installation process won’t take you long.

That’s right: this filter was specifically designed for the Powerstroke series of engines for optimal efficiency and ease of use. All of that, combined with the low-budget price-tag, make this air filter a safe bet. The manufacturer had to sacrifice the build and material quality a bit, however, but you’ll still get a reliable and capable filter.

Product Rating
Durability
4.7 / 5
Easy to Install
5 / 5
Performance Increase
4.9 / 5
Value for Money
5 / 5
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
OE installation: takes very little time to complete
Specifically crafted to be an easy fit for the 7.3-lit V8
One of the least expensive filters
Material/build quality is average at best

Best Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke

Expert Recommendations
Anthony Guma
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As a reasonably-priced and easy-to-install aftermarket air filter, EcoGard is a very attractive deal. Designed to be a perfect fit for the Powerstroke V8, it will greatly improve the filtration efficiency. The material quality is average, though.

4. Motorcraft – Best Air Intake Filter for 7.3

Motorcraft FA1757 Air Filter

And what does Motorcraft has to offer? What are this air filter’s biggest selling points – will it be a worthy investment? Let’s take a look at the pros. First of all, it’s not “afraid” of oil and moisture, which can’t be said about most filters. This is achieved thanks to the surfactant coating. It greatly increases the filtering capacity and effectiveness. Add a leak-proof and heat-resistant body, and you’ll get yourself an outstanding air filter.

With that said, I have to warn you about some potential fitment issues. If you drive one of the latest Super Duty trucks, Motorcraft might not be an easy fit. On the bright side, it is officially recommended by Ford. That means this product has passed the toughest tests with flying colors.

Product Rating
Durability
4.9 / 5
Easy to Install
5 / 5
Performance Increase
4.7 / 5
Value for Money
5 / 5
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Withstands the impact of moisture and oil
Leak-proof, heat-resistant design
Recommended by Ford’s engineers
Might be a bit tricky to install

Expert Recommendations
Anthony Guma
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Approved by Ford and resistant to oil, moisture, heat, and leaks, the Motorcraft air purifier is a keeper. It might not be compatible with the most recent Ford trucks, but if you own an older model, you won’t be disappointed.

5. K&N – Best Air Intake Filter for 7.3 – Best Air Intake Filter for 7.3

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

Let me say right from the start that this isn’t a regular air filter. Instead, you’ll get an all-in-one kind of a package. I’m talking about a premium-quality air intake tube and housing for the whole thing. So, with K&N, you can expect to get a nice boost in HP, torque, and acceleration. Up-hill performance will be positively affected as well (good for the fans of towing and hauling stuff).

In addition, the filter can go on for a really long time before cleaning/maintenance is required (up to 100K miles). And with the company’s famous ultimate longevity guarantee, you’ll get an even better deal. On the downside, the price is significantly higher than on all the regular filters from the list.

Product Rating
Durability
5 / 5
Easy to Install
4.7 / 5
Performance Increase
5 / 5
Value for Money
5 / 5
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
An air intake kit – not just a filter
Can run without maintenance for a long time
Covered by a ten-year/ten-million mile warranty
The most expensive product on the list

Expert Recommendations
Anthony Guma
Anthony Guma
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Increased HP/torque, throttle response, and easy maintenance turn K&N into a superb air filtration kit. The generous warranty, along with the superb tube and housing will also be a part of the deal. Just make sure you do, indeed, need it before paying a top dollar.

Buyer’s Guide

This isn’t the most complicated replacement part for your Ford truck, of course. And, the best-selling and most popular filters are usually a safe bet for the average driver. However, since the market is overwhelmed with hundreds of different products, there are still some things that you need to know about. I’m talking about the essentials, of course, and the following guide will familiarize you with the key aspects.

Ease of Installation

Best Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke One of the best things about filters – they don’t require advanced mechanical skills for installation. Everything is straightforward, and most packages arrive with detailed instructions. All you’ll have to do is follow them accurately, and you’ll be done in +/- an hour. Some cheaper air filters can be a bit tricky to install, though, and some DIY-ing might be involved. If you want to avoid that, go for the market average in terms of the price.

Also, check for compatibility. In the specs, you’ll find information about the supported “model years” for the engine. Some filters only fit the older editions of the 7.3-lit Powerstroke, while others cover a much wider range. There’s nothing worse than ordering a brand-new replacement filter online only to find out that it’s not compatible with your powertrain.

Material and Build Quality

Best Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke No matter what kind of aftermarket gear, appliance, or accessory you’re getting for your vehicle, the build and material quality should always be checked. Now, there are no standards for an air filter’s lifespan. Some brands recommend changing them every 15-30K miles, while others claim their products last as long as 100K miles. This depends on many different factors, including the engine’s specs and the weather conditions in your area.

But, most importantly, the lifespan is dictated by the material and construction quality. Oiled, layered cotton media is the best choice for any modern-day filter. The media consists of thousands of tiny cotton fibers that absorb contaminants and prevent them from reaching the engine and causing harm to it. Pleated paper is pretty effective as well, and it’s usually much cheaper.

Weather Resistance

Best Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke The term “weather resistance” is usually used to describe a filter that can withstand extremely hot and humid environments. Cold isn’t an issue, while high temperatures are known to negatively affect performance. The same can be said about humidity: it causes the filter to work a bit harder and, thus, the engine might get overheated. So, high-temp resistance is a very important “extra”.

Another thing: check the specs for the surface area. Because the larger it is, the more effective it will be at “trapping” dirt/debris/other contaminants. This kind of filter will probably be a bit more expensive than the regular ones, but, in my opinion, that will be money well spent.

Warranty

On top of material/engineering quality and resistance to weather elements, a warranty can always sweeten the deal. As I already mentioned, the average lifespan greatly varies depending on the manufacturer and the engine the filters are intended for. That’s why a replacement/repair guarantee is a welcome “bonus” in any package. The standard warranty for an air filter is 12 months – enough to take it for a spin.

Intake kits, on the other hand (read more about those next) are a lot more generous. Three-, five-, and ten-year guarantees are quite common. Keep that in mind when deciding between these two products.

Air Filter vs. Air Intake Kit

As we’ve already learned, air filters have only one task: to protect the engine from debris/contaminants and to improve its “health”. And if that’s exactly what you’re looking for, then you can skip this part. However, drivers that want to maximize their powertrain may want to invest in an air intake kit. It includes not only a filter but also a premium-quality intake tube that replaces the limited and restricted stock gear.

Best Air Filter for 7.3 Powerstroke

As a result, you get more airflow, which results in better performance. The most capable intake kits add extra HP and torque (up to 10%) and give the acceleration a nice boost. Plus, depending on the design and the specification, an air intake system can improve the MPG (miles per gallon) ratio as well.

Conclusion

Air filters, also known as air purifiers, are an essential part of any powertrain. And while the stock system will do just fine if you mostly stick to highways and city streets, on rough terrain, you’ll need a replacement filter a lot sooner. Today, I introduced you to five outstanding air filters for the 7.3 Powerstroke engine. If you’re the proud owner of an F-Series Super Duty truck, these products will be a good investment.

They are relatively easy to install, don’t require tedious maintenance, and look good with the engine popped. Go over the list once again and pay extra attention to the pros and cons. Make sure you’re 100% happy with your choice and only then commit with your money. The Buyer’s Guide will help you with that; so, check it out!

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