Performance Air Filters: Insurance, Warranty & The Law

By August 3, 2021August 8th, 2021Air Filter, Cold Air Intake

Installing performance air filters will not affect your insurance if you still have your stock filter. 

You’ll have to keep the factory filter and reinstall it when your car breaks down. If you can’t return your car back to its factory form, you could lose your warranty and insurance.

Unfortunately, this does not apply on cold air intakes. Cold air intake filters are more complex and require more plumbing that could possibly result in you not being able to bring your car back to its original form. 

You should also keep in mind that cold air filters are illegal in some states. Make sure you check this with the seller or do your research. 

Cold air intakes from brands like K&N are legal in all US states. While others are not. 

Personally, I have never had any issues with regular air filters on my cars. I had air filters installed on new vehicles and I never came across any issue concerning insurance or warranty.

However, it didn’t last long because I have also installed cold air intake on my RAM 1500. Which is also how I found out that the cold air intake I had was not legal. Opps… 

In this article, we are going to cover everything you should know when it comes to performance air filters and warranty and insurance.

  1. Does Performance Air Filter Impact Insurance?
  2. Should You Declare Performance Air Filter For Insurance
  3. Does Performance Air Filter Void Warranty
  4. Is Performance Filter Legal?

Follow along to learn more about the filters and their legal implications.

Does Performance Air Filter Impact Insurance

Installing performance air filters will not affect your insurance if you can return your car to factory form before claiming. If you have installed irreversible aftermarket mods, it will definitely impact your car’s insurance.

Every insurance company works differently and there may be different cases from company to company.The more mods you install on your car, the higher chance it is to void your car’s warranty. You should consider wisely before installing any aftermarket mods.

You should not worry too much if you are considering installing ordinary performance filters. They are normally not a big deal, because it’s not affecting the life of the engine, thus completely safe to do.

If you were to install cold air filters that require tuning, things will be more complicated. These filters are more powerful and they increase the load on the engine. The increase in load will potentially damage the engine and also especially water damage. 

Insurance companies certainly do not want to pay someone engine after engine. So, if you plan to boost your car with mods you should think twice before you do that.

I would most definitely recommend this cone air filter I got from Amazon! It is reasonably priced, especially considering it is a universal model.

INTERESTING ARTICLE: Driving Without Car Air Filter (Everything You Need To Know)

Should You Declare Performance Air Filter For Insurance

You should notify your insurance company that you have installed a performance air filter on your car to avoid complications if stuff gets messy.

If you can reverse your car into its previous condition, then you can avoid declaring the performance mod. 

For small mod like performance air filters, you could do so. However, not for bigger mods like exhausts, headers or even cold air intake.

My advice:  you should report all your performance mods when claiming insurance. You may become liable to the laws if you didn’t inform the changes done to your car – so, better safe than sorry.

Plus, most insurance providers will not void your insurance just for an aftermarket drop in air filter. 

Does Performance Air Filter Void Warranty

It will not void your warranty if your performance air filter can fit inside your air intake. If your performance air filter has a big snorkel that could generate lots of power, you will lose your warranty.

With most of the performance mods, you will only lose warranty for related parts. Which means, if you installed an aftermarket filter, you will probably lose warranty for the air filter and airbox.

You should still have warranty for the unrelated parts like electronics, muffler and CAT. This is because you are protected by Magnusson Moss Act. Let’s talk about this next. 

Magnusson Moss Warranty Act 

Magnusson Moss Warranty act prevents dealers from voiding your warranties just because you have installed an aftermarket mod.

Magnusson Moss Warranty Act was created because many manufacturers have created disclaimers on their warranties in order to mislead customers and unnecessarily void warranties.

To void your warranty, a dealer must prove that the aftermarket mod is a direct cause to your issue. Otherwise, your warranties should still apply. 

It is a federal law that governs the warranties on every consumer product in the USA. Which means, it applies to all states in the US. 

Generally, dealers can find ways to void the warranties of related parts. For example installing an aftermarket air filter may void warranty for the air filter and airbox but not the whole car’s warranty.

Is Performance Filter Legal?

Performance air filters are legal in most states. It generally depends on the product and manufacturer. 

California prohibits installing these filters on your car because of the environmental impact and sound pollution. 

Check your state and local laws, because some places have noise restrictions and more strict emission standards.

Cold air intakes can produce a deep sound that can be disturbing for some people. I guess not everyone is a car guy and enjoys installing mods… 

You may even be disallowed to register your vehicle. They won’t stay within sound ordinances and will not meet the emission standards. If you live in a big city, you might face a bigger risk for a hefty fine.

If you are running your car moderately maybe you can get away with this. Or if you are living in a place where the laws are less strict you are probably going to be fine.

Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t really worry too much if there is not a clause in your agreement about the modification of the vehicle. If they didn’t state specifically about aftermarket air filters, you are good to go.

Consider your mods, and think twice before installing. If you have installed mods that couldn’t be undone, you’re basically scraping your warranty and insurance coverage.

It is also wise to study a little on your local laws before installing any mods. With an ordinary performance filter, you will have the best of both worlds. Power and also sound even though they produce a bit less power than the more expensive cold air intake.

INTERESTING READ: Cold Air Intake Vs Air Filter: Usage, Power, Sound & Cost

Chai WJ.

Chai WJ.

I am a car enthusiast and a passionate rider who loves to discover new places. Since the pandemic, I can't go to places and I started to blog and share information that I learned. I'm not easily distracted, I just... OMG, do I hear a Supra?

Car Performance Boss

Best resources online to improve your car performance!

Reach out:

  • (Shopping related)