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Old 02-26-2011, 12:59 AM   #1
GreeleyGal
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Default K & N air filter

Is a K&N air filter worth it? I did some searching and am pretty much figuring out it is not unless I want more noise, I know you don't really gain any horsepower with it. I was under the impression they were better for the engine or is that just clever marketing?
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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While I can feel an increase in performance in my "butt dyno" (higher speeds at similar revs/shifts on a known course, in my E28). I have read about K&N filters allowing more dirt/grit to pass into the engine. They are higher maintenance relative to just periodic replacement of a paper filter, and higher initial cost. I already have mine, and will continue to use it until my filter cleaner and oil are used up, and then switch back to a stock paper filter.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:37 AM   #3
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I think I will stick with the basic filter and spend that money on other things, thanks!
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:19 AM   #4
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i doubt you will gain much power,people usually over oil and what little power you gain is negated by over oiling. one thing you can look at in your air box is this black foam insulator you can remove and maybe get more air flow.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASRACER4 View Post
i doubt you will gain much power,people usually over oil and what little power you gain is negated by over oiling. one thing you can look at in your air box is this black foam insulator you can remove and maybe get more air flow.
really, I never thought of that. I have K&N drop in filter, I felt a little difference in higher revs when I first installed it . When I took it out the other day, I cleaned it and when I lifted it up and looked through it I saw small holes in it, which definitely is not good for the engine. I guess stock paper filter has better filtration. K&N drop in around $45 , oil and cleaner around $10. go figure
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:58 AM   #6
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Don't really think that I am looking for more airflow at this point just looking at all the options out there and things I can do to make it run the best it can. I am just going to stick with the paper filters.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:02 AM   #7
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Despite the look, if you follow the instructions to the letter, a K&N shows notable improvement on a dyno. (I've had the chance to do it with several of their filter styles.)
Very dependent on the style of the air box...

Years ago there was a study done by Caterpillar that showed the K&N allowed a higher level of silicone particulate through than some paper filters. BUT ,,, the particulates were less than a half a ten thousandth inch in size. Which should for the most part go through the engine without any issues... Of course CAT's report made it sound horrible because they were comparing it to a Cyclonic dust filter which eliminates pretty much any dust at all. The difference being the K&N fits a standard air cleaner, and the Cyclonic is 2 to 3 feet tall and 2 feet in diameter... I literally installed K&N's on two vehicles and then drove them both over 200K miles I typically had to wash the filter twice a year to keep it serviced. Not a big deal for me.

If your doubting the filter system on your car, have a oil particle test done. the lab will tell you how the motor is doing.

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxmotorhead View Post
I literally installed K&N's on two vehicles and then drove them both over 200K miles

Bingo. I've put K&N's in all of my cars for the last 15+ years- I've found that they flow as well or better than the best paper filters and just as important (for me, anyway), it's the last filter you'll ever buy for your car. I service mine once a year at most. The up-front cost is offset by never having to buy another filter.

Last edited by zoner; 02-28-2011 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:45 AM   #9
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I have no experience with using K&N and no connection to the link below. Just throwing it out there for informational purposes. For the record I use OEM paper filters in mine.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/airfilter/airtest1.htm
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullmand View Post
I have no experience with using K&N and no connection to the link below. Just throwing it out there for informational purposes. For the record I use OEM paper filters in mine. http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/airfilter/airtest1.htm
That write-up basically corroborates what Dave and I previously said. A K&N filter is going to flow better than a paper filter, period. Any filter is not going to 'add' horsepower, but at high RPM, a restrictive filter may certainly rob horsepower. Servicing a K&N filter takes me about 10 minutes once every 12-18 months or so- hardly an inconvenience in the realm of automobile service. If you're worried about the micron-sized particles that might get through a K&N filter and potentially cause cause varnish/deposits in your intake system over time, then run a can or two of sea foam through it every year. In my own personal experience, I've logged hundreds of thousands of miles on K&N filters and had never had a problem with performance, longevity, or intake deposits. In that same time, I've saved hundreds of dollars and kept dozens of air filters out of landfills.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:15 PM   #11
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I am glad to see this topic created a good discussion. I have decided to keep the K&N filter on my list but its not a priority, probably in a few months or so. I do like the idea of just cleaning the filter and not having to buy a new one. Thanks for all the information and such, I appreciate it!
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:33 PM   #12
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FYI the last one I got I got on sale, and it was about 2/3 the price of a stock filter on my jeep. My Jeep is a 1994 and like my 1995 318ti is a orphan kinda. 1994 they were stopping production and the 1994 model years of the jeep were built out of whatever they had in the warehouse. My airbox is some goofy unit that only came on late 1994 production wranglers and the paper filter is like 42 bucks. So the K&N on sale for 32 and I had a 20% off coupon did the deal... Of course I could have bought a older stock airbox from the dealer for like 200 to fix the fit problem...

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Old 03-06-2011, 03:53 AM   #13
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I had a K&N drop in filter in my 535 and I'll be damned if I could notice any sort of difference in either sound, performance or anything else. I guess the added benefit is being able to clean it and not replace, but overall, at the price of the filter + oil for it, you can buy like 4 or 5 OEM paper filters, which will probably outlast your ownership of the car.

If you can buy it cheap, do it, but otherwise I really wouldn't bother.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:01 PM   #14
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Usually if you don't get a small power bump (dyno) from a K&N it means your intake has a restriction that is more significant than the filter. K&N Usually will give you 1 to 5 HP on a dyno depending on the vehicle...

On the other hand the BMW branded air filters are pretty good material and may not be as restrictive as some....

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:34 AM   #15
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I researched the, "K & N question" extensively awhile back, and came to the conclusion that K & N filters aren't worth the risk of subjecting your engine in more foreign particles. To me it boils down to one fact: less restriction equals more stuff entering your engine. I don't see how it could be otherwise.
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