Are K&N filters worth the money?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Valence, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Valence

    Valence Gustav Refugee

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    I don't know if they are worth the money. it would seem for every positive review I find a negative review. Some say the drop in filters are worthless, some say they work. Others say the only way to go is the complete air intake kit, others say this is worthless too. I've got an 07 tacoma and some even say that the K&N filters fuck with the MAF sensor. SO I dunno. I just know I need to give that 2.7 liter a bit more pep.
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    shoulda bought a V6.


    As for the K&N debate I think every dyno run I've seen on a stock (or mostly stock) vehicle has resulted in a LOSS of power and fuel economy. The only people claiming gains are either using their "butt" dyno to guage performance or are using heavily modified vehicles which cannot use the stock intake, or demand more airflow than what a stock intake can provide.


    I have personally tried K&N and Injen intakes on a Chevy S10 (4.3L V6), Volvo 850 (2.4L I5), and Toyo Tacoma (3.4L V6) and we found a LOSS in power based on actual testing.

    Look at the facts:

    Gas engines take an amount of air in (measured by the MAF sensor in your particular vehicle). The computer then queries a pre-defined table to determine the proper amount of fuel to add, based on the air taken in. This mixture is then put in the engine for combustion. The intake that you have will NOT increase air intake volume into the combustion cylinder... Basically you cannot add more air without using forced induction! The stock air intake on vehicles are designed to support the intake needs of that vehicle. For example, your Tacoma has an intake that provides ample flow to support that engine's needs. It is also a fairly clean system that is not affect by heat soak as much as other open-element systems. K&N sack-riders love to quote flow rates of their filters. Unfortunatly, that means nothing if the stock intake already flows more than what the engine requires! If your engine needs 450cfm, and your stock airbox gets 520cfm, there is NO gain to be had going to an intake that may do 650cfm. Bottom line, the engine will still suck in the same volume of air!

    So the K&N does not help performance. Let's take a look at how it can HURT performance:

    The K&N FIPK kits are "open element". This means they take air from the engine compartment. Some kits include a "divider" that tries to block the intake from the rest of the engine compartment. Regardless, the temperature of the air in the intake will be HIGHER than with the stock airbox. Hotter air expands compared to colder air. As a result, a given volume of hot air will have less oxygen than the same volume of air at a colder temperature. Because your engine will not pull in more volume with an intake, raising the temperature of the intake charge will result in a DECREASE of oxygen potential. This results in less power and reduced fuel economy. Now what about the dirt? I'm not getting into this. www.bobistheoilguy.com did a test and found that the K&N has horrible filtration. You can decide for yourself if it's bad enough to cause damage or not. Bottom line is that regardless of the loss of power or fuel economy, people have been using K&N filters without blowing up their engines for many years. I don't think that's a huge deal. Now lets look at the durability... It's not! You don't really have to "change" the filter, but you do have to remove it and clean it! Cleaning it requires you to completely remove the filter, soak it in water to get all the crap off, then you dry it completely and re-oil it. You must leave it out of the vehicle for at least several hours, and it's recommended you leave it out overnight. So your vehicle is out-of-service unless you have two filters, which adds additional cost. Every time you clean it, you must use a "recharge" kit which consists of new oil for the filter element. This is an additional cost which is approximately the same as a new OEM filter. Now the really bad part: If you over-oil it, then oil will get pulled in through the intake. This oil will (at best) cover the MAF sensor which will degrate sensor performance over time. Several instances of damaged MAF sensors have been reported. It has been argued back and forth whether the oil damaged the MAF or if the user cleaning the MAF did the damage. Regardless, cleaning was required, and a damaged MAF was the result. This is directly due to the use of an oil-based K&N filter (both FIPK and drop-in). Had the user kept an OEM filter, they would not have had this problem.

    I have yet to see a single scientific demonstration of a K&N filter helping a (mostly) stock vehicle. However, I have seen much supporting evidence to suggest they are not a good idea. At best, it's a waste of money!
     
  3. Valence

    Valence Gustav Refugee

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    Thanks for the info. I couldn't afford the v6, as every v6 they had was a doublecab model and approaching 30 k.:wtc:
     
  4. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    Well I looked at it this way.. on my truck for example the stock FRAM airfilter was $17 and $49 for the K&N. Over the long run of not buying airfilters alone it pays for itself.
    Also K&N says the 4.6L in the F-150 gets 7.8HP increase on filter alone, which I did notice an increase in performance.
    I did not notice any increase in mileage or anything, but I would recommend one.
     
  5. Valence

    Valence Gustav Refugee

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    did you get the entire kit or did you get the drop in filter?
     
  6. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    I got the drop in and did find a performance increase. I guess it depends on the vehicle though.
     
  7. IslanderOffRoad

    IslanderOffRoad Do you even lift kit? OT Supporter

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    Thats the selling point for me as well
     
  8. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    K&N claims are crap and are NOT substantiated by independent testing. According to the propoganda-believing Y2kAccord you should also get a "tornado" and "fuel magnet" :rolleyes:

    Notice how he also confirms my warning that these mis-informed people use their "butt" to determine results. Bottom line, your mind wants results, so you believe anything.

    And the cost is actually more for a K&N. You can get OEM filters for between $7-12. K&N drop-in's are between $50-70. The OEMs have the same flow performance, yet offer better filtration. The K&N's also suffer from the oil plague. Now once you've spent that $50-70 on your K&N, you must re-oil it at least as often as you'd have to change the OEM filter. Recharge kits are approximately $10-15. Recharging takes several hours according to K&N. So you spent more initially for a filter that costs the same in upkeep, takes more effort to re-use, can lead to performance and maintenance problems, and doesn't filter as well????

    Sounds like a great idea :rofl:
     
  9. MUDFISH

    MUDFISH New Member

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    I had one for my Zr2, and I didn't notice any real gains in HP (I think most of what people notice is in their heads), but I did like not having to buy a new air filter for 3 years... so:

    Was it worth it? ... YES...
    Did it make a difference in HP? ... not that I noticed
    Will I buy one again? ... YES
     
  10. IslanderOffRoad

    IslanderOffRoad Do you even lift kit? OT Supporter

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    I've read magazine tests that have said the opposite.

    Bottom line is, if you want a K&N, buy it. Nobody is gonna agree on this any more than they do about who makes the best 4x4.
     
  11. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    K&N's dont need to be cleaned or oiled till mine said 50k miles... how often do you check your stock airfilter? $17 for every 10k within 30k miles the K&N I am already ahead, and you get the increased performance
    I still do not get where you say putting more air into an engine and a noticeable increase in HP Is just in my head.. you cant be that dumb. Given, some vehicles intake designs or throttle bodies may not benefit, but I am assure you my 4.6L on my F-150 did have a noticable increase in throttle response and power.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  12. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    I think K&N has been in business long enough that if their intakes did not provide any power increase or power losses it would be quite evident by now.
     
  13. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    no, they have gulable consumers like yourself that pretty much ensure they stay in business. Think about it... There's lots of products that don't really work that people still buy.
     
  14. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    it is in your head. And your butt dyno doesn't prove otherwise. If you don't understand how your naturally aspirated motor works as a basic air pump that will only pull in a pre-determined volume of air, then you would obviously buy into the propoganda by K&N. However, if you researched how your intake works, you'd see how K&N cannot possibly increase performance on your stock motor.
     
  15. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    As I said I bought it mainly because of having to pay $17 every 10k miles for a stock filter.
    I know how an engine works and still believe that if you give an engine more air you do make more power.
    This is all just your opinion, but they do work.
     
  16. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    not opinion... fact.

    You cannot "give" an engine more air without modifying it's displacement or using forced induction such as a turbo or supercharger. Bottom line, at a given pressure (such as 1bar atomospheric) a given cylinder can only hold a given volume of air. Changing an airfilter will NOT change this volume. Science-fact.


    The *only* difference would be in temperature, and thus densitity of air... However, a K&N panel filter in stock airbox will not change temperature, and an open-element cone K&N would actually raise temperature -- thus the best-case scenario is no difference in temp and worst-case is an increase in temp, and thus a decrease in density and power.
     
  17. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    What you said before about the increase airflow and the intake, you said that a stock intake setup for 600frm for example and the stock filter already flows that than a K&N would not give any increase. What about if the case if the stock filter did not flow enough and in that scenerio the stock flows 400cfm and the K&N flows 600cfm, you would notice an increase in power. Now you cant know the CFM of every throttle body of every car to be able to justify that giving it more air, that possible it might actually be able to suck more air in making more power.
    They do work.
     
  18. Atticus

    Atticus New Member

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    This is what i did with my KN intake setup for my 05 tacoma 4.0. I replaced the filter with a AEM dry filter. NO OIL so it wont mess up my MAF.

    Also i have my taco lifted to 3" running on heavy tires load E mudders. For the exhaust i have a trd exhaust, and im getting really good MPG 18-19mpg. Others with out the setup and have 3" lifts get poor gas mileage. I also got a better pedal response with the KN/AEM combo.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    Its not humanly possible that the intake is giving you any more HP.. its ALL IN YOUR HEAD :mb:
     
  20. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    science > you.
     
  21. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    ignorance = you

    All you have done is state your opinion...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2006
  22. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    I have provided a scientific explination WHY K&N does not improve performance. All you've provided is an opinion that "it makes your butt fell good".
     
  23. IslanderOffRoad

    IslanderOffRoad Do you even lift kit? OT Supporter

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    i regret ever opening this thread
     
  24. Atticus

    Atticus New Member

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    I never said it increased horsepower that i cant prove. Unless i dyno it. But it did give a bit better pedal repsonse and my gas mielage is pleasing. Most this air intakes dont to much but increased air and mixutre. But if there pulling in hot engine air its not doing nothing. On cold days i can feel a difference in the engine running smoother.
     
  25. Y2kAccord

    Y2kAccord Everything happens for reasons I just dont know

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    Better pedal response has to be a result of something
     

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