K&N air filters, are they any good ?

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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:


Look in the warranty guide. It will have a statement sort of like the following:
"Ford Motor Company recommends that you use genuine Ford replacement parts. However, when you are having non-warranty work done on your vehicle, you may choose to use non-Ford parts. If you decide to use non-Ford parts, be sure they are equivalent to Ford parts in performance, quality, and durability."
Naturally K&N "claims" that their filters are equivalent (or better) and that they will therefore not void your warranty. However, if you show up at a Ford dealer with an engine showing internal wear that appears to be related to dirt ingestion, or a MAF sensor coated with oil, chances are Ford will tell you the K&N was at fault and void your warranty on parts related to the air filter (obviously, they can void the warranty on parts unrelated to the intake system because you installed a K&N). You can then go to K&N, and if you somehow manage to jump through all their hoops (read their warranty requirements - what a joke), they will still most likely deny your claim because they'll claim their filter is not at fault, or that you didn't oil it right, or blah, blah, blah. In my opinion only a fool would trust an engine to a K&N filter for everyday use. The benefits are almost non-existent, the risks are real. If you are drag racing at a track, then maybe I could see it - but never for everyday driving.
Ed
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On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 08:45:04 -0400, "C. E. White"

Ever read the ScamsOil warranty? It's similarly impossible to get coverage under, which no doubt it why they can claim no one ever has. -- Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts:
"What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. . . Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise a standing army upon its ruins." -- Debate, U.S. House of Representatives, August 17, 1789
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The owners manual states that using a part that does not meet minimum Ford standards ( which are industry standards ) and causes damage the warranty MAY be voided. It has to be proven that the part caused the damage. A dealership technician is not qualified to make that determination. No body that works with in the dealership walls are qualified.

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Thomas Moats wrote:

So you show up at the dealership with a car that either shosw excessive wear related to dirt ingestion, or a contaminated MAF sensor. The tech says it looks like the K&N is the cause. So, they void the warranty. What do you do? If you decide to fight them in court, who will you use for your expert witness to counteract whoever Ford or the dealership sends?
Ed
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MAY be

with
I worked at dealerships most of my working life. Never has there ever been even a question on after market parts. I've seen plenty. K&N filters, fancy multi colored plug wires, super high voltage coils, exhaust headers with after market cat-back exhausts. You name it I have most likely seen it and had to deal with it. I have never seen a engine that had wear as a result of using an air filter. If you look back at history, some of the best filters were oil bath filters. They are messy, but do a superb job of cleaning the air is a dirty environment. The K&N is only a modern derivate of that old oil bath filter. It works extremely well for removing very fine particles from the air. You will not find a wear problem with these filters, you may find a performance problem, usually due to plugging not to "contamination" to the MAF.
Have you ever noticed that in the intake air system you see deposits of sludge and carbon? Many time a oily film? ( this is on a vehicle NOT using a K&N filter system ). It is normal. I'll let you think about it as to why it is normal. If you want to discuss it, that is fine. At that point, "contamination" of the MAF sensor is normal.
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Thanks Thomas, for finally offering a hands-on experience with this discussion.
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Thomas Moats wrote:

I unfortunately have, but it was a farm tractor, not a street car. One of the reason I think people don't have problems with K&N filters is the fact that dirt is not a really big problem for cars driven on paved streets. I had a friend who had a Lotus 7 that didn't have air filters at all. It just had wire mess over the intake trumpets of the weber carb on his engine. The engine was still running strong at around 50,000 miles when he sold it. I tend to change my air filters at a shorter interval than recommended by the manufacturers. on my street cars, I rarely see much in the way of contamination. On the other had, the filter from the truck we use when harvesting peanuts will be choked with dust after just one season. If I could afford to ruin the truck, it might be interesting to try out the K&N on it.

I certainly disagree with this statement. I have had to deal with oil bath oil filters on older farm tractors. They were horrid inefficient devices. It was routine to have to rebuild tractor engines in the old days, but not any more. No modern tractor uses an oil bath air filter. Everything today uses high efficiency paper filters. Oil bath filters went away for good reasons.

Again I disagree. At least with an oil bath filter, you had a reservoir of oil that would constantly re-wet the filter media. With a K&N, you have to do it yourself. Oil bath filters trap much of the dirt in the oil reservoir where it is removed from the air stream. K&N doesn't have a reservoir, so all of the dirt remains in the air stream, where it can eventually come dislodged.

I definitely see oily films in intake tracts - but not usually on the MAF wires. Most of the oily mess I see is on the engine side of the throttle plate and is introduced into the system via the PCV return. I don't doubt that there can be some contamination of MAF wires even for vehicles without K&N filters, I just believe the chances of contaminating the MAF wires are greatly increased by the use (or misuse) of a K&N Filter.
K&N used to include formulas on their web page for calculating the proper size K&N filter for a particular application (this was removed in 2002 or so). They were thoughtful enough to include the filter factor for paper filters as well. I ran through the calculations using their formulas and their filter factor for a good paper filter and discovered that the paper filter on my departed Mustang was already three times as large as K&N's formula claimed was necessary. Of course a K&N filter of the same size as the paper filter would have been 3.5 times as big as it needed to be, but I doubt the difference would have been detectable.
Ed
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 09:05:32 -0400, "C. E. White"

What other things have changed in farm tractors in the intervening years??? Just about everything.
In central Africa, where it is dusty at least 9 months of the year, oil bath filters were installed as a solution to the dust problem. If serviced regularly they ARE a very efficient filter.
But they MUST be serviced.
On your peanut truck you need a cyclonic pre-cleaner - Evans is/was one common manufacturer IIRC. Donaldson was another. This spins the heavy crap out of the airstream before hitting the filter. Almost all Combines and lots of other farm equipment uses them
I worked for a White/Cockshutt farm equipment dealer as well as for a Fiat Allis industrial equipment dealer over the years and the big reason oil bath filters were replaced with paper element/cyclonic combinations was ease of servicing. Next was manufacturing cost.
The oil bath filter put the cost burden on the manufacturer, the dry filter puts the cost burden (replacement) on the consumer.

And the K&N holds a lot more dirt before it plugs than a paper filter

The sorce of the contamination of the MAF sensor is crankcase vapours from the PCV system - not the intake air filter efficiency or lack thereof.

In years of experience the type of air filter does not appear to have much if any influence on the "coking" of the MAF sensor. GM, Ford, or Toyota.

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even
market
with
filter.
Dirt is a very big problem. You can easily tell the approximate location where one operates a vehicle just by the amount of dirt in the filter box. Paved or no paved street. Live near farm country? I have many times. Just the amount of dirt and sand laying on the intake is a clue as to the amount of dirt in the air.

environment.
Old technology, using poor oils in a really dirty environment. Not even car engines lasted a long time. Real bad example.

It's cheaper to use a paper filter, very simple. Also the average customer of heavy machinery want to reduce down time for anything including PM. The manufactures are very happy to oblige, it makes sales. If I make a machine that reduces maintenance by 30% over previous models and market it as such you can bet you will get a second look by a customer. If a manufacture does not do this, that manufacturer is no longer competitive.

find
usually
The particulates stay on the paper because of the oil. Want to find a A/C leak? Find the dirty joint, same principle.

sludge
filter
If
MAF
There is better than a chance, it does happen. That oil mist from the PCV can and does make it's way to the filter, which is in front of the MAF sensor. Ford even issued a TSB on the subject some years back.

I never claimed any performance increase with using a K&N filter, only that it does a very good job of cleaning the air and that it will not cause problems. I did alluded to the fact that you have to maintain it or engine performance will suffer.
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So your experience is on a tractor? This is an auto group, meant for discussions about autos. Take your hatred for K&N to a tractor group somewhere.

been even

multi
market
deal with

filter.
filters.
environment.
not find

usually
sludge
K&N filter

normal. If

the MAF

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mcalister wrote:

Engines are engines. And air filters are far more critical for tractor than cars - both becasue the environement is worse and becasue tractors spend a significant period of time near maximum power settings.
I don't actually "hate" K&N filters but I am offended by many of the claims. I just think K&N Filters are over-hyped and belong in a class of "performance enhancers" just above supposed performance enhancers like split fire spark plugs, fuel line magnets, tornado air swirlers, etc. I can believe that for a highly modified engine K&N Filters might make some difference at the peak of engine performance compared to the OEM paper filter (that was sized for a completely different situation). I just don't believe they are beneficial for street vehicles with basically stock engines. For all the vehicles I am aware of, the stock air filters are sized to provide more than adequate flow without significant restriction. Even K&N doesn't claim they filter better than paper filters or even that they filter as well. The K&N ads spend a lot of time talking about improved air flow and some time talking about how well they filter without really making a firm comparison. The ads play a sort of shell game. Clean K&N filters flow better than dirty paper filters and dirty K&N filters filter as well as clean paper filters, but what does this mean? I don't know. I do know that paper filters do a very good job of removing dirt. I also know that for a stock engine, in normal use there is virtually nothing to be gained from the installation of a K&N air filter. So why would I take the risk of installing a K&N air filter? Most of the flow tests where K&N Filters are compared to paper filters show that a K&N will flow more air at some particular pressure drop. This seems a backwards test that is designed to "prove" that the K&N filter media is more porous. I conceede this. This sort of test doesn't reflect the pressure drop at the actual flow rate required. The proper test would be to measure the pressure drop at the flow rate required. In most cases paper filters are sized so that the pressure drop in actual use is trivial. In order to minimize the pressure drop across an air filter, you can simply increase the size of the filter (i.e., you could achieve the same flow rate as a K&N filter of a given size by going to a larger paper filter).
I have never found a truly definitive test of air filters. There are lots of tests and opinions avialable on the internet. Here are a few: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/airfilter/airtest1.htm http://brickboard.com/AWD/?id 8591 http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2000/01/airfilters/index.shtml http://www.mahle.com/home.nsf/out/2.2.1.1?OpenDocument&,8695641 http://www.performanceoiltechnology.com/amsoil_vs_k&n.htm http://www.baldwinfilter.com/products/air.html http://www.freeautoadvice.com/board/ubbhtml/Forum8/HTML/006309.html
I espeically liked this test (bassically a K&N Advertisement):
http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/116_0409_kn/index1.html
A 14" diamter by 4" high K&N filter with a special open top filter, and a flow smoother stack produced only 6% more horsepower at 6000 rpm that a 9" diameter by 2" tall paper filter with a closed top and no stack. If you can only get a 6% improve at 6000 rpm and WOT with such a highly slanted test, what improvement do you think you will get with filters of the same size. The K&N filter had approximately 280 square inches of filter area compared to around 57 square inches of filter area for the paper filter. Even with almost five times as much filter area, the K&N only provide 6% more power. If they had been running a fair test, they would have compared the K&N to properly sized paper filter.
Ed

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The automakers consider the oil fouling of MAFs due to K&N type filters to have become a significant enough problem to issue TSBs about it. -- Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts:
"What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. . . Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise a standing army upon its ruins." -- Debate, U.S. House of Representatives, August 17, 1789
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wrote:

That is total BS. It will NOT void the warranty. A properly prepared K&N filters as well as the average paper filter - if it is the "direct replacement" type filter. The canless performance cone may be a different situation.

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Ah.....no they wont. http://www.knfilters.com/warrantyletter.htm

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"Under this federal statute, a manufacturer, who issues a warranty on your motor vehicle, is prohibited from requiring you to use a particular brand of air filter, oil filter, or other service or maintenance item, unless such item is provided, free of charge, under your warranty or unless the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) waives this prohibition against the manufacturer. K&N is unaware of any exemption or waiver granted by the FTC to any motor vehicle manufacturer, which pertains to air filters or oil filters."
Facts are stubborn things.
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You need to read the WHOLE law. They can deny your warranty but must prove why. If you want to take them to court to make them prove it go for. It wouldn't be worth the time or money to me to use that over-priced, greasy, gotta clean it, gotta oil it thing they call a filter :)
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Some of us do like and use them for over 10 years with no problem.
I suppose if you can't follow simple instructions you can just use the paper variety.
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Sir, show me the proof.
Thanks.
PS: Just so that we are clear, I am willing to be educated here but I will need hard concrete scientific CSI type proof.
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"iBuyMinis.Us" wrote:

I believe you are misinterpreting the rules. While Ford can't require you to use a "Ford" filter, they can require you to use a filter that meets Ford's specifications. K&N deliberately tries to obscure this difference.
Regards,
Ed White
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