K&N air filters, are they any good ?

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Sir, do you have proof, documented and from a trusted laboratory, that the K&N filter is not up to the Ford specifications?
If so please share it.

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"iBuyMinis.Us" wrote:

Exactly who would run such a test? If their filters meet OEM requiremnts, don't you think K&N would say so? Do you have any proof that K&N Filters meet the Ford specifications? Even Fram claims to meet OEM specifications. K&N never says that they meet or exceed OEM requirments. Instead they spend a lot of time trying to obscure the issue by talking about the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and trying to imply that this negates the need of meeting OEM specifications, which it doesn't.
On the otherhand, as I pointed out in another post, Ford Performance Parts actually sells K&N Filters under a Ford Part Number. This fact seems to me to be an oblique endorsement of K&N filters.
Ed

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Thomas Moats wrote:

Ford can require you to use parts that meet certain specifications. They just can't require you to buy "Ford" parts.
"K&N interprets this law to also prohibit the motor vehicle manufacturer from restricting your use of a particular brand of air filter, oil filter, etc."
While this is true, it does not also mean that you can use any old "filter." If ken's interpretation was true, I could stick a chunk of chicken wire in the filter box and claim that it wouldn't void the warranty. I think the correct interpretation of the law is - "You can use any brand of filter you want as long as it meets or exceeds Ford's performance requirements." Whether or not K&N filters meet Ford performance requirements in debatable.
Since K&N doesn't clearly claim to meet OEM spec's, I'd recommend that they not be used. However, Ford Performance Parts does sell K&N filters and Saleen Mustangs are sold with them installed with the warranty intact. So, if you are patient and willing to fight it out in court, I suppose you could use those facts to claim that Ford has acknowledged that K&N filters are acceptable replacement filters. Might make for an interesting court battle. See http://tinyurl.com/47p7v , go to page 154 in The Sport Compact Performance Parts section or see http://tinyurl.com/5et6k . This is a K&N Air Filter, sold by Ford for a Ford. It even has a Ford P/N. The catalog note lists it as a "direct replacement part" and there is not any restriction noted. I'd say this amounts to an acceptance by Ford of K&N Filters, at least for some vehicles. For sure if you buy the Ford branded K&N Filter and have it installed at the dealer, you are virtually assured your warranty will be unaffected.
Personally I will not use a K&N Filter on a street car (whether bought from K&N or Ford). The performance gain will be minimal (if any), the fuel economy gain non-existent, there is a possibility of MAF contamination, and I don't believe they filter as well as a good quality paper filter. The non negligible risk and little possibility for reward make K&N filters a bad decision.
Regards,
Ed White
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On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 09:16:58 -0400, "C. E. White"

Let's just cut to the chase.
ANyone on the list have FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE of Ford, or any other manufacturer refusing warranty because of a K&N filter being installed on the vehicle????
If so, lets have it.
Put up or shut up.
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 15:24:02 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@sny.der.on.ca wrote:

"SERVICE - ALL BUICK, CADILLAC, CHEVROLET, GMC TRUCK, ISUZU, OLDSMOBILE, PONTIAC AND HUMMER DEALERS
Subject: A/T Shift, Engine Driveability Concerns or SES Light On as a Result of the Installation of an Aftermarket Reusable, Excessively Oiled Air Filter -- 2004 and Prior Cars and Lt Duty Trucks and 2003-2004 HUMMER H2 Message #: VSS20040056
Corporate Bulletin Number 04-07-30-013 will be available in SI on March 18, 2004.
Automatic Transmission Shift, Engine Driveability Concerns or Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On as a Result of the Installation of an Aftermarket Reusable, Excessively Oiled Air Filter
Models: 2004 and All Prior Cars and Light Duty Trucks 2003-2004 HUMMER H2
DO THIS First, Inspect the vehicle for a reusable aftermarket excessively oiled air filter
DON'T DO THIS DO NOT repair under warranty if concerns result from the use of a reusable aftermarket oiled air filter.
The installation of an aftermarket reusable, oiled air filter may result in:
1. Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On
2. Transmission shift concerns, slipping and damaged clutch(es) or band(s)
3. Engine driveability concerns, poor acceleration from a stop, limited engine RPM range
The oil that is used on these air filter elements may be transferred onto the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor causing contamination of the sensor. As a result, the Grams per Second (GPS) signal from the MAF may be low and any or all of the concerns listed above may occur.
When servicing a vehicle with any of these concerns, be sure to check for the presence of an aftermarket reusable, excessively oiled air filter. The MAF, GPS reading should be compared to a like vehicle with a OEM air box and filter under the same driving conditions to verify the concern.
Transmission or engine driveability concerns that are the result of the installation of an aftermarket reusable, excessively oiled air filter are not considered to be warrantable repair items"
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Denny B opined in

K&N's are ONLY claimed to be effective at or near WOT...That's foot-to-the- floor! Otherwise any decent filter will allow all the air the engine asks for.
So if you dont care about HP, it COULDNT do you any good.
1. It's the MAF that determines combustion "efficiency" and with the K&N you have to clean MAF more often than the every 5 years or so that most are cleaned -if ever.
2. YOu dont mention the car... but dont you realize that Ford designed the systems on all cars to obtain max efficiency so as to meet mileage standards?
The K&N is a reputable and viable product for HIGH PERFORMANCE modders who have altered the rest of their induction system to take advantage of such a product, but simply slapping one on to your taurus family car is just silly
IF you're interested enough to spring for an add-on like that without understanding how the systems work, you're going to be a sucker for every other add-on that comes down the road.
Like battery powered superchargers on ebay
Go to the library. Read the Probst books and those on modding the 5.0 and 2.3 to understand how engines work with FI
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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]
snipped-for-privacy@sprint.ca says...

What car is it being put into? Unless it's more than 10+ years old or a low-end budget car, the filter is probably not a major factor. With the power race, manufacturers have made the intake and exhaust systems very efficient. Many simple bolt-on mods typically add only a few horsepower at best. That might be noticeable on a car that only makes 100-110hp, but on a 200+ V6 or V8, you won't notice it. Plus, you'll really only notice it at full or near-full throttle. Unless you carry or tow heavy loads, or drag race, you'll never notice it or get any payback from the higher cost.
Most of the claims you see are typically for older 60's/70's muscle cars and similar. Or people who replace a 5-year old clogged filter.
Plus, I believe K&N filters are oiled filters. You must be careful because if that oil gets onto the MAF (Mass Airflow Sensor), it can clog or otherwise affect it, causing engine problems.
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HEre's an easy way to think about things like this.
If you could see into the throttle body of your intake system while you are cruising or just driving normally the throttle plate would look as if it was nearly closed... on one side of it is a vacuum, on the other side is air really WANTING to get in.
so it is the throttle that's restricting the airflow ..AND THATS WHAT YOU WANT!!!
With port fuel injection the fuel is WAY down the line so any "swirl" (as if it could make it past the intake hosing) has no effect on the mix at this point
If you dont believe me, borrow or buy a cheap vacuum gauge and hook it to the manifold... then watch it while you're driving... and note the filter can ONLY affect the engine when the gauge shows near zero
Denny B opined in

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On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 16:11:32 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

You are 100% correct. A filter has to be pretty badly restricted to affect power at less than WOT on today's vehicles.
I had the K&N replacement filter in the stock air filter case on my Aerostar vans. I installed mine (on my first van) on a trip , pulling a 17 foot cabin trailer across country from central Ontario to BC, via the american midwest.
I think I got slightly better performance in the mountains with the K&N, but I really only bought it to avoid generating trash every couple months or every year throwing away a disposable filter.
I am, by nature, adverse to throwing away something that could still have some use left - or that could be replaced ONCE with something that can then be serviced and not replaced.
My vehicles always last well beyond the average lifespan because I take care of them. The filter went from my first aerostar into my last one, and as far as I know is still in it (sold the van over 2 years ago)

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I have had two cars in 36 years, a 1968 Nova and now still my 1981 Ford Fairmont. I am the mechanic on my vehicle and have no interest and time for GIMMICKS. I am not interested in the K&N filter for more power nor for fuel economy. The construction of the K&N makes me believe more air will pass through as compared to the paper ( wood ) filter.
Stores love to sell you paper filters and keep you coming back and the car manufactures are only interested in installing minimum standard components and parts for the AVERAGE JOE (that's me) on their vehicles. To maintain your vehicle until the warranty has expired the car manufactures want to make maintenance cheap for you like paper air filters.
Do you think the car manufacturer can buy a K&N filter for 10 cents? If they could you'd have a K&N filter in your vehicle.
I am not interested in any special K&N air filter, I will get the replacement for my paper filter and fit the K&N directly into the filter housing. The size is exactly the same as the paper filter.
Denny B

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That's what I've always done Benny and I salute you for your tenacity with cars.
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I put a K&N in my wife's Explorer Sport. I then took a trip from LA to MT. The average MPG was 23. Funny thing, that is the exact same MPG average I got the two years before on the exact same trip. So, did it do any thing? Well, it did make my wallet a whole lot lighter:) Other than that, not a damn thing as far as I can tell. I'll bet if I had the "Tornado" and some Slick 50 in the crankcase I could have done better...whatdaya think? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and I'm a dumb fuck.
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It makes economic sense Denny. What is the secret to doing this?
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Thomas Moats, sums up what I would also suggest.
Denny B

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K&N filters are an excellent buy for your Ford at $47. Here in the UK they are sold as a 'sporty' accessory and pitched at ridiculously high prices. They are much better than original equipment - but watch how much you pay.
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First: If a person really wants performance, don't use any filter. Dragsters don't use any.
Second: If you want to protect your engine, don't keep your foot to the floor.
Third: if you just want to be "KEWL", buy anything and everything that looks good, sounds good and everyone else has.
You have to ask yourself, "Do I want to pay for the short life of the engine, or do I want to look Kewl, or do I want to be the "voice of reason". Hank
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By the way, since Ford sucks so much anyway, why would you want it to suck more? :-) Hank
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Denny B opined in

First off - you dont specify, which leads the reader to assume that'you're talking about the K&N performance filter not the replacement version.
And you SAID you didnt care about HP yet you care about air-flow... WTF does THAT mean?
Combine this with your LATER statements that you're buying them because paper filters are such a waste of money.. your time to clean the filter apparently doesnt count.
How long does the "refreshing" process take? How long to clean a MAF... which seems to me should be done, because the filter is oiled, each 50k as well?
What are your driving conditions? Lotsa dust dust sand gravel in the air? Go ahead... makes sense.
No? why bother.
Your logic is like... if a purolator / wix filter at 3- 5 bucks is good, then a 10 buck mobil 1 should be better... even though I change oil at 3 k! \
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
Know a furnace A/C guy? Ask him to help and attach his manometer before and after the filter and take it on the road, see what it shows full throttle with both a dirty paper/20,000 miles, a clean paper, and a K&n oiled replacement.
I've done it.... though not with a k&N.
YMMV but that's why I change air filters every 25 K if then, but I knock it on a clean sheet of paper every oil change to see what happens.
May open your eyes a little.
Lesse...I could buy a Kn.. for 50 bucks, spend 2 hours every 50 k cleaning it and the MAF. Thats once a year for me..
Or I could spend 16 bucks for 2 and 1/4 hour vaccing the box per year, cleaning MAF every other year....At that rate, I'll pay back the cost of the K&N about the time I run the car to the scrappers.
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