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K&N FILTER FITMENT AND MAINTENANCE

K&N Typhoon Air Intake #69-4519TP(LSX Magazine)
iKnowAuto Staff
Designed to deliver high airflow, the air filter filters out debris and particles from the air that can damage the engine. Particles as small as 10 to 20 microns lead to the majority of engine wear. For reference, a human hair measures 50 microns in diameter, pollen measures in around 10 microns as does cement dust and silt. 
JAN 31, 2019

In an effort to save costs, manufacturers often fit a dense paper filter, that meets filtration requirements but restricts airflow. Paper filters restrict airflow even further as it begins to clog over time! Foam filters also suffer from clogging and saturation from oil that causes faulty airflow sensor readings.

Clean Air Filter (Left) and Dirty Air Filter (Right)
Dust particles can lead to damage to the engine without proper air filters.

Washable & Reusable K&N Filters

K&N Air Filters are designed differently. These filters have multiple layers of an oil cotton fabric to capture debris. The fabric is then surrounded in a pleated aluminum mesh. This concertina shape increases the surface area available to filter. A K&N Air filter is able to maintain its performance throughout its life, rather than decreasing like traditional filters.

It does this by capturing contaminants in the fibers of the filter and then holding them in suspension in the oil. Inch for inch, when compared with traditional-style filters, a K&N replacement has as much as a 300% in airflow.

Longer lasting, better for the environment

K&N Air filters will also last the lifespan of your vehicle. They're backed by a limited 1,000,000 mile guarantee. The filter is washable and reusable, using a kit available from the manufacturer. To extend the lifespan of your air filter wash and re-oil between every 30,000 - 50,000 miles. In the long run, you should save money fitting one of these filters versus regularly replacing a paper one.

The K&N website claims that you’ll see as much as a 4% increase in horsepower and torque. This video on YouTube demonstrates the difference, as tested on a dyno, just by fitting a new K&N air filter. The gains are solid!

Performance and Universal Filters

K&N also produce universal clamp-on filters in round, tapered, dual flange and oval shapes. Perfect for your next build. They also manufacturer cold air intake kits that feature a heat shield and MAF sensor mount. These kits offer improved airflow over standard factory set-ups. When purchasing your filter, I recommend you pick up a cleaning and re-oiling kit.

K&N Air Filter(#33-5026)
K&N Air Filter(#33-5026)

Our Thoughts

With K&N filters, the engine seems to rev more freely, pick-up slightly quicker (in-line with the increase in torque) and often you can hear the air drawn into the filter, more so than a standard filter.

Fitting a K&N filter is simple, they tailor each filter to fit specific car models and their airbox. Changing out the old filter is as simple as opening up the airbox, pulling out the old filter, checking for any trash behind the paper filter, cleaning and replacing the airbox with the new filter in place. Just like changing any other filter.

As a word of warning, try not to run a car without a filter to increase airflow and remove the restriction entirely. Even at a road circuit, there’s lots of debris and trash in the air, thrown up by the car in front. These can get inside the engine, causing catastrophic damage.