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Pro's and con's of after market airfilters.

Discussion in 'Engine Compartment' started by Sat-Chit-ananda, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. Folks,

    I have been seeing posts by few people, who have done replacement of stock filter with K&N/Green Cotton/Pippercross.

    I would like to know how safe it is for engine?

    One of the benefits of a high flow air filter is that, unlike regular filters, you don’t have to change it every year. All you have to do is clean it about every two years or so. This is because they don’t get clogged as quickly or as easily, yet they offer better air flow and better filtration of the air going into your engine. And if your engine is getting more air, then it can perform better. In fact, a high flow air filter can actually increase your horsepower by about 3 to 5 HP and increase your torque as well. At the same time, this can lead to increased fuel efficiency. How? In some of the more expensive units, the filter comes with a cold air intake unit. This is installed to pull air from the outside of the car instead of the hot used air inside the engine bay. Going back to science class, cold air is more dense and will therefore burn better, hence improving the performance of your engine.

    However, don’t think that a high performance air filter has no bad to it. There are problems that can arise from installing one of these. Do note that these are not guaranteed to happen, but it is a possibility. One problem that has been noted is that because of the increased air intake, high performance filters can actually expose your engine to more debris and contaminants. It can also increase the amount of dirt and dust in your oil and put more wear on the internal elements.
    as particles which are of the size of 5-25 micron is known to cause maximum damage to your engine.
    Although these aftermarket companies boost of high degree of dirt filtration, why no OEM is using them?OEM stock paper(HEPA) filters will do a good job until they get wet (at this point they become useless, and sometimes stop the engine).
    BTW, HEPA filters use a similar (if not exactly the same) cloth (flannel, I believe) filtration for the low particulate level clean rooms required by the semiconductor industry; so not all cloth or reusable filters are poor as implied by the article.

    Another problem is that, especially with cold air intakes, is that water from the road (accompanied by mud and other forms of dirt) can splash up and soak your filter and/or introduce water to your engine. There are ways to avoid this, however, such as by buying a hydroshield and making sure to not drive through roads with high water. Although, it is to be noted that you do pay for quality with these filters. The better the quality you buy, the less you risk any harm to your engine.

    For example K&N used cotton with oil, depends on oil to catch dust particles , some times is feel like it going back old technology what was in use in 70-80's, i used to see foam airfiler soaked with oil to improve on the filtration.
    I did see some PU based foam filter essentially using a layer of oil like good old days and claiming the wonderful results.

    I would like to open this thread for discussion on pro's and cons of the these filters.
  2. amogh

    amogh Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    I stick with stock. I don't find it worth spending thousands of rupees on an air filter. (especially when i get the stock for Rs. 300)
  3. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    I have driven a Linea with both and all I can say is that stock filter provides better low end grunt than a stock k&n filter. Only difference with k&n was felt with rpm above 3000 rpm that too only margin-able.
    You would be better replacing stock filter more often than using k&n filter.
  4. amolmane

    amolmane Guest


    Stock Filter is always better.

    I had driven Pulsar 220 with K & N installed. there was no low end grunt in that bike. :uh

    Only reving capacity was more.

    We should not use more brain. In factory,there are 100 engineers to tune the engine.
  5. engine noise after 3K RPM is it due to stock filter?

  6. I totally agree with you guys. I had got a K&N stock replacement for my previous car wagon -r. There was barely any (if any at all) difference in performance. Its all psychological. Although Cold Air Intake kits and conical filters do boost power by a noticeable amount, they would void your warranty. As far as stock replacement filters go...if it truely provided so many benefits over the regular filters why wouldnt manufacturers factory fit them?
  7. jumu

    jumu Superiore


    Good observation ! But I always found you at loggerheads with the engineers at Fiat as you trust your human ECU more than the factory fitted ECU !! :wink:


    there are some decisions that are in the commercial band.Similar question can be asked about the famed AIR to be introduced here shortly

    K&N, Remus...etc. They've been around for a while. They cant be fooling all the people all the time. there should be something to it for the discerning, or else they couldn't have survived in the market.

  8. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    @ Sat-Chit-ananda
    No the engine noise is not due to stock filter. After installing k&n stock filter you get a nice roaring sound at high rpms.
  9. My point was like how some cars ship with fully synthetic oil despite the high price(as it does have some real benefit)...why wouldn't regular passenger car companies factory fit a K&N stock replacement and pass on the benefit or at least advertise the perceived benefit? Its not because it is not commercially viable....they could always strike a bulk deal and get the filters for a drastically low price.But manufacturers dont even offer K&N as an option. If it had some real benefit dont u think people would have happily paid a few thousand more to their manufacturers for better horse power, longer engine life and heightened mileage? Specially in today's times where people dont mind paying a few thousand more for a colour of their choice, accessories, wider tyres, alloys and what not! Besides there would be 1 less part to change(as per K&N's propaganda) in the whole lifetime of the car, consumers would never have to spend on a new filter ever again it would just have to be cleant and re-oiled every once in a while thus resulting in savings in the long run..companies could have easily leveraged this benefit for their marketing plans, couldn't they? But they dont...Simply because even though some K&N filters do provide the additional horses that they claim to, it compromises on filtration. Traditional paper filters have always been the filters of choice for premium and economy cars alike simply because they meet manufacturer specifications and are the most ideal for what the cars were originally designed for ....regular road usage!

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