Should I pull my K&N? If yes, what should I get?

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200
Location
Chandler, AZ
I have been running a K&N panel filter in my '97 Subaru for years, probably at least 11. I think I have cleaned twice in that time, following the directions to the best of my ability. I have never had a MAF issue. I never thought twice about putting it in, but I gather they don't filter as well as most paper filters. Should I stop using it? What are good choices to replace it? Is the Fram Washable filter any good? It appeals to me because my car hasn't been driven a lot for the last 5 years or so and it would be easy to clean the air filter when the oil and filter get changed once a year. Thanks, Doug P.S. Relative to another thread, I was looking at Frams today at Walmart. The Toughguard (oiled paper) was made in Mexico, the Extraguard was made in Canada.
 
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693
Location
PA
X3 on the AMSOIL drop in. I ran K&N's for years, and with this last jeep I switched to the AMSOIL and it keeps my TB and all associated sensors cleaner with less of a film and grime build up, I never did a UOA with a K&N but I would guess I lowered my silicon levels in my oil as well. I'll never buy into the K&N hype ever again.
 
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1,154
Location
Richmond, VA
That K&N is spent if you've only cleaned it twice. Make the switch but note that Amsoil filters are more restrictive since they're a celulose filter with a synthetic layer on top. If possible you can get a cone filter replacement and up-size it to compensate. Otherwise you'll have to hope the mfr didn't under-spec the filter size in the first place, if so you may notice a tad less power when getting on it.
 
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693
Location
PA
the thing is....if it flows more air it will filter less, thats why OE type filters like WIX or AC Delco filter better but restrict air flow, something like a K&N will increase air flow and decrease filtration of fine particles .
 
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5,794
Location
North Texas
Mess with it now your engine blows up, LOL. Its worked for you for the last 11 years just let it be. Its better to keep them in. Clean it every 50K or when you notice performance loss.
 
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6,494
Location
Connecticut
Originally Posted By: tpitcher
Yes. Get an Amsoil EAA Air Filter, or possibly a NAPA Gold.
x2. Love my Amsoil EAA air filter. I trashed my K&N after finding a layer of dust on the inside of the throttle body. My buddy also had some sensor issues on his Ranger with a K&N. The Amsoil is cheaper, and I doubt anyone notices a performance gain with the expensive K&N. If you do, then your air filter was clogged anyway. I like how the Amsoil filter is washable without needing to be oiled.
 
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4,118
Location
Olathe, KS
I can't believe your Subie has lasted this long?! (j/k) aFe Pro Dry S gets my vote as well. You can vacuum and wash it -- as apposed to Amsoil AE.
 

dvancleve

Thread starter
Messages
200
Location
Chandler, AZ
I am not saying you're wrong (and clearly most on this board think they are bad), but if K&N specifies cleaning every 50K miles how is mine spent? Not arguing, just wondering... Doug
Originally Posted By: brandini
That K&N is spent if you've only cleaned it twice. Make the switch but note that Amsoil filters are more restrictive since they're a celulose filter with a synthetic layer on top. If possible you can get a cone filter replacement and up-size it to compensate. Otherwise you'll have to hope the mfr didn't under-spec the filter size in the first place, if so you may notice a tad less power when getting on it.
 
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5,707
Location
WatUpDoc
^Clean based on visibility if you don't have an airflow gauge of some sort. I've noticed in my app 'elevated' silicon. Is that from the K&N or not? Debatable still, but it's not in extreme amounts so I don't mind. Some apps and the location in which you are can dictate the use of K&N. I'd say cleaning a K&N more often than 25,000 is too much. I try to shoot for 33,000 or 1 time every 3 years max, unless it visibly starts going downhill. I wouldn't use it if off-roading. All that being said there is a possibility I'll be switching to a Napa Gold/Wix. If Amsoil had an air filter for this Civic I'd probably spring, but no dice.
 

JOD

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3,577
Location
PNW/WA
since you're in the land of dust, I'd go with the Amsoil filter. It offers the best filtration, and let's face it: is a couple more HP really going to do much for your '97 Outback? I'll trade that for engine cleanliness any day. all that said, my friend's Subaru has 180K on it, and was run for an indeterminate length of time with NO air filter--and a cracked intake... It's still rollin' just fine. So, I wouldn't worry about having run the K&N--there are just better options out there. Lastly, I'd install one of those K&N air restriction gauge and change the Amsoil filter based on what it tells you. Air filters last way longer than most folks realize.
 
Messages
693
Location
PA
You CAN vacuum or use shop air on the AMSOIL filters.
Originally Posted By: kkreit01
I can't believe your Subie has lasted this long?! (j/k) aFe Pro Dry S gets my vote as well. You can vacuum and wash it -- as apposed to Amsoil AE.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
Originally Posted By: dvancleve
I have been running a K&N panel filter in my '97 Subaru for years, probably at least 11. I think I have cleaned twice in that time, following the directions to the best of my ability. I have never had a MAF issue. I never thought twice about putting it in, but I gather they don't filter as well as most paper filters. Should I stop using it? What are good choices to replace it?
At this point it doesn't really matter much. Either clean and reoil the K&N, or junk it and put in anything else. Your choice of standard disposable air filters will probably filter better than the K&N and cost little. There is no good reason for you, with your driving habits, to buy an expensive filter. (I have experience with a K&N on one car, and that left dust on the downstream side of the airbox, and the filter had the original factory oiling. I've never had dust past the filter with a standard disposable filter. I threw the K&N away. Others report good results.) There is no valid mileage recommendation for cleaning or changing air filters. It all depends on the dirt load. In dirty country 50,000 miles is way too long. The filter will look like an furry old blanket and restrict air flow. In damp country with very little dust in the air, more than 50k is probably OK---but I wouldn't do it.
 
Messages
3,258
Location
Indiana
OP: I pulled the K&N filters out of my silverado and my wifes accord. Im not throwing these filters away. Im doing my own test. I replaced both filters with paper filters from Napa recently. In 1 year im opening up the airboxes and then checking the MAF. If the Maf screen is less dirty i will continue to use paper. If the MAF is the same as it was with the K&N's i will reinstall the Oiled filters. Im a long time user of K&N oiled filters and only recently questioned there ability to filter fine dirt/dust. Please keep in mind that K&N doesnt push there product on the idea of extreme filtration, they sell on the "power" increased fuel mpg. you can look at paper and oiled filters and of course the paper "under light" appears its going to filter better.. but im no scientist. Im simply going to do a white glove test as i did on the last OCI on the MAF screen and judge this way.. (for the record, the screen was not filthy with a K&N installed for 3 years) but there was very light dust on the screen.
 
Messages
3,252
Location
Florida
Just for information... I've had a K&N 77 series intake and cone filter on my truck since 13k miles. A week or so ago (at 55k), I pulled everything off to clean the MAF and throttle body for the first time. Intake piping was completely clean - not even dust in it. I held the MAF over paper towels while I sprayed it and the paper towels were clean as well. The throttle body was the only thing that needed cleaning and, even that wasn't that bad. Unless in a dusty environment, I don't see the problem. I look forward to what you conclude as well.
 

dvancleve

Thread starter
Messages
200
Location
Chandler, AZ
Thanks bigmike smile I may be able to get to the filter in the next few days, need to pull off the box that connects to the throttle body to get at the starter, so that is a good time to pull the filter. I will try to take some decent pictures of the cleanliness of the intake and the filter itself. I hope I can find the cleaner and oil, it has been years since I used it last. I suppose if things look reasonble, I will clean it and put it back in. If things look bad, maybe not. Regards, Doug
Originally Posted By: bigmike
Just for information... I've had a K&N 77 series intake and cone filter on my truck since 13k miles. A week or so ago (at 55k), I pulled everything off to clean the MAF and throttle body for the first time. Intake piping was completely clean - not even dust in it. I held the MAF over paper towels while I sprayed it and the paper towels were clean as well. The throttle body was the only thing that needed cleaning and, even that wasn't that bad. Unless in a dusty environment, I don't see the problem. I look forward to what you conclude as well.
 
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