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any body have any experiance with K&N air intakes?

Discussion in 'Car Forum' started by BattletweeteR, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. BattletweeteR

    BattletweeteR dude and stuff

    Oct 17, 2005
    houston texas

    they claim that their air intakes will add almost 7 more horse power to my 1998 GMC sonoma

    worth the money or should i just spend it on ammo ?
  2. method


    Mar 27, 2002
    Cleveland, OH
    It may add that much horsepower in conjunction with a good aftermarket exhaust system...increased air intake doesn't do much without increased air exhaust. A cheaper route, if available for your engine, is to simply replace the factory air box with an open filter.

  3. Donut


    Feb 6, 2007
    Southern California
    The panel filter does indeed flow more than a stock paper filter, but 7hp is a HUGE claim.

    BUT, you'll have recouped the price of a filter plus FilterCharger kit in under a year (I don't know what intervals you're supposed to change the paper filters, becuse I've always had K&N panel filters or cold-air kits) depending on the cost of your paper filters, and the cost of your K&N drop in.
  4. walrus108


    Feb 11, 2006
    Georgetown, TX
    I have tons of experience with these type filters. If yor car has a air mass meter or mass air sensor (same thing) DO NOT get a K&N filter. The oil you have to put on the filter to make it work can destroy your expensive sensor. Get a dryflow sensor off ebay instead. NO OIL on your filter! Trust me.
  5. Donut


    Feb 6, 2007
    Southern California
    That is 100% wrong. The only instance of this happening is if someone were to reoil the filter themselves, and the apply too much filter oil. And even then, all it takes is a quick blast of CRC Quick-Dry Electronics Cleaner and all is well.

    I have run a K&N cone filter and an ITG foam filter for a combined total of over five years and 100,000 miles, with a solid 1,500 of those miles on a road course, over 60 dyno pulls, and over 100 dragstrip passes on the car, and I have NEVER had an issue with my MAFS. I have run a K&N filter on my mom's rock stock Camry for over five years as well and again, no issues. I've reoiled the filter twice in that span.

    If you have ANY doubt, call K&N directly. Do you really think a company that large and successful got to be that large and successful by selling a product that will "destroy your expensive sensor"? :upeyes:
  6. Rakkasan


    Dec 17, 2002
    you most likely wont see any noticeable HP gains with the panel filter. Go with an intake that utilizes a cone style filter, especially if you are going to do some exhaust/engine work in the future. You will see some gains from a cone style filter.
  7. walrus108


    Feb 11, 2006
    Georgetown, TX
    I work in a garage that specializes in Volvos but we also do others. I have been a auto mechanic for most of my adult life. More times than I can count somebody sees these cool looking K&N filters and throws them in their stock box. A few days later their car starts running like crap and they get a check engine light. If we see that K&N sticker we know just what to do. We take that filter out, install a known good MAF, clear the codes, and it purrs. No more trouble. You say 100% wrong but you're exactly wrong. Could it just be a coincidence that the MAF's almost always go out shortly after installing a new K&N filter? Factory oiled might I add. Maybe. Not very likely though. I have seen this with Honda's, BMW, Cavilers, GMC, and many Volvos. Why would I call K&N and ask them if there are problems with their filters? What do you expect them to say? Sure they say it's an urban myth but my experience tells me that it's all too true. You may have gotten lucky with a few cars but I service 100's of cars a month. If the K&N had ZERO CHANCE of burning up a MAF, then why are dry filters such as the dry flow, which is actually a superior product also, taking off in popularity. I have also used K&N filters on a few of my cars back in the day and they caused me no problems. It's not a sure thing but they DO cause problems often enough, especially in certain models. I have a dryflow 9" conical sitting in my garage waiting for me to build my intake tube for my 1989 Trans Am GTA.
  8. walrus108


    Feb 11, 2006
    Georgetown, TX
    To the original poster.

    If you want a little more power and throttle response from your GMC, I believe on that model year GM uses a baffle under the airbox to quiet airflow. If I remember right you actually have to remove the airbox to get to the baffle. This will help regardless what filter you use. It also makes it sound cool. ;)
  9. Marauder.45

    Marauder.45 Can'tre-MemberS

    Nov 27, 2005
    Jersey Bore
    I'm not familiar with your vehicle, but I can tell you I have been very happy with my K&N products. I've used them in all of my cars. I wouldn't be too concerned with the 7hp claim, I've never heard of anyone dynoing after just an air filter change. I think you will notice a little more responsiveness, it will be noticeable, but not going to change anything that drastically.

    Welcome to modding your ride. :hugs: It's a never ending cycle. A motor is an air pump, the more/better flow the better it runs. Make it breathe better/colder on the way in, and better on the way out and you are good to go.

    I mostly use the FIPK kits, but have used the circle filter in my TBI Tahoe. Never thrown a code.
  10. Donut


    Feb 6, 2007
    Southern California
    How many times, exactly, have you seen this happen? Now of these, how many bad MAF sensors were proven to be caused by a K&N? Were the MAFS actually bad, or did they just need to be cleaned? Because even if it was over-oiled, it doesn't kill the MAFS, it just mucks it up and a quick blast of cleaner clears it right up.

    So "almost every" car you know to have a K&N filter has had a MAFS go out? Has "almost every" car you've known to have a bad MAFS had a K&N? You are speaking in near-absolutes. Is it really THAT prominant? Surely it would be a more widespread issue, that someone who frequents many automotive message boards would have heard of the problem before this? Nope, first I heard of it was here, on a non-automotive message board.

    I have come across many (quite a bit more than "a few") cotton-gauze filters as both a racecar driver, and as a magazine editor, and I have NEVER heard anything but positive things about K&N.

    Dryflow is a new marketing idea. The only benefit, as I've heard it, is that you never need to reoil, which allows users to be even lazier, and service things even less. The K&N filter has been around for decades... do you really think that if it was a bad product, they would have the legacy that they do?
  11. walrus108


    Feb 11, 2006
    Georgetown, TX
    20-30 times at least. And many MAF's have a "burnoff" cycle and use a thin wire. One drop of most any cool liquid touches this hot thin wire, and it's gone. You can't clean a broken wire. Some of the new ones can be cleaned with *some* success. That's what these filters are apparently causing to happen. Are you sure your not thinking of a MAP?

    Didn't say "almost every". In fact further down I said I had used them with no prob in the past myself. I also said this about them causing problems, "It's not a sure thing but they DO cause problems often enough, especially in certain models." If you haven't ever heard of this problem then you haven't looked for it or paid attention to the post about this very thing. I belong to some good auto forums too. It regularly comes up.

    Again, never said it is "a bad product". I simply wanted to warn the thread starter that thees K&N filters *SOMETIMES* cause problems. I said "The oil you have to put on the filter to make it work can destroy your expensive sensor." Notice I said CAN. Why take the chance. The problems I have seen can't all be a coincidence. It always goes like this. "My car is running like crap lately. It barely stays running." We say "we'll take a look at it." Pop the hood and there's this huge sticker on the airbox. Sure enough, K&N filter in there. We call the customer and ask him when he got that filter. "I put that in a _________."( a few weeks, a few days, last month, always recently) We then have to politely explain to the customer what I am trying to tell you, how it happens, and why those filters can be trouble for a mass air meter. A new MAF and stock type filter and he's on his way. The K&N goes in the trash. I have thrown away MANY KN filters. This happens regularly every few months or so. I did not invent this just to have a colorful discussion. This is not the first place that this has ever been muttered. Other shops in town that we sometimes share parts with have the same problems from time to time also. Call a few garages in your area. I'm sure one of them will tell you the same thing (unless they are selling them).
    GM has a TSB on the K&N filter.


    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

    First, Inspect the vehicle for a reusable aftermarket excessively oiled air filter

    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.

    GM apparently has had enough warranty claims due to K&N filters that they no longer honor them if one of these filters has been installed. Use one if you want. I warned you and that's all I wanted to do. You may be fine, but it is an expensive sensor. And there are better choices out there now. The dryflow filter actually filters better AND allows for more airflow.

    Read here also. I'm sure as a car guy you will want to know this stuff.
  12. JCW355

    JCW355 9MM user

    Feb 20, 2006
    Sand Springs, Oklahoma
    Buy the ammo.
  13. Ron3


    Sep 6, 2001
    Unless your paper filters are expensive, or you don't want to clean the filter yourself every 15,000-30,000 miles, don't get one.

    You won't notice a few horsepower in a big truck like yours.

    People who buy cotton-oil filters tend not to clean them, and thats bad. They also tend to over-oil them, and that is bad for your mass air meter. If that happens though, no big deal, the meter can be cleaned, but I don't recall with what. Search that.

    Ten dollars for a cleaning kit that is good for about three cleanings is probobly much cheaper than buying a paper filter every 15,000-25,000 miles. That would be the main reason to get one.

    Like someone else said, the big conical filter flows more air than the insert. Sounds cool too. Just be sure the kit that you get puts the filter in an area away from moving air, like from the cooling fan. Many types of conical filter setups include a plastic shield or two to keep air gusts away from the filter.

    If I had a truck like yours and wanted a little more go I'd change your final drive gears. (higher numerically) Your speedo would have to be recalibrated at a speed shop or whoever does that sort of thing to Chevy trucks.

    Or you could use a smaller diameter tire and achieve the same thing, but your speedo would still have to be recalibrated.

    And of course there's always the exhaust system to upgrade.

  14. Fenway


    Apr 1, 2006
    You won't feel a damn thing. You might hear a difference. So your butt dyno thinks you are going faster :supergrin:
  15. STG


    Oct 4, 2005
    Over oiling (USER ERROR) is the reason for this problem. If you oil the filter per directions, your MAS will be fine. For some reason, there are plenty of people with tons of experience who feel compelled to soak their filters in oil.

    That said, I DO NOT use a K&N on my F250 Powerstroke 4X4 for two reasons:

    The stock Donaldson filter is superior in off road use. It is designed to hold pounds of dirt. Ford had voided the warranty on diesel engines with K&N style filters that have been damaged due to injestion of dirt.

    A K&N style filter flows more air because it is less restrictive. Common sense will tell you less restriction can only come as a result of less filtration.

    I use a K&N on my 2004 Mach 1. It stays on paved roads.

    In many cases, just changing the air filter and/or catback exhaust will throw the air ratio (fuel mixture) on an engine beyond the point where the computer can compensate. This can result in a lean condition under wide open throttle and will require repogramming the engine computer (best done on a dyno )/
  16. Marauder.45

    Marauder.45 Can'tre-MemberS

    Nov 27, 2005
    Jersey Bore
    The right tune can really wake up a car. Tune is an easy way to unlock some power. It's also important to tune so you can balance the mods you have done. Especially if you get into gears, stall converters, etc etc.

    I have my tuner on speed dial.
  17. walkin' trails

    walkin' trails

    Apr 24, 2005
    I've used K&Ns in three vehicles I've had:

    - A filter in a 1992 Mustang LX 5.0/5 speed - No noticalbe power or mileage gains by its self, but car also had aftermarket exhaust, 180 degree thermostat, advanced timing, and Mobile 1 synthetic.

    - A 2000 Windstar w/ 3.8 V-6 - this one gave me a noticable seat of pants power gain and I picked up at least two MPG on highway after installation.

    - A 2003 Expedition 4X4 w/ 5.4. Possibly slight noticable gains in acceration, but not enough to get excited about and no improvements in gas mileage. After installation of a Gibson exhaust and Royal Purple synthetic with the K&N, I got my best ever highway mileage of 17.something.

    A buddy installed a K&N on his 94 F-150 4X4 with a 300 6 and an auto last year. He also tuned it up. When pulling a 2000 lb trailer, his mileage increased to about 18 from 14-15.

    My experience and observations have led me to conclude that a K&N possibly works best in a 6-banger. If I end up keeping my Expedition long enough, I may try a FIPK of some form or another, and the dry filters look promissing. Nevertheless, I've never experienced any problems resulting from their usage.
  18. skeeeter


    Dec 2, 2006
    I have used them and never felt any improvement in performance. What I did see is a lot more light when looking through the filter and I thought this would mean more dirt would go through. If you are a racer or engine builder this is the way to go. These filters actually filter better when dirty and the dirt absorbs the oil and then the dirt works as part of the filtering process. I cared my about how long my engine lasts than any proformance gain I can not notice or document at the track.
  19. Unless you do Intake, Exhaust, and software you wont really see any performance gains with JUST a K&N. That being said they are a really good filter and the oil fouling your MAF only happens if you over oil it. I've been running a K&N in two BMWs and have had ZERO problems.
  20. You wont see any performance gains unless you do Exhaust and a tune/chip. That being said the oil fouling up the MAF really only happens when it get over oiled by the user. I've used K&N filters in both my BMWs and have had ZERO problems. If you want to go for the poor mans CAI route, just debaffle your air box.