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Pros and Cons of K&N Air Filter

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K&N air filter is often recommended for its proven performance gains at a minimal cost. Like any other product, it also has its weaknesses. This article will enable you to understand the benefits of using the filters for your engine and the problems associated with it. Let’s take a look at these pros and cons.



1. Lasting power: K&N air filters are long-lasting and a better investment you can make for your vehicle. They can last up to the last life of the vehicle.

2. Increase performance: Properly maintained k& n air filter leads to increase in performance and mpg.

3. Re-usable filter: You don’t need to buy other filters, you just have to clean and re-oil and your engine will be in good condition. It saves you the need to buy a new filter every time you want to change the air filter.

4. Better filtration/airflow: K& N air filter provides better filtration and airflow with a cotton gauze/oil. Cleaning and re-oiling at the appropriate intervals will not only boost performance but also allow the engine to have better filtration.

5. Fuel economy: Improving the airflow results in improved fuel economy. More airflow into the engine will reduce fuel usage thus saving you a couple of dollars in fuel.

6. Power hungry: It boosts the vehicle horsepower by 1-4%. The filters increase the overall horsepower and torque although sometimes it may not be easy to notice due to the smaller percentage.

7. Washable: K&N is easy to maintain. With a filter oil kit and cleaning products, you can easily clean and replace the oil making it more cost-effective.

8. Boost engine life: The air filters have large holes or spaces between filter fibers allowing more air to pass through and cool the engine prolonging the engine life.

9. Innovative design: It has a layered design with oiled cotton media to provide you with more airflow than traditional paper filters.

10. Easy installation: The air filter is designed to easily fit into the factory air box making it easy to install with the right tools.


1. Engine contamination: If a low-quality K&N air filter is used, it causes more contamination or makes the engine exposed to more debris.

2. Cost: The initial cost of the filter is several times higher than the cost of the stock element. The paper filter may be cost-effective but you end up spending more on the replacements adding to the cost.

3. Frequent maintenance: You have to clean and re-oil the filters after certain intervals. The K&N filter website recommends after 50 000 miles which may likely be too long.

4. Dirt/dust: The filters have some spaces which introduce some dirt into the engine. More dust files up on the engine oil may cause wear on the moving engine parts.

5. Oiling problem: Oil filtering elements cause more problems to a vehicle with mass airflow sensors. Over-oiling the element may cause the excess oil to move into the intake system and coat the sensors. The oil build-up may cause fouling or problems on the sensors.

6. Noise: K&N air filters make whining noises as the air is sucked in through the breathable filter holes. This air filter breath is 10000s than any other standard air filter thus the noise.

7. Water problems: When inroads with high water, the water can be soaked into the filters. Water is then inducted into the engine via the air filter holes especially in cases of cold air intake and this causes the engine to shut down or rust.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Sean moffat

    One part of Article states the efficiency of filter as a pro. Then the other part states dirt can pass by the filter to cause damage. Also, how do you buy a poor quality k&n? The quality is the same for all of there line. I don’t understand? Do the k&n filters have less efficiency allowing dirt to pass through?

  2. Randy

    He’s talking about a fake K&N filter.

  3. David

    How does a K&N cold air intake with the K&N filter effect your vehicle

    1. Richard

      I have a 2006 F150 4×4. I installed the K& N air intake on the truck in 2007. Last year, I had to have work done on the 4×4 system. The dealer said the problem was caused by the intake system affecting the vacuum to the 4×4 system. I had it repaired and now, less than a year later, it’s happening again. The cost for repair.. $1500.00.

  4. Annoyed

    I couldn’t read the content because of ALL THE ADs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Paul

    Have a 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer 2 litre – placed a K&N in the original air box at 75 Kl’s – car now has 200Kl, Cleaned the air throttle and was alarmed at the build-up on the plate,and cleaned, did the usual service on the air meter, and decided to clean the rubber air connecter between filter and injector intake, including the inside. All I can say is that the inside was putrid with build-ups of dust. That was not the case when I first installed the K&N. For the money and concern it gave me, will not buy another K&N.

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