Are k&N Air Filters Worth It? (+ How to Clean Them)

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As much as many drivers don’t pay attention to them, they are yet very important and contribute to the effective, high-efficiency performance of an engine. What are we talking about here? “Filters.” This includes oil filters, air filters, and fuel filters.

There are pretty many aftermarket filters; however, it’s always advisable to shop with brand names. One of the most popular manufacturers of motor filters is K&N, but are K&N air filters worth it? How reliable are k&n air filters?

Yes, k&n air filters are worth their price tags because they are durable, easy to install/remove, and highly efficient. K&N air filters are good for their purposes.

That said, here’s everything you should know about k&N air filters and how to clean k&n air filters the right way.

What Does K&N Filters Stand For?

K&N was established in 1969 by Ken Johnson and Norm McDonald. The brand name, K and N, is curled from the initials of the founders, Ken Johnson and Norm McDonald.

Johnson and McDonald started by selling motorcycles and motorcycle spare parts, supporting a K&N factory race team. Soon, air filters became the core focus of the company.

Over the years of operations in the automobile space, K&N has adopted unique mechanisms and approaches to produce the best reliable air filters for all kinds of vehicles (including trucks).

You can find the K&N replacement automotive air filters for most cars, motorcycles, trucks, ATV’s, and other vehicles.

See Also: What Happens If You Don’t Change Oil Filter?

Are k&N Air Filters Worth It?

K&N Engine Air Filter: Increase Power & Acceleration, Washable, Premium, Replacement Car Air Filter: Compatible 2012-2019 Mercedes/Infiniti (CLA180, 200, GLA250, A160, 180, 250, B160, Q30,QX30)33-2995
  • ENGINEERED POWER: State-of-the-art air filter media is designed to increase horsepower and acceleration as well as improve overall engine performance
  • RUGGED CONSTRUCTION: K&N Air Filters are manufactured with durable, premium materials and state-of-the-art construction methods to last a lifetime
  • 4 LAYERS OF PROTECTION: Multiple layers of premium cotton gauze treated with a specially-designed tacking agent work together to create an intricate mesh of engine filter media that is designed to block and trap harmful contaminants
  • CLEAN ONCE EVERY 5 YEARS: Engine air filter only needs cleaning every 75,000 miles under normal highway driving conditions (5 years based on the average miles driven per year of 15,000 miles)
  • REUSABLE K&N FILTER SAVES YOU MONEY: A K&N washable, reusable air filter will save you up to $125 vs. purchasing multiple disposable filters (compared to MSRP in USD of corresponding OE filters for 200,000 miles of highway driving)

Actually, K&N air filters function just like every other air filter from other brands – the difference is in the build quality. K&N air filters typically offer more layers than most other air filters in the market (from other brands). They are built with up to 6 layers of natural cotton curled over a mesh frame.

The use of natural cotton and mesh allows for more airflow but does not allow contaminants to pass through, thanks to K&N filter oil.

Yes, K&N air filters are designed with a secret sauce – filter oil – that makes it difficult for contaminates to pass through the mesh and cotton layers.

>>> Click Here To Check Out K&N Air Filters on Amazon

What’s The Difference Between K&N Filters and Other Filters?

Are k&N Air Filters Worth It

The major difference between K&N air filters and other ones in the market is the design. K&N air filters are designed to allow more airflow while using the specially formulated “filter oil” to checkmate contaminates from entering the engine.

Also, it is easier to install K&N air filters, and they are reusable. So, instead of getting a new filter after hitting a certain number of miles, you can clean and reuse your K&N air filter. This way, you could save a lot on air filters.

Furthermore, K&N air filters are notable for improving fuel economy and engine performance. Most people allege that K&N air filters are best for racing cars, but they’re good for all vehicle types, thanks to the brand’s unique design.

See Also: Signs You Need to Change Your Fuel Filter

How To Clean K&N Are Filters

First of all, you will need K&N’s Power clean to properly clean a K&N air filter. You will also need to oil the filer after the cleaning using specialized K&N air filter oil.

We recommend you buy “K&N calls the Recharge and service kit,” which contains both cleaner and oil.

That said, below is how to clean k&n air filter like a pro:

  • Dismantle the air filter and spray both sides of it with the K&N’s Power cleaner and let it sit for about 10 minutes (not in the sun)
  • Use a good catch and a garden hose to rinse the filter (from the filtered to intake side) carefully until the water start running clean (avoid using pressure washer for this as it may spoil the filter)
  • Shake off excess water from the filter, then allow it to air dry naturally. The filter doesn’t need to dry completely and can be a bit damp before going to the next step
  • Once the air filter is well dried, it’s time to oil it by applying a spray coat of oil evenly to the intake side of the air filter
  • Reapply the oil to the sides that look paler in color

That’s all! Your k&n air filter is now clean once again!

Watch the short video below to learn how to clean k&n air filters the right way:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can KN filters be washed?

Yes, K&N air filters are very much washable, reusable, unlike most disposable filters, which require frequent replacement. K&N air filters are built to last for the life of your car.

Does K&N air filter increase mileage?

Yes, they do! K&N air filters allow more air into your engine, which helps to increase fuel economy and offer your vehicle more gains in horsepower.

Read Also: Can You Soak Fuel Injectors To Clean Them?

Can I clean my K&N air filter with WD40?

No, it’s not advisable to use WD-40 to oil your k&n air filter as they dry up too quickly, leaving behind some residues that could even block airflow.

How often should K&N air filter be cleaned?

Clean k&n air filters once per 50,000 miles under typical highway driving conditions. You can clean the larger filters that come with K&N intake systems once every 100,000 miles (under normal highway driving conditions).

How long does a K&N air filter last?

K&N Air Filters are built to last for the life of your car. They are protected by a “Million-Mile Limited Warranty.”

How long does it take a K&N air filter to dry?

K&N air filters can take up to 20-30 minutes to dry naturally.

Can I clean my air filter with soap and water?

Yes, air filters are made of cotton, foam, paper, or a mix of them all. Check the owner’s manual of the car or consult with the air filter manufacturer to confirm if it’s safe to use soap and water. But avoid using soap and water to clean oil-coated air filters.

How do I know when my K&N filter needs cleaning?

You will know that your k&n air filter needs cleaning if you cannot see the wire screen on the entire air filter. If you can still see it, then cleaning is not required regardless of how dirty it may appear.

Final Words

So, are K&N air filters worth it? Most mechanics would say a resounding YES to that question. That’s because, K&N air filters are durable, and not just that, you can clean them, re-oil, and reuse them after running several thousands of miles.

More so, K&N air filters work on all kinds of vehicles; not only on sports vehicles and racing cars (as most people perceive). When you switch from regular paper air filters to K&N air filters, you’d most likely notice a significant change in the performance of your car’s engine.

Read Also: How To Clean Fuel Injectors Without Removal

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