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Old 06-06-2013, 08:57 AM
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K&N Air Filter, Better MPG or Hype?

What is everyone's experience with K&N air filters (not cold intake)? I'm skeptical by nature, and it seems like there is more sales literature out there than real world testing. Looking for MPG increase info. Anyone test these in their rigs and have any MPG savings, even if just .5-1 mpg difference? Do they have any merit or is it hype? On Amazon there are hundreds of 5 star reviews with virtually no one giving them a bad review.

What's the scoop?

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Old 06-06-2013, 09:05 AM   #2
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I put the drop in K&N in my 12' Sahara last summer and at first it was nice! Gave it a little better throttle response and I really enjoyed it. But after having it in half of last summer and keeping track of my mileage, I LOST about 2 mpg. And no I was not using the computer on the Jeep to keep track, I used a phone app called Road Trip Lite.

I took it out and put my stock paper filter in and get my 2 mpg back. I have yet to put the K&N back in and it just sits in my garage.

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Old 06-06-2013, 09:13 AM   #3
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I'm going to go with hype. At least that's how they are on street bikes. Ymmv on a jeep though. I think the biggest thing is you just clean them every once in a while versus just replacing
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:16 AM   #4
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I have it in my 07 jku-x.. I had a 1 mpg gain..
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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I put one in both my tundras, first one I got 4 mpg, second got 2 mpg. You can definitely tell that you get better air flow.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:23 AM   #6
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Hype.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:52 AM   #7
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Well, didn't do anything for my TJ. Other vehicles i dropped it in all got a 1 mpg bump. My Nissan truck really liked the filter. Just get a few stock filters for the jeep, it breathes just fine.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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k&n

I think it will flow more air but your jeep does not require more air than the stock element will flow so its a wash.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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So, how about adding the cold air intake and throttle body spacer? Anyone had an increase with that combination. Was thinking about going that direction and probably a Magna Flow cat back system. Granted, I didn't buy it for the fuel mileage.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
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All hype...

I have UNI Filter on my motorycle for a bit more airflow...but then again, I re-jetted (carbs!), removed my intake snorkel and restrictor plate in the air box, and dumped my stock silencers for TORS (Triumph Off-Road Silencers)...aka a slightly louder and more free flowing exhausts. More air in, more air out.

If you are not changing anything else on the Jeep....it is all hype.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #11
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Save your money. The only reason I use K&Ns on my ATVs is its cheaper for me to clean and reuse then to buy and toss.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:22 AM   #12
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I'm wondering this myself. I had a 1-2 MPG gain in my last vehicle and have been thinking about getting the drop in filter for my JKU. I did notice that K&N doesn't seem to be claiming MPG gains anymore, the EPA probably cracked down on them. You will save money with the K&N over the long run since you won't be paying for regular filters. I had over 100K on my last one. Other Jeepers are giving it mostly good reviews here on amazon: K&N 33-2364 High Performance Replacement Air Filter : Amazon.com : Automotive
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:24 AM   #13
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I put it (drop-in) in my 2012 JKU but because of the maintenance and (slightly) better intake "noise" -as others said, MPG-wise its probably a wash ...
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:30 AM   #14
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I put them in the GM cars and trucks Ive had in the past and they were all about a 1-1.5 mpg increase. It did sound a lot better in the Supercharged car. I think Im going to put on in the JKU when its time to replace the stocker.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:42 AM   #15
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When I put one on my XJ it did nothing to improve performance. What it did do was allow a lot more dirt to pass through. You could see the dirt/dust in the intake tube and throttle body. I would not use a K&N on anything that saw a dirt road or trail.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:55 AM   #16
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All Hype. Ask yourself this question, if a cheap drop-in part could increase MPG without damaging the engine, why on Earth do all auto manufacturers not ship it like that OEM. The auto industry is under intense pressure from both the government and consumers to increase MPG of their fleet. If magnets in gas tanks, cloth filters, etc actually did anything, they would all be OEM, you can guarantee it.

If a K&N filter were to increase your MPG by 1 on a JK, that would be roughly a 5% improvement, resulting in about $150 saved per year in fuel costs for a 15k mile per year driver. It would be a no brainer to add, since in bulk Chrysler would prolly pay maybe $1 more per filter than they do for paper ones.

This is all the proof you need that it does not work as claimed. And all the people that claim otherwise are likely suffering from a case of placebo effect, or using too small a sample set to judge and mileage changes. I have 9k miles on my JKU, and my gas mileage per tank has gone from 19.3 at the high end, to 14.5 at the low end, with no mods to the vehicle, depending on how I drive that tank. It would be exceedingly easy for me to stick a MPG mod onto the Jeep, and then drive around like a Grandma for a tank or two, and say "OMG, it works, I gained 2mpg just from installing this mod!"
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:00 AM
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All Hype. Ask yourself this question, if a cheap drop-in part could increase MPG without damaging the engine, why on Earth do all auto manufacturers not ship it like that OEM. The auto industry is under intense pressure from both the government and consumers to increase MPG of their fleet. If magnets in gas tanks, cloth filters, etc actually did anything, they would all be OEM, you can guarantee it.

If a K&N filter were to increase your MPG by 1 on a JK, that would be roughly a 5% improvement, resulting in about $150 saved per year in fuel costs for a 15k mile per year driver. It would be a no brainer to add, since in bulk Chrysler would prolly pay maybe $1 more per filter than they do for paper ones.

This is all the proof you need that it does not work as claimed. And all the people that claim otherwise are likely suffering from a case of placebo effect, or using too small a sample set to judge and mileage changes. I have 9k miles on my JKU, and my gas mileage per tank has gone from 19.3 at the high end, to 14.5 at the low end, with no mods to the vehicle, depending on how I drive that tank. It would be exceedingly easy for me to stick a MPG mod onto the Jeep, and then drive around like a Grandma for a tank or two, and say "OMG, it works, I gained 2mpg just from installing this mod!"
Totally makes sense, I'll save the money for other mods.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:09 AM   #18
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Hype, save your money!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #19
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That sound y'all like so much is dirt and other %&*$ entering your engine.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #20
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It would be exceedingly easy for me to stick a MPG mod onto the Jeep, and then drive around like a Grandma for a tank or two, and say "OMG, it works, I gained 2mpg just from installing this mod!"
Exactly ^

Waste of money. With good reviews come the bad ones... with the excessive dirt intake from the filter. More air = more dirt as well.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:25 PM   #21
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K&N replacement air filter

Seeing a lot of negative comments about the air filters so I figured I should add a post about my positive experience . . .

I previously had a completely stock 98 TJ that I took on a cross country trip. I found that it handled all kinds of terrain like a little tank. While I did my fair share of off-roading with it, it was also my day to day commuter vehicle back at home. With the little stock tires and mostly highway driving, I found that I was averaging 16-17 mpg. I kept track the old fashioned way (no computers or apps). I would simply fill up the tank completely, drive til down to a quarter tank keeping track of mileage, then fill it back up completely and divide total miles driven by gallons of gas used to refill it. It was consistently 16-17 mpg as stated.

Since it was my everyday commuter, I wanted to increase the mpg and tried the K&N replacement filter. Using the same methods, I found that the avg mpg increased to 18-20 mpg, again with mostly highway driving and no other mods. So for the $50 spent, that mod paid for itself in short order. It sounds like getting an entirely new air intake (which I was debating) cannot promise a better increase than that. So in terms of ROI, I found the replacement to be completely worth it.

I now have an '03 XJ Wrangler. Found one with 24K miles, so unusual for an older vehicle. I've been keeping track of mpg again, and am finding the same results of 16-17 mpg. In fact this week I got over 18. I will definitely do the replacement filter and am going to try the GForce chip for $69. Since together they won't cost much more than $120 I feel like its a no-brainer. It probably helps that I've always followed the schedule B fluid changes in the manual, kept the tires small, and don't drive with a lead foot, but the filter has helped too.

Hope this is helpful
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:43 PM   #22
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Used them in three previous cars...did not improve a thing.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:19 PM   #23
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Andrew, it could have been a case of you replacing a dirty filter with a clean one.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:42 AM   #24
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All Hype. Ask yourself this question, if a cheap drop-in part could increase MPG without damaging the engine, why on Earth do all auto manufacturers not ship it like that OEM. The auto industry is under intense pressure from both the government and consumers to increase MPG of their fleet. If magnets in gas tanks, cloth filters, etc actually did anything, they would all be OEM, you can guarantee it.

If a K&N filter were to increase your MPG by 1 on a JK, that would be roughly a 5% improvement, resulting in about $150 saved per year in fuel costs for a 15k mile per year driver. It would be a no brainer to add, since in bulk Chrysler would prolly pay maybe $1 more per filter than they do for paper ones.

This is all the proof you need that it does not work as claimed. And all the people that claim otherwise are likely suffering from a case of placebo effect, or using too small a sample set to judge and mileage changes. I have 9k miles on my JKU, and my gas mileage per tank has gone from 19.3 at the high end, to 14.5 at the low end, with no mods to the vehicle, depending on how I drive that tank. It would be exceedingly easy for me to stick a MPG mod onto the Jeep, and then drive around like a Grandma for a tank or two, and say "OMG, it works, I gained 2mpg just from installing this mod!"
This is the best post I have ever read on the subject. And the thing about increasing mpg. I dont see how you could possibly know unless a test was performed under laboratory conditions. Otherwise there are just too many variables.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:59 AM   #25
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This is the best post I have ever read on the subject. And the thing about increasing mpg. I dont see how you could possibly know unless a test was performed under laboratory conditions. Otherwise there are just too many variables.
Yes but then somebody will post they're wrong and it starts all over again. Go ahead spend $300
On a CAi. It's their money.
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:48 PM   #26
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So, how about adding the cold air intake and throttle body spacer? Anyone had an increase with that combination. Was thinking about going that direction and probably a Magna Flow cat back system. Granted, I didn't buy it for the fuel mileage.
Skip the spacer. I did the cai+exhaust and the viper throttlebody. Gained 1 or 2 mpg. I noticed better throttle response and less down-shift with the autotran. 2010 2 door 3.73 e-ply 20 mpg hwy.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:25 PM   #27
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On a JK stay away from "wet" air filters.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:31 PM   #28
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I use one in the winter for my Ford F350 just to cut down on the amount of landfill trash. The summers here are too dusty. I can't tell any mpg gain/loss.

I'm unsure about buying them my Jeeps though.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:32 PM   #29
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It is less efficient at filtering which allows more air and dirt to enter the engine. This has been proven with used oil analysis. I wanted to install one on my pick up truck and did some research. As a result I passed.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:43 PM   #30
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All Hype. Ask yourself this question, if a cheap drop-in part could increase MPG without damaging the engine, why on Earth do all auto manufacturers not ship it like that OEM. The auto industry is under intense pressure from both the government and consumers to increase MPG of their fleet. If magnets in gas tanks, cloth filters, etc actually did anything, they would all be OEM, you can guarantee it.

If a K&N filter were to increase your MPG by 1 on a JK, that would be roughly a 5% improvement, resulting in about $150 saved per year in fuel costs for a 15k mile per year driver. It would be a no brainer to add, since in bulk Chrysler would prolly pay maybe $1 more per filter than they do for paper ones.

This is all the proof you need that it does not work as claimed. And all the people that claim otherwise are likely suffering from a case of placebo effect, or using too small a sample set to judge and mileage changes. I have 9k miles on my JKU, and my gas mileage per tank has gone from 19.3 at the high end, to 14.5 at the low end, with no mods to the vehicle, depending on how I drive that tank. It would be exceedingly easy for me to stick a MPG mod onto the Jeep, and then drive around like a Grandma for a tank or two, and say "OMG, it works, I gained 2mpg just from installing this mod!"
Your logic overlooks something.

Plenty of dealers make a significant majority of their money selling parts like air filters to their service departments and over the counter parts customers. The variable costing of making/buying a renewable permanent filter system for a vehicle makes no accounting sense when disposable filters are as cheap as they are. Business accounting plays a huge part in what goes/doesn't go into a vehicle.

The idea that someone, including the factory, is going to get 1-3 more mpg based solely on one disposable part is too nebulous. Fuel [gasoline or E85], oils, air densities, tire pressures, engine tolerances, driving styles, elevation, etc. are all going to play havoc with an empirical statement.

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