K&N Air Filter Review: How K&N Gives More Mileage to Your Filters

For engines to perform well and to last long, they should be protected with air filters. Air filters primarily shield engines from damaging dust particles while also allowing enough air flow needed during the combustion process. So, it’s very important for filters to be replaced or cleaned on a regular basis.

When it comes to automobile filters, what we are used to using are paper filters. A dry air paper filter functions by prohibiting dust particles from passing through. In a way, dry air filters act as sieves. Because these filters need to trap diminutive particles, their openings should also be very minute. In other words, the openings must possess microscopic holes to deter small particles from crossing the barrier. Hence, most of the dust trapped by the filter collects on the surface of the filtering media, which is also known as “surface loading.” Though this is an effective method of hampering foreign particles from reaching a vehicle’s engines, the very tiny holes can impede air flow.

In contrast, the k&n filter functions in a very different manner compared with paper filters. This type of filter possesses many layers of oiled cotton material which allows it to work in three distinct methods, and these are: interception, impaction, and diffusion. In interception, particles flow with the air stream and are held back when these come in contact with the oiled fibers that make up the filter. This concept applies to diminutive dust fragments that travel with the air stream. When particles that are too heavy to flow with the air stream surges through the oiled filter, these are immediately blocked by the filtration media. This is called impaction. Diffusion, on the other hand, refers to the process by which the oiled filtering device catches airborne dust particles that are flowing erratically due to motion, velocity or pressure changes. The particles move in an irregular pattern and because these have become chaotic, they bump against each other and also onto the air filter. Hence, the K&N air filter can strain more dust from the air and these particles are trapped not only on the surface of the filter, but all through the layers of oiled cotton fibers. This is called “depth loading” wherein the air filter holds a significantly higher amount of foreign particles per square inch as compared with a regular paper filter.

Air filters need to be checked and changed regularly to maximize engine function and to protect engines from undue deterioration. For a typical air paper filter, it’s suggested that this be changed every 10,000 to 20,000 miles or every 12 months. With a k & n filter, car owners will just have to clean their filters and put them back after cleaning. It’s fairly simple to wash and oil a K&N filter with its recharger kit. Air filter cleaning can be done every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. The important thing is to ensure that filters are well-maintained and not wait until airflow has become restricted due to overly dirty filters.