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Performance air filters claim to increase horsepower and improve acceleration, but do they actually work? I took four air filters, included dirty & clean OE filters, a low cost aftermarket filter, and an expensive performance filter and put them to the test. To measure differences in horsepower and torque, each filter was put on a Mustang dynamometer, with multiple runs. A VBOX was used to measure real world acceleration differences.

The idea behind performance air filters is that a less restrictive air filter means the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to bring in air. That means it’s more efficient, and makes more power. It could also mean the engine pulls in more air, and with more air, the engine can inject more fuel to make more power.

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    • Alan Thompson
      Alan Thompson

      K&N causes a problem that paper filters don't, and that is contaminating the mass air if there is one. Not good at all

      about 1 hour ago
    • 233kosta

      There are two ways to reduce the overall pressure drop (i.e. flow restriction) across a porous sheet:
      1. Increase its surface area (usually done by increasing depth and adding folds as the planar area is fixed by the air box). Put simply, more area = less flow per unit area = less pressure drop for the same flow.
      2. Make it more porous. This WILL let more and larger particles through. Those particles end up eroding cylinder walls and piston rings, and when enough of them get into the oil they begin to shag all the bearings. This is also why it's a good idea to change the oil sooner rather than later.

      Pretty sure the "high flow" K&N filter doesn't have greater area than the OEM variant...

      about 2 hours ago
    • Barler Autoworks
      Barler Autoworks

      You forgot to test a K&N filter once it gets dirty. I have found they flow much worse than stock except when new.

      about 1 day ago
    • Biao Han
      Biao Han

      The carquest filter obviously has more surface area than the stock filter just looking by eye. That makes it not surprising that it produces more horsepower than the stock filter. Frankly the stock filters are way overpriced due to the overhead charged by the dealerships.
      The K&N filters are going to produce more horsepowers for sure. The problem with them is that the oil used on these filters will foul the MAF sensor after some time use.

      about 1 day ago
    • JP real life accountability for your actions
      JP real life accountability for your actions

      It has to do with cubic inches of the the surface and filtration size

      about 1 day ago
    • Kevin Compier
      Kevin Compier

      But is there better fuel economy

      about 2 days ago
    • MasterofPlay7

      does the change of mean between groups statistically significant (p<0.05) or is the improvement due to chances?

      about 3 days ago
    • Kev

      Me: Has no air filter for maximum performance.

      about 3 days ago
    • Kev
      Kev In reply to Kev

      @Jess Highland worth it for the extra performance lol

      about 1 day ago
    • Jess Highland
      Jess Highland In reply to Kev

      You'll scratch your pistons with dirty air.

      about 1 day ago
    • john leininger
      john leininger

      the sponsors extention is flagged as spyware fyi

      about 4 days ago
    • Live Del Solar
      Live Del Solar

      did you rule out.

      hot tires after runs.
      tires wear.
      termperature of ambiance.
      was the oil at the same temperature at each run? if not, what oil did you use?
      many many variables.

      about 4 days ago
    • Shining Sakura
      Shining Sakura

      carbon only lasts so long.... I use them occasionally in my fish tanks after medicating.
      After a while they are used up and need to be replaced or you are just lugging around garbage in your car.

      (hence why using them for filtration in my fish tank is pointless as it wreaks havoc on the nitrogen cycle of my fish tank when I change it out. They are throwaways that get pushed out on fish owners since they know they can make more money from you over using bacteria filtration like ponds and lakes in the real world which is almost free)

      about 4 days ago
    • Dalopezbeast

      I’ve also gotten an extra ~ .2 mpg boost since I upgraded to k and n.

      about 4 days ago
    • Amigo

      buy 50 $ for -0,2sec or buy stock oftermarket 5$ for 0,1sec ...... its very hard

      about 5 days ago
    • Dylan Hutchison
      Dylan Hutchison

      You do the charcoal filter test yet?

      about 5 days ago
    • Arpst8

      And a intake k&n?

      about 6 days ago
    • Dan Sullivan
      Dan Sullivan

      Well produced video. To the point and well spoken. Found it this afternoon as I started washing my K&N at 102,000 from my '13 Silverado 5.3. Pretty dirty and mpg has gone down this year, even after factoring in the winter formulation gasoline sold here in the northeast. Hoping I see a better running truck this week. Will be watching part 2.

      about 7 days ago
    • J B
      J B

      Which filter actually filters though? I bet no filter would give you even more HP for awhile until dust and other crap get into the intake.... smh

      about 8 days ago
    • William Penn jr.
      William Penn jr.

      it also depends on the car. Some cars will do better with some filters than others. Its kind of like Mcdonalds. While Mcdonald's food is made for anyone, some people can handle it better than others.

      about 9 days ago
    • Noah Tall
      Noah Tall

      When "testing" I would expect multiple pulls with each filter (3 might be a good subset) and then average them out. On top of that it would have been nice to see a pull with no filter at all, just for comparison.
      At the very least I'd like to see (2) pulls per filter using a repeating order - dirty/new/aftermarket/k&n and then the second round in the same order.

      But I guess this is something..........

      about 9 days ago
    • ThePreppersBunkerOutdoors
      ThePreppersBunkerOutdoors In reply to Noah Tall

      He did say he did 3 pulls each you potato

      about 3 days ago
    • SaraK

      Great video! Thank you Mr. Sexy Scientist!

      about 10 days ago
    • inertiaforce

      The K and N filter also filters worse than the OEM filter.

      about 10 days ago
    • CharlesinGA

      Car Quest filter has more pleats in it, thus more surface area, which is why it is capable of passing more air, thus more HP. K&N filters pass more air, but they make no claim of being a better filter, and I want CLEAN air going in my engine, so, while I did use a K&N for a while, I gave up on it, and went back to good quality pleated synthetic paper filters.

      about 11 days ago
    • keith cunningham
      keith cunningham In reply to CharlesinGA

      Correct. I have removed k&n off vehicles I've bought and replaced with proper paper filters. None of that aftermarket stuff for me. If these reusable filters were any good the manufacturer would use them from the factory.

      about 10 days ago
    • Nomadd Life
      Nomadd Life

      So more airflow equals more power? AMAZING

      about 11 days ago
    • Dimm168pin

      Good video, now i know why my prius is faster than impreza 😂😂😂

      about 12 days ago
    • NowTV

      How is cone filter are they worth it?

      about 13 days ago
    • kokumi4

      So, KN filter is good? not good?
      Im not good at English.

      about 13 days ago
    • kokumi4
      kokumi4 In reply to kokumi4

      keith cunningham Thank you so much. I will use genuine parts.

      about 9 days ago
    • keith cunningham
      keith cunningham In reply to kokumi4

      Use what the manufacturer installed. Whether filters or spark plugs.

      about 10 days ago
    • Leo R
      Leo R

      You should have tested the AEM Dryflow as well.

      about 13 days ago
    • Jonathan

      6:44 For Final Results

      about 14 days ago
    • Tommy Vercetti
      Tommy Vercetti

      I just deleted the intake silencer jug out of my 18 impreza sport. It gives a little better throttle response and intake noise id be interested to see if it gained any torque.

      about 14 days ago
    • Blue Sky 777
      Blue Sky 777

      What if I don't care about horse power or speed . I want to know if it gives me better gas mileage

      about 15 days ago