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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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Comments

    • GMP
      GMP

      Very informative. Thanks for posting.

      about 10 hours ago
    • rabbit929
      rabbit929

      So your saying, the output (blower side) of a shop vac plumbed into the intake could be a cheap turbo?!?!

      about 14 hours ago
    • Hershel Jones
      Hershel Jones

      I like kn air filters but i hate u have to clean them

      about 15 hours ago
    • Dennis Adkins
      Dennis Adkins

      Damn dude you're all hyped up you're going a hundred miles an hour you need to slow down you're talking so fast.we need to put you on the dyno machine and see how much horsepower are you putting out lol 🤣 you're giving me a headache

      about 17 hours ago
    • Cosimo Kramarawicz
      Cosimo Kramarawicz

      Kotex pads are the best air cleaners.

      about 22 hours ago
    • Dany Plourde
      Dany Plourde

      The Main reason why i put K&N filter in my car and motorcycle is not the power cause it's a very small gain. I used them more because the're washable and reusable at first place. I keep my cars for long and on life of a car it make a good money difference. Beside this, keeping and reusing these filter are better for the environment as we throw less to garbage. It's not much but it's a start.

      about 1 day ago
    • Tim Celmer
      Tim Celmer

      Carquest filter has more pleats. So its breaths better.

      about 1 day ago
    • Francisc Vasile
      Francisc Vasile

      Increases hp, but only a little. For some dudes with cars with hp under 100 (like me), that 3 hp extra is like 0.5 hp. and we want the sound.
      For next video, try 3 rounds with each filter, so you can sum that all and create an average. Thanks!

      about 1 day ago
    • Eduardo Rolim
      Eduardo Rolim

      Dear can you do this test without air filter? TKS

      about 1 day ago
    • michael gill
      michael gill

      That’s awesome I was planning on buying one tomorrow. Like you said though is it because It doesn’t actually filter as much and will need to be changed more often or could potentially harm your engine eventually.

      about 1 day ago
    • Zeze Zeze
      Zeze Zeze

      Bigger air filter that clean the air to a smaller micron particle, like a Fram or Heppa. That K&N you have lots flow with dust.

      about 1 day ago
    • Ti Man
      Ti Man

      The Carquest Premium filter appears to have more pleats than the OEM. This would mean more surface area for air to pass through.

      about 2 days ago
    • randy beard
      randy beard

      I say a Air Filter that you Know is Clean, if it Resist Air Flow, it is Doing a Great Job Filtering Intake Air--Question, can Filter allow Great Air Flow and Filter Dirty Air Particles at Same Time???

      about 2 days ago
    • K L
      K L

      Want more power and sound than the k&n, wrap a sock or panty hose on your intake piping. Lol

      about 2 days ago
    • K L
      K L

      For all you noobs out there, performance air filters let in more air for better mpg/hp, but in turns also let's in more contaminants such as dust and car soot, which can cause internal damage such as valve seals leaking, gasket going bad. Best counter measure to to frequently clean aftermarket filters but it will never be better/cleaner than OEM. There's a reason OEM filters are restrictive and white, it's to help keep your car lasting the longest. I have an aem filter on my civic fyi, intakes sound cool ya kno?

      about 2 days ago
    • Tyronne Shoelaces
      Tyronne Shoelaces

      Or you can do better and get a Sprint Dacron hi perf filter and have better flow and cleaning than the K&N

      about 2 days ago
    • Riley Carson
      Riley Carson

      Jeez the Crosstrek runs extremely rich @ WOT from the factory. Spend a little money and tune that afr and the gains will be much better than a panel filter. Maybe I should come out with a simple stg 1 map for the crosstreks for my clients.

      about 3 days ago
    • Sam Walker
      Sam Walker

      Would have been interesting if you'd included an AEM dry high performance air filter. I hate oiling the K&N.
      One other point- the higher the altitude, the less restrictive the filter, the better for you. I got a mileage boost and my truck climbs the road to the Eisenhower tunnel faster than it did with the OEM filter. (11,990 feet) No longer have to floor it to maintain speed. I'm typically driving between 5,500 and 9,000 ft.

      about 3 days ago
    • dham99
      dham99

      My stock Focus ST was decently quick... but then I slapped in a K&N filter and some Drag Radials..now it hooks like crazy! Love me a high performance air filter! ^_^

      about 3 days ago
    • chris c
      chris c

      hmmm not worth it really

      about 3 days ago
    • Darren
      Darren In reply to chris c

      I paid $80 for my k&n the factory replacement was $50. It's been 270000 miles.. I'd say more than worth it.

      about 2 days ago
    • Vigor Gaming
      Vigor Gaming

      I would love to for you to test a turbo diesel engine exactly like this, keep up with the good work.

      about 3 days ago
    • Theodore Marakas
      Theodore Marakas In reply to Vigor Gaming

      Vigor Gaming
      People from the VW TDi did this, they tried different intakes and filters and they found that the stock was pretty much equal or better than the aftermarket. They also found that different filters didn’t make any difference. 3 HP gains can barely be felt, taking the risk of messing up your MAF sensor, noise and possibly bad filtration wasn’t worth the money spent. It was determined the stock airbox and filter had the correct air volume and correct velocity needed for the car to make the most power and meet emissions. Not like we care about the EPA scumbags but it was good to know

      about 2 days ago
    • billasohyeah
      billasohyeah

      You could make a video about how to calculate exhaust size and intercooler piping size when boosting a NA engine?!

      about 4 days ago
    • Jello Villena
      Jello Villena

      K&N or BMG air filter?

      about 4 days ago
    • James Driscoll
      James Driscoll

      green air filter is the best ........the end

      about 4 days ago
    • Andrew Miguelez
      Andrew Miguelez

      3 to 6 thousand miles.... Wow. So dirty. What a joke.

      about 4 days ago
    • Oh boy
      Oh boy

      You can have high flowing or high filtering but not both. Pick your poison and I’ll take high filtering any day of the week. No filters going to give you the hp gain to justify letting dirt to get by. Just not worth it.

      about 5 days ago
    • Peter J
      Peter J In reply to Oh boy

      Oh boy smoked out the paper ones definitely let lots of dirt through no difference between filtration

      about 3 days ago
    • QuickRepairGuy QRG
      QuickRepairGuy QRG

      Has anyone actually tested air mass on the otherside of the airfilter rather than bhp

      about 5 days ago
    • Zinit
      Zinit

      should have tried with not filter at all

      about 5 days ago
    • toobeme24
      toobeme24

      I think the mpg will suffer since more oxygen will burn more fuel

      about 5 days ago
    • transam8607
      transam8607

      Can you somehow throw in no filter results vs stock vs performance I guessing another 3 Maybe 5 hp more

      about 5 days ago