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#4720487 - 04/08/18 11:44 AM Why Are Air Filters Important?
Jim Allen Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 4563
Loc: NW Ohio
I'll tell ya...

The air intake system is the only connection between your engine's crankcase and the outside world. It's the only way outside contamination can make it into the engine. It's important to long engine (and lubricant) life that the air intake system be completely sealed and use the highest efficiency filter possible... one that allows the engine to reach it's rated power. Outside contamination begets increased wear. I contend that a high efficiency air filter is a higher priority than a high efficiency oil filter... if you have to pick one over the other. For myself, I would sacrifice a little upper end power for a high efficiency filter. Of course, if you face the quandary of not enough airflow to meet power requirements, you could consider increasing the filter area.

Yes, a higher efficiency filter will show more restriction sooner than vice versa. So what? That's what a filter restriction monitor is for. In any case, the fuel economy is not effected on an EFI car due to air filter restriction until the engine can barely run and a small power loss is usually not noticed in everyday driving. Lead-foots would be more conscious of this.

So, buy the highest efficiency filter you can (look for 99% plus on coarse dust tests, which is about 97% on a fine dust test... a rare spec to see). Make sure it seals well in the housing and that there are no leaks anywhere else in the system. Install a restriction gauge and replace the filter only when it reaches the right restriction (variable, about 10" of water, 2.5kpa is the generic number). If you were performance oriented and you saw the power coming off sooner, you could change sooner. Or, if you are economy minded, you could go higher. It will vary from engine to engine, depending on how you use the vehicle and how much filter area it has.
_________________________
Jim Allen
Keepin' the Good Old Days of Four Wheeling Alive

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#4720494 - 04/08/18 11:57 AM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: Jim Allen]
Shellguy Offline


Registered: 03/21/08
Posts: 292
Loc: US
Great post Jim...alot of people I know skimp on their air filter. I will forward this to them to read. I wish we had a list of bitog approved filters..Good to see you around buddy.
_________________________
2012 F-150 5.0-Pennzoil Platinum 5w30/Amsoil Eao17

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#4720495 - 04/08/18 11:57 AM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: Jim Allen]
Sayjac Offline


Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 12335
Loc: The Old North State
Welcome back Jim. I frequently quote and link some of your prior posts on AFs (efficiency and loading relationship) and OFs (holding capacity). I know you are big fan of AF restriction gauges. Good see a new contribution from you here. thumbsup

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#4720507 - 04/08/18 12:15 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: Jim Allen]
WobblyElvis Offline


Registered: 09/23/14
Posts: 1391
Loc: Toronto Canada
Where might the best information be for this? Such as independent studies or SAE papers etc.?
Information that proves dirt entering the via the air intake is a major [perhaps the biggest] contributor to engine wear and secondly, that a used filter [not yet overly restrictive] is more efficient.

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#4720531 - 04/08/18 12:43 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: Shellguy]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 30021
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Shellguy
Great post Jim...alot of people I know skimp on their air filter. I will forward this to them to read. I wish we had a list of bitog approved filters..Good to see you around buddy.

True and a lot of people pay a lot of money for a K&N filter air intake kit, or whatever they call it. [The kind of air filter you apply their oil to and wash and reuse] to increase HP and have no clue what kind of damage they're doing to their engine. Expensive in the case of K&N can be bad too.
_________________________
God Bless Our Troops


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#4720556 - 04/08/18 01:22 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: demarpaint]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4332
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
True and a lot of people pay a lot of money for a K&N filter air intake kit, or whatever they call it. [The kind of air filter you apply their oil to and wash and reuse] to increase HP and have no clue what kind of damage they're doing to their engine. Expensive in the case of K&N can be bad too.

Sorry, but have you ever heard of a K&N causing an engine failure?

Fried MAF from over-oiling, sure. Maybe a K&N isn't 99.9% efficient at a half micron, I'll give you that... But over the course of typical ownership, what harm does it really do? Heck, even extended ownership.
_________________________
"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."

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#4720559 - 04/08/18 01:24 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: rooflessVW]
WobblyElvis Offline


Registered: 09/23/14
Posts: 1391
Loc: Toronto Canada
Interesting test involving KnN at this site.
http://nicoclub.com/archives/kn-vs-oem-filter.html

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#4720561 - 04/08/18 01:29 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: Jim Allen]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 12897
Loc: Northern Kentucky
Jim is alive!
_________________________
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 1.4T - 50k
2002 Buick Century 130k - Built 4T65e(Maxlife) - Edge 0w40 + Fram XG3980

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#4720564 - 04/08/18 01:31 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: Jim Allen]
IndyFan Offline


Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 606
Loc: Danville, Indiana
I've got a friend with a Saab 9-4, and he has run a K&N since new. He is approaching 300,000 miles, and the car runs great.

That said, the K&N is not my cup of tea. I like a high efficiency paper filter that is easy to change, and I don't like the mess or headache of oiling a filter.

I doubt a K&N, properly maintained and used, has caused an engine to wear out significantly sooner than it would have with a paper OEM filter.
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#4720570 - 04/08/18 01:37 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: rooflessVW]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 30021
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
True and a lot of people pay a lot of money for a K&N filter air intake kit, or whatever they call it. [The kind of air filter you apply their oil to and wash and reuse] to increase HP and have no clue what kind of damage they're doing to their engine. Expensive in the case of K&N can be bad too.

Sorry, but have you ever heard of a K&N causing an engine failure?

Fried MAF from over-oiling, sure. Maybe a K&N isn't 99.9% efficient at a half micron, I'll give you that... But over the course of typical ownership, what harm does it really do? Heck, even extended ownership.


I read UOA's they typically show extra wear, that's good enough for me. You've been around it has been discussed here many times, the general consensus has been they're not good. And it also fits into this topic perfectly.
_________________________
God Bless Our Troops


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#4720571 - 04/08/18 01:38 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: WobblyElvis]
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: WobblyElvis
Interesting test involving KnN at this site.
http://nicoclub.com/archives/kn-vs-oem-filter.html


Good link. Air filters are so generic and variable in their construction that you really have to pull each one out of the box and look.
I wish the test included a second round with a pantyhose prefilter.
_________________________
2017 Ford Fiesta 1.0T - Valvoline SynPower 5W-20, Motorcraft FL910S
1988 GMC K1500 4.3/700R4 - Supertech 15W-40, Fram TG3980
1986 Ford Ranger 2.0 - uhh

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#4720588 - 04/08/18 02:05 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: Jim Allen]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11233
Loc: Idaho
The best oil filter is the air filter
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"Don't let your preconceived notions get in the way of facts."
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#4720601 - 04/08/18 02:18 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: WobblyElvis]
Jim Allen Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 4563
Loc: NW Ohio
Originally Posted By: WobblyElvis
Where might the best information be for this? Such as independent studies or SAE papers etc.?
Information that proves dirt entering the via the air intake is a major [perhaps the biggest] contributor to engine wear and secondly, that a used filter [not yet overly restrictive] is more efficient.


So you doubt it? How can you? It's a closed system, the only way outside dirt can enter is via the intake system (well, except for ancient cars with road draft tubes). Internal normal wear and the resultant particulate contamination is a separate issue but that wear is effected, can be greatly effected, by how much dirt gets by the rings.

If you go back and look at my older posts (it will be back before 2014) I cite most of this. But yes, it came from various peer reviewed papers. See the synopsis article I did that is linked, which is a layman's overview.

Air Filters
_________________________
Jim Allen
Keepin' the Good Old Days of Four Wheeling Alive

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#4720641 - 04/08/18 03:01 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: eyeofthetiger]
Pajero Offline


Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 953
Loc: Rio Rancho, NM
Pantyhose worked well when Mt. St. Helen's blew in 1980. I live in the desert (large sandbox) and installed a Snorkel. People make fun of me because they think it's for water. It's because of dust. Ever going wheelin with a bunch of 4x4...the dust is horrid. Cyclonic filters are the best for worst conditions...



Respectfully,

Pajero!
_________________________
Always remember "Planned obsolescence."

1994 Montero SR 3.5 DOHC, 133,xxx
Fram Ultra/ Snorkel with Pre-filter
K-9-Co-pilot

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#4720644 - 04/08/18 03:05 PM Re: Why Are Air Filters Important? [Re: Jim Allen]
WobblyElvis Offline


Registered: 09/23/14
Posts: 1391
Loc: Toronto Canada
Originally Posted By: Jim Allen
Originally Posted By: WobblyElvis
Where might the best information be for this? Such as independent studies or SAE papers etc.?
Information that proves dirt entering the via the air intake is a major [perhaps the biggest] contributor to engine wear and secondly, that a used filter [not yet overly restrictive] is more efficient.


So you doubt it? How can you? It's a closed system, the only way outside dirt can enter is via the intake system (well, except for ancient cars with road draft tubes). Internal normal wear and the resultant particulate contamination is a separate issue but that wear is effected, can be greatly effected, by how much dirt gets by the rings.

If you go back and look at my older posts (it will be back before 2014) I cite most of this. But yes, it came from various peer reviewed papers. See the synopsis article I did that is linked, which is a layman's overview.

Air Filters


Never said I doubt it and it makes perfect sense. I just to learn from the best sources I can, not hearsay.
Thank you for the info.

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