K&N Air Fliters

I’m considering changing out the paper air filter in my 2010 Equinox (2.4L engine) with an OEM direct replacvement K&N air filter. Any opinions?

If you’re careful with cleaning and oiling, not a problem. Not worth the trouble to me. What are your reasons for doing it?

Essentially, I agree with what texases had to say.
You must be very careful about cleaning and reoiling these things after cleaning. A bit too much oil and you will wind up fouling the Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF).

People seem to want these filters for increased power and/or improved fuel economy.
It may produce a very slight increase in power, but only at wide-open throttle.
It is unlikely to improve fuel economy.

I suggest that you save your money.

Thanks, guys for your opinion. My main reason is the research that I’ve done indicates better filtration, better airflow and it’s reusable. I’m used to changing air filters once-a-year. Since we keep our cars a very long time (we still have our '98 S-10 w/155,000 miles) that’s 12 used air filters that have wound up in a land fill. I always recycle my oil, coolant, etc. I don’t mind cleaning/re-oiling the filter I use Mobil 1 Extended Performance oil and the Equinox uses cartidge instead of metal cannister filters and dispose of them at our local Wal-Mart. Our average gas mileage over 4,500 miles is 26.4 mpg. I also use Top Tier Gas. We recycle anything that our county will take at the landfill: metal, aluminum, paper, etc.

It may be a small thing, but I feel that I’m at least contibuting a little bit to polluting less.

Best regards,


Acutally, it provides less filtration. And requires continuous maintenance, like cleaning and oiling to keep it working. There is a risk of damaging the MAF sensor if it is over-oiled. There is no airflow benefit unless you drive around a lot at full throttle. There is no fuel economy benefit unless you race it all the time.

Plus, the paper filter is recyclable. you just need to strip it apart.

Go for it, especially if you’re going to keep your car for a long time.

I’ve had a K&N in my car for almost 14 years now and one in my minivan for 8 1/2 years. Buying a paper filter every year would have been a waste of money.

I think K&N’s save money, not waste it.

I work for a filter company. And every now and then we’ll bring in other manufacturers filters to test them to see if they measure up to the claims. When the K&N filter was tested, I asked the test techician how efficient the K&N filter was. He stated, “Well, if you want to keep birds and squirrels out of the engine it works good.”

Aside from the poor filteration the K&N filter provides, the recharge kit for the filter costs $25.00. I don’t see the cost benefit.


You don’t need a new recharge kit every time you clean and oil the filter. You can get about 10 cleanings out of 1 kit.

Recharge kits are more like $12, if you pay $25, you’re paying too much.

I would not have one on my car. I read their promotional materials and find that they are not logical. I have seen a number of real life test, but independent (not K&N) and none found any advantage and some found some serious potential problems.

I’ve had one on my Bronco for the past 130k miles. It has about 205k on it now. I clean it every 25k miles, and have no problems with the MAF sensor fouling up. As other’s have said, as long as your re-oil it propery you won’t have a problem. I’ve also had one on my Mustang for about 30k miles, again no problems, in the case of the Mustang it pickuped up 3 RWHP on the chassis dyno vs. a paper filter, the paper filter wasn’t brand new, it had about 3k miles of use on it

Bobistheoilguy.com had filtration tests that showed that K & N does not filter as well as a conventional cartridge filter but I have not reviewed the site lately.

The consensus that I get from periodically reading about K & N is that they are not as good as a paper cartridge filter but not so bad that you will ruin your engine quickly. Who can say that you might or might not shave off 10,000 miles of engine life in 300,000 if you use K & N?

Changing your paper cartridge filter once per year may be too frequent unless you live in a sandy or dusty area such as Arizona. When I have changed my air filters, I find very little debris lodged in the filter. After cleaning and reusing the paper cartridge filter in my vacuum cleaner many times, it dawned on me that I could do a little of that with the car air filter too and so I am now doing that; have 32,000 miles and 2-1/2 years on the filter. Clean the filter with compressed air and finish by directing the air from the inside of the filter to the outside.

I sincerely doubt that an air filter, if used too long with or without cleaning, will begin to pass dirt unless possibly if the filter is extremely dirty which mine are anything but. A filter time or mileage change requirement covers all areas, dusty or not and is therefore arbitrary.

One final thought. If you save resources by using K & N, the less than optimal filtration ability could wear your cylinder bores or piston rings out prematurely, therefore wasting the big resource, your car!

Many thanks to everyone who responded to my post. Your comments and suggestions, both positive and negative are very helpful. Have a good summer y’all.

All my best,


I remember when an oil bath air cleaner was an option and then completely replaced the wire mesh filter air cleaner. Then the paper air cleaner replaced the oil bath air cleaner. Now we are back to oiling our air filters again. I think I’ll stop with the regular paper air filters.

It is your car and your choice. I fear that if you ever need warranty work that might be related to the air filter, the warranty would not be honored, but that is highly unlikely.

If you might sell this vehicle, I can tell you that when I am car shopping, if I see an aftermarket oiled air filter, I just close the hood and walk away. I assume that it was not maintained properly, and at best, it is not as good as a paper filter, and I worry what other ‘modifications’ the owner may have tried. I cannot speak for other perspective buyers, however.