Do Performance Air Filters Actually Work? 10 Interior Fails That Make 1 month ago   13:24

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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 3651 Comments

Eric Houck
the only problem is the K&N doesn't filter as well. I've seen a fair amount of dust build up in the intake system with them
krb693
So in short, for stock vehicles, high performance filters make very little difference.
t s
Good review
But quit rambling so much
Steve Silvas
I've used K&N Filters since 1976 in ALL my vehicles I've owned since & now.. Tried & True..
Henry Blackwell-Rodriquez
Great test, I’m pleased you were properly using the scientific method. Thanks for showing us the true gains with the different filters.
light house
K&N filters should not be used on everyday driving vehicles. They allow microscopic particles to pass through the intake and over time your engine will develop trouble internally. K&N was developed for racing and if you're tearing your engine down and rebuilding after every race then it's obviously not going to have any long term affect.
K&N has been asked about possible long-term engine damage due to less restrictive air-flow and their answer is we meet the required "minimum" protection standards.
Replace once a year (depending on dusty environments) with an OEM. The so called minimal extra HP is not worth the risk IMO!
Roger Gilbert
It seems like that charcoal filter would just be something else to clog up, but my question is, disregarding performance, what would be the results to the vehicle, and the environment to omit that filter? I'm sure it occasionally becomes saturated and fumes will then get out. Beyond absorbing those few fumes it can (which more will likely get out anyway from other points, including the fuel tank), what else does it do? I would also like to know if that is the most effective method of containing escaped hydrocarbons, or whatever else it does vs other methods such as shutting off the fuel pump and maybe injectors, and keeping the engine running until it starves out of fuel for example. I also wonder why that carbon filter wasn't built into the replaceable air filter or otherwise included with it, so it also could be renewed as needed.
Gyver Spot
Start of test results at 3:20
Giblet535
I already know the answer: yeah. Well.
TheSully807
Jesus Christ take a breath 😐
Kieran Farrell
K&N filters are oil air filters. I didn't see him spray the K&N filter with any oil.
AmmoTesting
Excellent video!
Kieran Farrell
K&N filters are oil air filters. I didn't see him spray the K&N filter with any oil.
oo0Spyder0oo
So if so called performance filters are giving more HP. removing it completely should yield even more right? You could dyno all day long and get different results every time.
Michael Williamson
Would love to see STP vs STP premium.
allen walker
I can't run an oil-wetted air filter in my 02 Volvo because the oil particles seem to foul the MAF and make the engine go haywire.
Andrew Cheatle
K&N = Snake oil. Along with Slick 50, dual electrode spark plugs and so on.Been there done that - waste of time...
Dakota Valdes
Is retail me not a virus
Brad K
@Engineering Explained did you remove the battery fuse to the ECM for 30 min between tests? I find that by doing so the engine learns the air flow difference a lot faster then not pulling the fuse.. I mean if the fuse is left in place then it takes time for the engine to RE-learn the difference am I right or wrong?
Lane Dexter
I agree with the guys here who wanted to see no filter as a baseline.  On my older carbureted rigs, its very easy to run without a filter.  This test was only performance.  The other question is which filters protect the engine best.  Does my K&N filter as well as the stock filter, so my engine will last a long time?
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10 Interior Fails That Make Do Performance Air Filters Actually Work? 1 month ago   04:11

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Car companies put a lot of effort into interiors, but there are often infuriating details which can ruin the whole cabin. Here are 10 examples of interior fails!
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