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  #1  
Old 02-02-2008, 04:19 PM
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Washing K&N air filters

I bought a K&N filter for my car 10 months ago and am finally getting around to washing it. The K&N stock cleaning fluid has a familiar smell to it but I cannot remember fimiliar to what? I was wondering what else can be used to safely wash their filters. I was thinking something like Simple Green. I would like to know what other K&N filter users are using to clean their filters?
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2008, 04:34 PM
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Before I threw my K&N away (it got oil all over and thus damaged an intake air sensor in my last gasser), I washed it in "409." I suggest that you do the same.

Jeremy
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2008, 05:50 PM
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I had one for the jeep, bought the recharge kit, too. Got one for the MB, new in box.
This is the only item listed in contents.
Attached Thumbnails
Washing K&N air filters-parts-116.jpg   Washing K&N air filters-parts-117.jpg  
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2008, 06:05 PM
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I dipped mine in a bath of kerosene. I don't know all the pros or cons of this method, but it worked well for me in a pinch. I believe the risk is that the filter is so clean, it is not trapping any particulates. K&N makes an oil spray that is supposed to help the effectiveness of their filters. I read about it on their website, but when I inquired about it at my local auto parts store, which carries a large selection of K&N filters, I found that they do not carry it. The clerk did not seem to think it was necessary. Of course, this is just one opinion and maybe not a very well informed one.

The K&N came with my car and I was exploring around to find why oil was leaking out of the bottom of my air cleaner housing. It appeared to me that the engine was starved for air because of the dirty air filter and was sucking air along with oil up through the return tube that travels down to the crankcase. After cleaning the filter and changing the oil, the problem went away. It could also have been due to a dirty check valve at the base of the tube which corrected itself after I changed the oil. But that is a whole different topic. If you are interested, Dave Morrison wrote up an excellent DIY article on replacing the check valve.

My car performed significantly better after I cleaned the filter, as it was soaked with oil and preventing air from flowing freely through.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2008, 06:30 PM
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K&N makes a recharge kit that includes the correct cleaner and oil. I can't see how using some other product to clean it makes sense. It is possible that another cleaner will strip too much of the filter oil out or impede the adhesion of the new oil. Same goes for the oil. IIRC, the K&N oil is animal/vegetable and not petroleum at all? The oil is specific, very tacky and dyed. The whole point of a K&N is that it be wet enough with oil that it catches the debris, dirt, etc. I soak mine until they drip, the wetter the better. As with other things in life....

RT
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2008, 06:37 PM
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The danger of washing improperly is shrinking the cotton element, not over-cleaning.
  #7  
Old 02-02-2008, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwthomas1 View Post
K&N makes a recharge kit that includes the correct cleaner and oil. I can't see how using some other product to clean it makes sense. It is possible that another cleaner will strip too much of the filter oil out or impede the adhesion of the new oil. Same goes for the oil. IIRC, the K&N oil is animal/vegetable and not petroleum at all? The oil is specific, very tacky and dyed. The whole point of a K&N is that it be wet enough with oil that it catches the debris, dirt, etc. I soak mine until they drip, the wetter the better. As with other things in life.... RT
RT: This sounds like good advice. I think I need to look further for that kit.

Richard
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2008, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RML View Post
RT: This sounds like good advice. I think I need to look further for that kit.

Richard
See post #3.
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2008, 08:16 PM
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IMO (that means in my *opinion*) K&N air filters are junk. They don't filter worth a crap, and allow tons of particulates into the engine. Very bad thing if you have a turbo. Also, if you have a MAF, the filter oil will ruin it in very short order. They cost a lot more than OEM paper filter. They're more of a PITA (labor to clean vs. throw-out-and-replace). And they provide zero tangible benefit to the user.

Wanna pay more money, for more aggravation, and less quality? Buy a K&N!
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2008, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupin..the..3rd View Post
IMO (that means in my *opinion*) K&N air filters are junk. They don't filter worth a crap, and allow tons of particulates into the engine. Very bad thing if you have a turbo. Also, if you have a MAF, the filter oil will ruin it in very short order. They cost a lot more than OEM paper filter. They're more of a PITA (labor to clean vs. throw-out-and-replace). And they provide zero tangible benefit to the user.

Wanna pay more money, for more aggravation, and less quality? Buy a K&N!
I was just holding my breath waiting for someone to come along and say something like that....
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2008, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
I bought a K&N filter for my car 10 months ago and am finally getting around to washing it. The K&N stock cleaning fluid has a familiar smell to it but I cannot remember fimiliar to what? I was wondering what else can be used to safely wash their filters. I was thinking something like Simple Green. I would like to know what other K&N filter users are using to clean their filters?
I just dunk it in a 5 gallon bucket of hot sudsy water and let it sun dry. Then spray a coating of light oil.

As of April I will have had the K&N filter for 5 years and have put on about 30kmi on the 328kmi 617 turbo.
It still starts at 15 degrees with as little as 1 second of glow and has gobs of top end power, relatively speaking.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2008, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RML View Post
I dipped mine in a bath of kerosene. I don't know all the pros or cons of this method, but it worked well for me in a pinch. I believe the risk is that the filter is so clean, it is not trapping any particulates. K&N makes an oil spray that is supposed to help the effectiveness of their filters. I read about it on their website, but when I inquired about it at my local auto parts store, which carries a large selection of K&N filters, I found that they do not carry it. The clerk did not seem to think it was necessary. Of course, this is just one opinion and maybe not a very well informed one.

The K&N came with my car and I was exploring around to find why oil was leaking out of the bottom of my air cleaner housing. It appeared to me that the engine was starved for air because of the dirty air filter and was sucking air along with oil up through the return tube that travels down to the crankcase. After cleaning the filter and changing the oil, the problem went away. It could also have been due to a dirty check valve at the base of the tube which corrected itself after I changed the oil. But that is a whole different topic. If you are interested, Dave Morrison wrote up an excellent DIY article on replacing the check valve.

My car performed significantly better after I cleaned the filter, as it was soaked with oil and preventing air from flowing freely through.
I do not think I have this check valve on my 300D. They say the filter element is made of cotton so I do not thine Karosene would hurt the element. The rubber part; who knows. They do say not to over oil the filter and like any filter it can get plugged from use. Sound like the PO never cleaned it.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2008, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RML View Post
RT: This sounds like good advice. I think I need to look further for that kit.

Richard
I have seen the add flash at the top of the page of this forum it may be that Fastlane or one of our other sponsers have the recharge kits; Krangen (partamerica) has them, the local Autozone sells the filters buy you have to order the oil/cleaner kit (which I have). I believe both sell the recharge oil in 1qt or 1gallon bottles also without the sprayer.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2008, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RML View Post
RT: This sounds like good advice. I think I need to look further for that kit.

Richard
I was thinking that when my cleaner in the kit has run out I would clean the filter with something else but buy the K&N oil for rechargeing it.
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2008, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupin..the..3rd View Post
IMO (that means in my *opinion*) K&N air filters are junk. They don't filter worth a crap, and allow tons of particulates into the engine. Very bad thing if you have a turbo. Also, if you have a MAF, the filter oil will ruin it in very short order. They cost a lot more than OEM paper filter. They're more of a PITA (labor to clean vs. throw-out-and-replace). And they provide zero tangible benefit to the user.

Wanna pay more money, for more aggravation, and less quality? Buy a K&N!
After running the filter for 10 months I foud nothing gritty on the inside parts of the filter housing not even in the areas where the blow by oil condensed and would allow anything getting passed the air filter to stick on. There is a lot of dirt in the air where I live. I am not even 1/10 of a mile from a freeway that serves the Port Of Long Beach and being by the ocean and industrial area there is plenty of dirt and wind. My point is I could replace a lot of paper filters in a years time (if I did not blow them out with an air gun so I could get some more use out of them).
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