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dkveuro 10-31-2007 10:32 AM

K & N deny killing MAF's.
K & N closing ranks or ligitimate research?

"Not one of these suspected MAF sensors sent in for laboratory evaluation was shown to have failed due to contamination from K&N filter oil."


Brian Carlton 10-31-2007 10:39 AM

Well, it's certainly not legitimate research.

But, I see it as a fantastic business decision. If the customer is taken out of the situation and held harmless by K & N, they'd be much more inclined to purchase the product.

Furthermore, K & N has a lot more leverage and a lot more to lose, so they'd fight the battle until the auto company caves.

Have you seen any evidence of MAF issues in your experience?

JimF 10-31-2007 11:29 AM

. . . of course, K&N would . . . to admit it is business suicide!

Referencing K&N's installation sheet under "Performance Hints", K&N says "Caution: Extreme fine dust, agriculture or off-road use, will pull the oil from the element. Frequent re-oiling of the element's clean side may be required".

Now what's that . . . where does the oil go?? Two guesses and the first one doesn't count!

Yes, I've seen oil contamination on my MAF and it is documented in MENU4a. Also there's a neat test of the "real-world-every-day-driving" test link that is you will find as good reading.

uberwgn 10-31-2007 11:55 AM

BOSCH MAFS re-sellers luv oiled-media air "filters" :)

uberwgn 10-31-2007 12:02 PM

here's some recent material with fotos:


Ok, I thought I'd add two pics from a GTG I was at a few months back. TDI with a K&N filter, "very lightly oiled" as the owner put it. Low on power, this after getting chipped. MAF was pulled from the car and this very lightly oiled filter (recharged, as K&N puts it), was dead. MAF was replaced and all power was back. Oil coats the MAF and the grit that gets by the K&N collects on the MAF, burning it out.

Look thru the entire thread. There are some nice fotos :)

Gurkha 11-01-2007 08:22 AM


Thanks for the link, I lost two MAF on my GTi 16v before my stupid self was convinced about the K&N's fault. Also the Duramax test openly and scientifically confirms that K&N lets in more dirt.

uberwgn 11-01-2007 09:19 AM

Gurka, I can't identify any tangible benefit from these Mickey Mouse filters AKA rock screens. I've seen them dyno gain. I've see the downstream oil contamination. Why fool around?

The OE filters specified for our beloved machines have vastly greater surface area when compared to the traditional oiled-media panel. Why bother?

Gurkha 11-01-2007 09:25 AM


Fully agreed with you, after all the manufacturer knows best.

WVOtoGO 11-01-2007 10:18 AM

I’m not taking a side as to whether or not K&N filter oil will harm a MAF (or an O2, or any other sensor for that matter). It seems logical to me that it could.

On the other hand – We’ve run K&Ns on most all of our Ag equipment, and all of our cars/trucks and vans. We’ve never had an issue.

I can’t help but think that (like anything else) the product is only as good as the service it receives.

Do you think maybe some folks could be way over oiling their filters?
I take the oil and put it in a pump sprayer as not to saturated the hell out of the element and get a more even application. But that’s just me, I guess.

As for where the oil goes and their statement that it is pulled from the element. If the filter is saturated with it – well, down the manifold.

But - I’ve only noticed it goes into the dust and dirt tapped on the outside of the element. Hence the need to service the thing. Duh…..:rolleyes:

JimF 11-01-2007 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by Gurkha (Post 1662541)
Also the Duramax test openly and scientifically confirms that K&N lets in more dirt.

Check out this test from a "real-world" person who tested all of the popular filters in HIS car driving on the REAL world roads. Must reading. It's at the bottom of MENU#4a in the COMMENTS section.

In cse you can't find it:

MB-Dude 11-01-2007 12:37 PM

My experience with K&N Filters goes way, WAY back... to the early 70's, when I was riding off-road dirt bikes. K&N's were awesome in that application. But they required a lot of service; generally after every ride, and there ALWAYS was a fine coating of oil/dust in the carburetor throat. However, with a 2-cycle engine, a little oil mixed with the air is not a bad thing. And most dirt bike engines would only last - maybe - 500 miles before rebuild, so dust in the engine was a fact of life.

But because of those days, I never used K&N Filters in any of my road cars. A good paper filter is not THAT expensive and certainly protects the engine better than a lightly-oiled fine mesh. Besides, if you keep your vehicle for 100,000 miles how many paper air filters will you buy? Three... Four, maybe? Think about how often you change the air filter in your car as opposed to the odometer reading when you sell it.

Stick with paper filters and leave the K&N's to the off-road guys. You WILL get better filtration with paper, for almost the same amount of money over the life of the car, without the mess… and with peace of mind. I do.


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