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K&N filter---lets settle this once and for all

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2003 ML 350
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177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
YES or NO, I'm curious to see the different opinions on this subject. I'm always tempting to purchase one then I read one post and it changes my mine.
 

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05 500
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6,598 Posts
Well, your poll doesn't completely tell the story. For longevity, I have no issues with the K&N filter. If you're looking for performance gains, forget it! I also assume that you're talking the direct rectangular replacement and not the cone type. I vote YES, just because I have used them a lot and while they offer longevity, they do not offer any measurable performance or MPG advantage without exhaust mods!
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3, 2019 Honda Odyssey
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Well, your poll doesn't completely tell the story. For longevity, I have no issues with the K&N filter. If you're looking for performance gains, forget it! I also assume that you're talking the direct rectangular replacement and not the cone type. I vote YES, just because I have used them a lot and while they offer longevity, they do not offer any measurable performance or MPG advantage without exhaust mods!
Exactly, being that having a clogged filter is bad, cleaning/replacing is good. I therefore have one, not for performance, but so I don't have to replace filters every so often- not for performance.
 

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ml500 w163 2002
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456 Posts
Well, your poll doesn't completely tell the story. For longevity, I have no issues with the K&N filter. If you're looking for performance gains, forget it! I also assume that you're talking the direct rectangular replacement and not the cone type. I vote YES, just because I have used them a lot and while they offer longevity, they do not offer any measurable performance or MPG advantage without exhaust mods!
In reference to longevity, I think there's so many variables involved that what's meant to be is meant to be. People claim this and that and blame it on one single factor but the fact remains that the end result sometimes is a result of many things that happened, whether it be a defect from factory or the way someone drives, to who handles the car. A crazy valet attendant could grab a hold of your car and neutral bang the car enough that you lose an extra 10k miles your drivetrain would have had if it was babied.

As far as performance gains I agree with you but if you feel response is a gain I think that is a plus because the .001 response off the line can make a break winning a drag race at the strip.
 

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90 300E
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278 Posts
As far as performance gains I agree with you but if you feel response is a gain I think that is a plus because the .001 response off the line can make a break winning a drag race at the strip.
i dont think many of use take our luxury ML's to the track and i highly doubt there is any improvement with the flat filter. i have both K&N filters(flat and cold air intake) and the cold air intake makes a big difference in sound throttle response and pick up.
 

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ml500 w163 2002
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456 Posts
i dont think many of use take our luxury ML's to the track and i highly doubt there is any improvement with the flat filter. i have both K&N filters(flat and cold air intake) and the cold air intake makes a big difference in sound throttle response and pick up.
lol you're right about that but i still think people prefer the better throttle response. Have you ever driven a car with a bad throttle? It can mean the difference between wanting to keep a car and wanting to change it.
 

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lol you're right about that but i still think people prefer the better throttle response. Have you ever driven a car with a bad throttle? It can mean the difference between wanting to keep a car and wanting to change it.
yeah your right on that one. i agree with you a 100%
 

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05 500
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In reference to longevity, I think there's so many variables involved that what's meant to be is meant to be. People claim this and that and blame it on one single factor but the fact remains that the end result sometimes is a result of many things that happened, whether it be a defect from factory or the way someone drives, to who handles the car.
There's probably only one person on this board who fully understands what you're trying to say here. I HAVE DRIVEN K&N FILTRES A LOT ON A AT LEAST 3 VEHICLES AND THEY DO LAST A LONG TIME. IS 150K+ LONG ENOUGH FO JUST ONE CAR? There was no measurable performance due to the filter on any of these vehicles.

A crazy valet attendant could grab a hold of your car and neutral bang the car enough that you lose an extra 10k miles your drivetrain would have had if it was babied.
Ruey, we're talking about a vehicle air filter, not the tire, fuel system, tranny or motor; just a darn air filter. How many times has there been a air filter sabotage by anyone, including vehicle owners? None that I know of. You really think that a valet would cause your air filter to ...well, whatever, you're scrambling here man. Like I said earlier, I have driven on these and they last a very long time and I don't argue the 1million miles claim.

As far as performance gains I agree with you but if you feel response is a gain I think that is a plus because the .001 response off the line can make a break winning a drag race at the strip.
Where in the world do you drive? Indy 500? So you spend $50+ just for a 0.001 off the line response. I wonder how much fuel you burn in the process. For starters, for a SUV, the HP vs RPM curve for the K&N is useless until far up in the RPM range. You'll still get miserably slammed by a stock ML55 while your'e messing up your MAF. It really just isn't not worth the pain for a ML if your goal is performance.
 

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2,717 Posts
k&n filter won't give u gains significant as ecu tune, pulley upgrade, headers, etc... but there is very small gain...
someone on the other forum ran a dyno on stock filter vs k&n filter and said there was a slight gain with k&n (not W163 tho)...

on my 203 and 163, i do notice k&n filters sucking in lil' more air...
at least u 'feel' like u r gaining....
even if it's 0.5% gain, gain is gain... and i'm happy...

however, if u r looking to really gain performance out of K&N, then u should get bigger custom airbox or do custom cold air intake...
 

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2005 E320 CDI, 2016 E250
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From what I have seen in the past with pulling motors apart and looking inside...there seems to be a film on the intake of a car with a K&N...the mechanic at my garage said that is because K&N let through more dirt because it also lets through more air. Just what someone told me...but as hard as I drive my cars...I dont need help breaking anything...so ill stick to paper filters :D
 

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Premium Member
2006 E55: 1999 ML430; 2002 E430 4matic; 1988 190E 2.3; 1993 XL883
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301 Posts
Well, your poll doesn't completely tell the story. For longevity, I have no issues with the K&N filter. If you're looking for performance gains, forget it! I also assume that you're talking the direct rectangular replacement and not the cone type. I vote YES, just because I have used them a lot and while they offer longevity, they do not offer any measurable performance or MPG advantage without exhaust mods!
I'll agree with Darkmann, that they are good for longevity, but, after my post "Any advantage to a K&N air filter?", I have decided to stick to the OEM filter. It's a good filter and for the small gain in perfomance with the K&N, I don't want to reduce filtration. (more air = less filtration)
 

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2000 ML430, 2000 C280
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920 Posts
It is called the placebo effect:

placebo effect (ple-sê´bÖ î-fèkt´) noun
A beneficial effect in a patient following a particular treatment that arises from the patient's expectations concerning the treatment rather than from the treatment itself.

In other words, you imagined an improvement because you were expecting an improvement.

DelJ




...on my 203 and 163, i do notice k&n filters sucking in lil' more air...
at least u 'feel' like u r gaining....
even if it's 0.5% gain, gain is gain... and i'm happy...
 

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ml500 w163 2002
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456 Posts
There's probably only one person on this board who fully understands what you're trying to say here. I HAVE DRIVEN K&N FILTRES A LOT ON A AT LEAST 3 VEHICLES AND THEY DO LAST A LONG TIME. IS 150K+ LONG ENOUGH FO JUST ONE CAR? There was no measurable performance due to the filter on any of these vehicles.



Ruey, we're talking about a vehicle air filter, not the tire, fuel system, tranny or motor; just a darn air filter. How many times has there been a air filter sabotage by anyone, including vehicle owners? None that I know of. You really think that a valet would cause your air filter to ...well, whatever, you're scrambling here man. Like I said earlier, I have driven on these and they last a very long time and I don't argue the 1million miles claim.


Where in the world do you drive? Indy 500? So you spend $50+ just for a 0.001 off the line response. I wonder how much fuel you burn in the process. For starters, for a SUV, the HP vs RPM curve for the K&N is useless until far up in the RPM range. You'll still get miserably slammed by a stock ML55 while your'e messing up your MAF. It really just isn't not worth the pain for a ML if your goal is performance.
as i stated in the previous post i never said that the filter adds hp's. my previous post was touching on two points.

1) Throttle response is not always benchmarked by hp gains. You can have more hp's but poor throttle response as you know it is useful since you seem to be into performance cars for over 200k miles driving experience and doing some creative driving techniques like heel and toe a good throttle response helps alot more than hp's etc.

2) In my effort to keep thing short and not spend much time writing my post, I didn't make myself clear and was thinking about another subject. I was referring to longevity of the engine is all relative to the engine itself, and unless you put the exactly same cars side by side that went through the same elements, you can't blame the filter for shorter engine life as others have suggested.

So my closing remarks is that it depends on what you're trying to achieve in whether the K&N is or is not for you.
 
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