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Old 02-13-2009, 06:06 PM   #1
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K&N Air Filter vs MPG...is this a fluke?

OK guys, this may be just a fluke, but....

Last week I installed a K&N Air Filter on my 07 F-150 (5.4 w/3.55 axle, tow package) I filled up a few days later and today I calculated my MPG on the first tank of gas.

Whereas before I was getting 16.4 mpg on my daily commute my calculation says I got 19.48 on this tank. That's 3 mpg. That's outstanding. That's better than 10%. And that's just the filter, not the intake kit.

So now I'm thinking, is this a fluke or am I on to something?

I'll make a few more calculations over the next few weeks and let you know.
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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I hope for you it's not a fluke. if your other filter was pretty clogged you certainly could have gotten that improvement in MPG by changing it.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:39 PM   #3
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I've used K&N filters on everythign i've owned from motorcycles to our last motorhome and have never seen an increase in mileage. I think it is just a coincidence. I use them for the ability to be able to clean and re-use them which saves me lots of money on my Jeep as it sees lots of use in very dusty & dirty conditions.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:21 PM   #4
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Radio, I will be anxious to see if future fill ups produce the same mileage results, or if that was just a variable in the gas pump cut off valve. If you get that kinda of improvement over several tanks, I will have a K&N filter in my 2006 F150 very soon. Keep us posted.

I just thought of something.....that shouldn't void the 3 year, 36k mile factory warranty, would it??
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:53 PM   #5
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it shouldn't void any warranty (100,000 miles) and I was getting 16.4 mpg from day one. The filter I replaced wasn't all that dirty, it was just time to replace. I'm looking forward to the next two tanks, and will purposefully avoid using the same station/pump twice.

We'll see.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:10 PM   #6
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I sure hope you (and I) get that type of increase in mileage. I have a 99 Suburban 2500 454 ci w/ 373 rear end and K&N too pulling a 34ft Sierra and the best I can get is 7mpg! without the camper on the road I get 12!!! I dont think I can stand it if I didnt have that K&N!
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:17 AM   #7
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I sure hope you (and I) get that type of increase in mileage. I have a 99 Suburban 2500 454 ci w/ 373 rear end and K&N too pulling a 34ft Sierra and the best I can get is 7mpg! without the camper on the road I get 12!!! I dont think I can stand it if I didnt have that K&N!
I had a 1994 GMC Surburban 2500 with a 454 and 3:73 rear and the best I could get was 10 mpg with out towing, I am glad it had a 45 gal tank for distance but at the time when I had it, gas was about $1.30 a gal. So I fell your pain. It past everything but the gas station.
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:52 AM   #8
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The K&N will flow a bit more air and sometimes on your first tank of fuel you will see MPG gains.The computer will adjust for the increased airflow and you will soon see the MPG back to reality.It is just a tease,A nice one though.I did this a few years ago and I had the same thing happen. Mike
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:00 AM   #9
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I think I got about .00289% increase in mileage with my Airaide (same concept of K&N)


I'm with NWJeeper. I got my setup because I can clean and reuse. With the miles I've got on mine I've paid for it twice.
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:12 PM   #10
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I've been using a K & N on my 2004 GrandAm. Prior to installing it I was averaging 28.2 MPG and ever since it has been close to 30.4 MPG. This is pretty much year round. I primarily use this vehicle for work so there not much difference in the speed I travel or the type of road. I also have one in my 2000 Durango and I saw an increase but the exact amount I can't swear because my wife drives it so I really haven't kept close track of it.
I also installed a Bank"s Cold Air intake Kit on my motorhome which includes a K & N filter. The one thing I really noticed is in the response of the gas pedal especially going up long hills. The engine steady pulls me up without having to downshift. This alone has to be better than running around 4k and hearing the gas being sucked through the engine. Better MPG I can't help but think it will be better but percentage wise I'll have to keep track of it after a few fill-ups.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:39 PM   #11
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The computer will adjust for the increased airflow and you will soon see the MPG back to reality.

Mike
I wonder how to keep the computer in this delightfully unreal state??
Shouldn't the computer have made these adjustments "on the fly" as soon as the airflow changed?
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:07 AM   #12
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I think it takes 1 or 2 drive cycles to make the adjustments.This is what I have been told anyway.I have also been told you will still see HP gains at full throttle because of the extra airflow
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:43 AM   #13
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Man I would yank that K&N. There is no free lunch on air flow. IMO a K&N will let in more microscopic particles that cause wear on your engine; particles you can't see. And for what benefit? Claims of increased horsepower and gas mileage are grossly exaggerated. If it was that easy, why doesn't the factory do it? And the K&N needs maintenance; cleaning, re-oiling . . And speaking from experience, I once used K&N on an autocross car looking for more power, it bought me nothing in lap times or fuel mileage. Yanked it.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:46 AM   #14
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Radio,
I have a Fram Airhog which is the same as the K&N. I saw about a 1 mpg increase and a lot better throttle response. Did the air temp warm up from the week before? If so, you always get better mpg in warmer weather.

For campingsince68, have you thought a ECU custom tune? I have one that totally improves my daily and towing drives. It can help with shifting by removing most of the GM torque management and timing tables better than the tune boxes. I got mine from MGSCustom Tunes in Canada. It cost me $400 for a life time of tunes. If I sell my truck, they will even send a tune for the new truck. There is also Justin at BlackBear Preformance that does a really good job.

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Old 02-17-2009, 03:20 PM   #15
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Claims of increased horsepower and gas mileage are grossly exaggerated.
Yep, they are. As far as MPG are concerned my jury is still out. I have no claim in this (except my $45 I paid for the filter ) and no ego involved. As a test engineer anything I can't measure is just an opinion. In two more tanks (two more measurements) then I can say for fact what's going on here.

As for horse power and throttle response I have no way to measure either. But right now, on this particular truck, with my driving needs and in this weather...things sure look good for the K&N as far as MPG, which I can measure with some accuracy.

A couple more weeks guys, and we'll all know.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:55 PM   #16
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Plumb befuddled and somewhat bummed

OK, I jumped the gun a little bit and didn't go the usual 340 miles or so. Filled up at 279.9 miles with 18.578 gallons which calculates out to 15.06 MPG.

What the heck is that all about? What is going on with this truck? I can't recall any appreciable difference in driving style or weather conditions. It occurred to me that I should reset the powertrain computer?

Maybe somebody siphoned off a gallon or two while I was parked at the shopping center where I meet my carpool.

I have no clue. Another tank or two and we'll see.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:36 PM   #17
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The first tank of fuel with the K&N I was driving around yelling wooo hoo then reality set in cant say we didnt tell you
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:00 PM   #18
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Just a question, Radio.... why would you use a different gas station to fill up each time for your test? (I think you mentioned this earlier.)

For MPG calcs, I believe you need to use not only the same station, but also the same exact pump for all before and after fuelings to calculate mileage inbetween... and if you want to run several tanks, I think you need to use same scenario for all tanks considered.

Interesting results... kinda matches what i found out with my Fram Air Hog filter... I have the factory equiped Z-71 pkg, that included an oversized airfilter. I saw no difference in changing air filters... from stock to Air hog... I believe the larger airfilter already gave the truck the benefit of the increased airflow... so filter media did not make a further difference.

So far, I have been happiest with the Active Fuel Management engine as the biggest bang for the buck. I previously had a 2WD truck with the same setup, (3.23 rear end vs. 3.73 I think was other diff). My old truck woudl knock down 20-21 mpg pretty regularly on the highway. My new truck does 19-20 on the highway with the 4WD and higher rear end gears... so very happy. Especially with the improved towing capability....

Please keep us posted!
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:00 PM   #19
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Just a question, Radio.... why would you use a different gas station to fill up each time for your test? (I think you mentioned this earlier.)

For MPG calcs, I believe you need to use not only the same station, but also the same exact pump for all before and after fuelings to calculate mileage inbetween...
Well...you need to get gas where you need gas! On the second tank I did luck up and get the same staion and pump. However, prior to this I always was getting 16.4 mpg or close to it no matter where I filled up. Will get another tank this weekend, and the experiment goes on. Will try for the same pump again.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:06 AM   #20
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OK...my latest mesured MPG was 17.4 which is 1 MPG up from the life long average of 16.4. I bet this continues to fluctuate, but a gain of 1 MPG would actually be what I expect to get.

We'll continue to measure.
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