How to clean k&n air filter: the best way
K&N air filters are a popular reusable performance upgrade that can boost airflow and horsepower. But to maintain that added power, you need to clean your K&N filter regularly. A clean K&N filter ensures optimal airflow to your engine. Follow this guide to properly clean your K&N air filter at home and keep it running in top shape. Let’s find out how to clean k&n air filter together!
When Should You Clean Your K&N Air Filter?
K&N recommends cleaning their oiled air filters every 50,000 miles as part of routine maintenance. But other signs mean it could be time for K&N air filter cleaning:
- Decreased throttle response or acceleration
- Increased exhaust smoke indicating dirt bypass
- Check engine light for low airflow error
Cleaning the K&N filter restores full airflow and prevents possible engine damage from dirt ingestion when the filter is overloaded.
While reusable cotton gauze filters seem expensive upfront, cleaning a K&N filter is far less costly over the lifetime of your vehicle compared to replacing disposable paper filters.
How to clean K&N air filter: Supplies Needed for Cleaning
Cleaning and re-oiling your filter requires a few specialty supplies:
- K&N Air Filter Cleaning Kit – includes cleaner and filter oil
- Lint-free towels or cloths
- Protective gloves and safety glasses
- A clean working area outside away from dust
K&N’s cleaning products are designed specifically for their filters. Using other cleaners can damage the cotton filter media.
Step-by-Step K&N Filter Cleaning Instructions
Cleaning a K&N air filter involves several key steps: filter removal, spraying on cleaner, rinsing, drying, and re-oiling the filter.
Remove the Air Filter From Housing
- Locate the air filter housing, usually in the front bumper or fender well.
- Release the housing clips or retainers and open the cover.
- Carefully remove the K&N filter element.
- Inspect the housing interior for accumulated dirt or leaks.
Pre-Clean the Filter
Before applying the cleaning spray:
- Gently shake the filter to dislodge any loose debris. Be careful not to bang the element to prevent filter damage.
- Wipe the exterior housing of the filter using a dry lint-free cloth. This prevents debris from entering the air filter material once cleaning begins.
Apply K&N Filter Cleaner Spray
- Shake the can of K&N Air Filter Cleaner and spray liberally across the entire filter surface.
- Apply cleaner to both the dirty and clean side of the filter.
- Allow the cleaning solution to soak for 10-15 minutes so it can penetrate the cotton filter media. This is key for dissolving oil and releasing embedded particulates.
Rinse Away All Cleaner and Debris
- After letting the cleaner soak in, rinse the filter with a gentle stream of water inside and out. Low pressure allows rinsing without driving in dirt.
- Continue rinsing until the water runs clear with no dirt visible. This ensures all loosened contaminants are removed.
Dry the Filter Thoroughly
- After rinsing away all the cleaner, gently shake the filter to remove excess water.
- Stand the filter upright and allow it to air dry naturally. Or you can speed up drying by patting with a lint-free cloth.
- Check that the filter is completely dry before re-oiling. Any moisture will dilute the oil.
Re-oil the K&N Filter
- Apply the included K&N filter oil evenly across the entire surface of the filter.
- Follow the oil can directions for the proper number of oil treatments based on your filter size. This saturates the cotton filter media.
- Let the oil soak in for 20 minutes then wipe away any excess dripping oil.
Reinstall the Clean K&N Filter
- Before inserting the filter back in the housing, inspect for any cracks or leaks.
- Insert the filter carefully, seating it firmly in the housing.
- Replace the airbox cover and fasten all clips and retainers.
And that’s it – the filter is now cleaned, oiled, and ready for action. K&N recommends cleaning every 50,000 miles for optimal performance.
How to clean K&N air filter: Essential Cleaning Tips and Warnings
Here are some additional pointers to properly clean K&N air filters:
- Only use approved K&N cleaners – harsh chemicals like gasoline will damage the filter.
- When rinsing, never use compressed air or steam cleaners. High-pressure drives in particles.
- Take care not to bang or drop the filter – the media is durable but still fragile.
- After cleaning, check for any tears or holes and ensure no dirt remains embedded.
- Allow the filter to dry fully before re-oiling to prevent filter damage.
Regular cleaning and maintenance keep your K&N filter flowing freely. Avoid replacements by taking the time to properly service your filter every 50,000 miles. Your engine and acceleration will thank you!
If you are looking to gain more knowledge about air filters, we got you covered:
- Effects of Not Changing Air Filter in Car: A Comprehensive Guide
- How Much Does an Air Filter Cost for a Car? The Price Range.
- How Often to Replace Air Filter in Car: Expert Recommendations
- Best Performance Air Filter Brands – Review & Buyer’s Guide