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K&N Air Filter Maintenance

1234 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  _Mark_
Anyone ever do it? Much to it? Any tips? I've got ~50k on mine, and was thinking I might should do something about this /images/graemlins/wink Note, it says 30-50k for service in the FAQ, but it says 50-100k for service on the cleaning instructions...

The cleaning instructions are located at, and here's some info from the FAQ:

20. How do I know when to clean the filter?

The general rule of thumb is that the filter needs to be cleaned when the dirt build up gets as thick as the wire mesh. The usual interval is 30,000 - 50,000 miles depending on driving conditions. We recommend that you check your filter about once a year in normal usage.

21. Can I use anything other than K&N cleaner and oil?

We recommend that you only use K&N oil and cleaner. K&N air filter oil is a compound of mineral oil blended with special polymers to form a very efficient tack barrier. We have performed tests on numerous oil combinations and our blend has the required properties for maximum flow and filtration. Petroleum products such as transmission fluid and motor oil will soften and destroy the rubber sealing edges. Our cleaner is a non-detergent degreaser. Solvents and gasoline will harden the rubber seals causing the filter to distort (shrink). A mild detergent can be used in a pinch, but care should be taken to fully rinse it out. Rinsing detergent out of a filter is similar to getting soap out of a sponge; it’s not that easy to do. Always make sure the filter is completely dry before re-oiling.

22. Can I use compressed air to dry the filter faster?

No, this can blow the filter material right out of the wire mesh and ruin the filter. Pick a nice day to clean the filter and let it dry naturally.

23. Should I brush the wire screen with a toothbrush to get all the “crud” off?

No, this could tear up the cotton gauze. A soft bristle paintbrush is a better idea and is recommended on the cleaning instructions.
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_Mark said:
What I do is I have two sets. I keep one sealed in a bag that is cleaned/oiled and ready to go. When I take the set on the car out for cleaning, I just put the other set back in at the same time. Then I can clean the dirty set and let it dry and I don't have any downtime.
I do the same exact thing. No waiting.

And Mark is right - it really as dead simple. Falling off a log might actually require more effort in fact!
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