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Old 03-29-2011, 11:45 AM   #1
ican2
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Default best air filter?

I have a 1997 saturn SL1 & I was wondering which air filter any of you would recommend? Right now its got a Fram air filter but i hear those are cheap.

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Old 03-29-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: best air filter?

I think air filters don't add significant impact for "better" quality. I rarely see a difference in my MPG when replacing one. Just go to a FLAPS and get whatever fits your car.

My two cents.

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Old 03-29-2011, 12:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: best air filter?

$5 and $7 rebates on Purolator filters
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=165410

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Old 03-29-2011, 12:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: best air filter?

I spent time Googling up the best air filters one day and after everything I read, concluded there is no brand that is clearly superior to another in terms of quality.

I selected the Purolator only because their oil filters had a better rep than most, and figuring they probably put the same attention to their other products.

Sears had a better price than I could find on the internet at that time. This was a few months ago. The part number I got was AF4650. (Their website does not show it so I recommend you phone them first)

Last edited by ehunter; 03-29-2011 at 12:56 PM..

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Old 03-29-2011, 03:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: best air filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
$5 and $7 rebates on Purolator filters
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=165410
Keep in mind, the rebate doesn't start until April 3rd. With that said, I already have my filter purchases for the next year ready to go.

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Old 03-29-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: best air filter?

Thanks, I missed that. I have a relatively new filters in all my cars, but was planning on "bunching" purchase of several things (oil filters, etc), and taking advantage of an Advance Auto online purchase coupon at the same time (I think you mentioned one in the other thread)

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Old 03-29-2011, 04:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: best air filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Thanks, I missed that. I have a relatively new filters in all my cars, but was planning on "bunching" purchase of several things (oil filters, etc), and taking advantage of an Advance Auto online purchase coupon at the same time (I think you mentioned one in the other thread)
.the best air filter in my opinion is the K&N filters. There a little costly but you never need another one, just clean it and re oil it

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Old 03-29-2011, 05:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: best air filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fm2200 View Post
.the best air filter in my opinion is the K&N filters. There a little costly but you never need another one, just clean it and re oil it
They are the worst at actually filtering the air. Not recommended at all. The last time I saw a comparison of a bunch of filters, the K&N and foam filters were the worst by a fairly wide margin and the best was actually made by ACDelco. Any paper filter should be just fine. They're cheap and if you change it once a year, you're good to go and are not allowing your engine to ingest a lot of dirt. I usually go with a Wix.

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:26 PM   #9
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Wrench Re: best air filter?

K&N

Almost any standard paper element filter

How much are your engine internals worth to you? I stopped using K&N years ago when I discovered a film of dirt after the filter in the intake system on a 4x4. I returned to standard paper filters and the dirt went away. The correct choice is self-apparent IMHO.

I even took close up photos of some of the thousands of tiny pinholes in the K&N "element" and posted them in this forum. Others have done so as well. Just my 2 cents worth.

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Old 03-29-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: best air filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ican2 View Post
I have a 1997 saturn SL1 & I was wondering which air filter any of you would recommend? Right now its got a Fram air filter but i hear those are cheap.
I like K&N filters. You only need to buy one then clean and re-oil/reuse when it gets dirty instead of throwing away paper filters. I've used them on my 92 SC, 96 SC2 and 02 SC2 without issues.

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Old 03-29-2011, 11:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: best air filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fm2200 View Post
.the best air filter in my opinion is the K&N filters. There a little costly but you never need another one, just clean it and re oil it
It's a good choice when you need airflow and are less concerned with engine longevity (e.g., racing).

The increased airflow is a result of less filtering - +1 on any paper filter

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Old 03-30-2011, 12:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: best air filter?

If you're keeping the car for a long time go with K&N. Everyone says they filter worse, but I use them in every vehicle I own and have never had a problem with them. The oil on the filter is what covers those "pin holes" and the bad filtering usually starts when the filter gets dirty (which is why I clean mine about once-twice a year) I have never tried any of the other re-usable air filters but I am satisfied with K&N (my SL2 has a cone filter on the short ram, and my GF's saturn has a drop in which looked new for only $15 at the junk yard and I also got the air box and silencer piece with it for the price). Do some shopping around though, ebay is a good place to get parts for cheap but make sure the seller has a good rating (at least 97% or higher)

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: best air filter?

Until somebody does a study concluding how much engine life is shortened with a less efficient K&N filter a lot of the criticisms here don’t mean much.

For all we know a filter half as efficient as a K&N may have a negligible effect on engine life. Nobody really knows.

If you would like to play it as safe as possible “since” nobody really knows the impact, then go with the paper filter.

The thought of not throwing away used paper filters into the landfill can also be considered nearsighted since you have no idea whether a possible shorter life of the engine/car makes its way to the scrap heap sooner.

So… choose a philosophical side and buy accordingly.

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: best air filter?

Being that the air intake is the main source for dirt to get in your engine and cause your oil to turn abrasive I would consider it an important element. The air filter is more critical than the oil filter when trying to prevent engine wear.

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Old 03-30-2011, 07:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: best air filter?

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Originally Posted by snoops454 View Post
Being that the air intake is the main source for dirt to get in your engine and cause your oil to turn abrasive I would consider it an important element. The air filter is more critical than the oil filter when trying to prevent engine wear.
Indeed. And I'm sure a roomful of propeller-heads thought long and hard about the type and size of the filter. GM wouldn't over engineer ANYTHING on the Saturn if they could save a buck on each unit. So I'm reasonably sure that letting in nearly 20X more dirt is probably not a good thing. But hey, for those that don't think letting dirt into the engine is bad, just remove the filter entirely. I hear that really reduces the restriction and opens her up for another 1.1hp.

But don't take my word for it:

http://home.roadrunner.com/~jbplock/ISO5011/SPICER.htm

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Old 03-30-2011, 08:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: best air filter?

I have reusable filters in a few of my cars, and if they are properly cleaned and oiled they are as efficient as a paper element filter-problem is many people don't oil them properly, either under-oiling or over-oiling. They also filter better as the accumulate dirt (to a point, obviously) so they require a little more attention. I don't put a lot of miles on my cars over the course of a year, so these types of filters are ideal for how I use my cars, but for cars that I use as daily drivers (like my 99 SL2) I use paper. Just easier to throw in a $7 filter once a year.

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Old 03-30-2011, 10:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: best air filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
Until somebody does a study concluding how much engine life is shortened with a less efficient K&N filter a lot of the criticisms here don’t mean much.

For all we know a filter half as efficient as a K&N may have a negligible effect on engine life. Nobody really knows.

If you would like to play it as safe as possible “since” nobody really knows the impact, then go with the paper filter.

The thought of not throwing away used paper filters into the landfill can also be considered nearsighted since you have no idea whether a possible shorter life of the engine/car makes its way to the scrap heap sooner.

So… choose a philosophical side and buy accordingly.
Agreed. And as the link posted by Vuemaniac shows, all filters will perform in different ways, but essentially every single comparison I have seen shows that filters that filter better don't flow as good. Pick your poison.

I've used quite a few K&N filters, some under very harsh conditions. My previous truck accumulated over 120,000 miles with a K&N in it while I owned it, and assuming the second owner didn't toss it, lived to over 200K miles the last I saw it. That included trips off road through Mexico in silt that literally clogged filters in a couple of trucks.

That being said I have seen the posts by DIYguy and people on other forums that seem to be as honest as DIYguy stating they purchased K&Ns with obvious oversized pin holes in them. It made me think enough to check my current K&Ns over real good, though I found no such problems.


I've got a Wix in the Saturn, due to the fact that on a SOHC engine the increase in flow wouldn't do much of anything for it anyway.

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:09 AM   #18
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Default Re: best air filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
Until somebody does a study concluding how much engine life is shortened with a less efficient K&N filter a lot of the criticisms here don’t mean much.
The latest pro study on the difference was that they both trap about the same amount of dirt. the difference is that the KN flows a lot more air so the percentage of dirt going through the engine is more due to the increased air flow.

Also the engineers at MOPAR will not honor a turbo warranty if the engine had a KN installed when it was brought in (ask me why I know that) They also candidly referred to it as a rock and stick remover and not suitable for turbo applications. But what do they know about a 8 or so micron piece of dirt hitting the impeller spinning at 50,000 rpm's. They basically said if you can hold it up to the light and see light through the element its not good enough. (I also know they are 1100 bucks a pop) The turbo was the only item on the cummins that needs special approval for the factory pryor to it being replaced under warrenty.

one could also go to the jeep fourms (I belong to the wj grand cherokee and CJ) and read how many of them found dust in their intake trunk (the clean side) when using them compaired to other brands. ( I think oiled foam and ammsoil were the ones that had no dust show up after a day of "wheeling"

I would say if fram was able to hide the air filter in a can they would make it as cheep as they could get away with and not do any harm.......but their air filters must look good when you get it out of the box. My last filter for the WJ was the oiled paper filter from fram. I use Baldwins for my cummins. (paper with a oiled foam prefilter)

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Old 03-31-2011, 01:02 AM   #19
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Default Re: best air filter?

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Originally Posted by 1996SL11.9L View Post
The latest pro study on the difference was that they both trap about the same amount of dirt. the difference is that the KN flows a lot more air so the percentage of dirt going through the engine is more due to the increased air flow.
So then there are Pro studies that contradict each other. Who you going to believe? I guess that if you have one, you will want to believe they are the better. Its just human nature.

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Old 03-31-2011, 07:11 AM   #20
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Default Re: best air filter?

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Originally Posted by 1996SL11.9L View Post
The latest pro study on the difference was that they both trap about the same amount of dirt.
What "pro study" is that? Can you share with the class?

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