How to clean a K&N air filter
In this post we are going to explain how to clean a K&N air filter. K&N air filters are the most popular air filters due to their strength and longevity. Unlike paper filters, K&N filters are made of cotton and can be cleaned and reused. As a result, you won't have to bother with frequent replacement.
The K&N filters allow you to save money. This is because, although K&N filters are more expensive than other filters, they will last for many years. You may have heard the famous expression "cheap is expensive". This is not the case with our K&N filters. It is better to spend a little more at the beginning, than to spend less and have to keep buying another filter.
So, keeping your K&N air filter clean and in good condition will improve your vehicle's mileage and performance. Want to know how to clean a K&N air filter? Read on!
How to clean a K&N air filter: 1. Clean the filter
1. Remove the filter: Open the bonnet of your car to access the engine compartment. Look for the air filter (it is usually inside a large plastic box and easily identified). If the filter has ring clamps or retaining latches, unhook them and lift the filter out. It is advisable to cover the air intake port with a towel to keep debris out of the engine once the filter has been removed.
2. Decide if the filter needs to be cleaned: You should only clean it if any of the pleats are so thickly soiled that they are no longer distinguishable. If the filter is clogged (or if the reddish lubricant layer is missing), the filter will most likely need to be cleaned.
3. Shake off dust and dirt: Shake the filter carefully to remove surface debris. If you have safety goggles and a respirator, use them to avoid inhaling dust particles. Do not shake the filter too much or handle the pleats, as this may damage them. You can use a soft bristle brush to remove dust without damaging the filter. We recommend that you remove the filter on the outside.
4. Spray the filter with a cleaner: Take the K&N filter cleaner and spray both sides of the filter and each individual pleat. Clean the inner and outer surfaces of the filter, not just the outer pleats. Use as much product as you need to completely cover both sides of the filter.
5. Allow the product to sit on the filter for 10 minutes: The cleaner will start to work through the embedded dirt, which will make rinsing easier. Place the filter on a towel while the product does its work (this way, you will prevent the dirt from running off and staining everything). IMPORTANT: Do not let the product to dry on the filter!
With these 5 steps, you will complete the first part of cleaning the K&N air filter.
How to clean a K&N air filter: 2. Rinse and dry the filter
6. Rinse the filter with cold water: Place the air filter under a tap or hose so that the water runs from the inside out (if you rinse it from the outside, the dirt will run deeper into the filter). This will help to remove dust and loose dirt. If you find that the air filter is too dirty, repeat the same process and rinse it several times.
7. Remove excess water: Let the filter drip to remove as much moisture as possible. A good idea is to place the filter on a clean and dry towel (to absorb more water) in a warm place so it can start to dry.
8. Let the filter air dry: It takes about 6-8 hours to dry completely. So let it dry overnight.
If you have got this far, you will have completed the second part and will be closer to knowing how to completely clean a K&N air filter. All that's left is to lubricate the filter and put it back in. Learn how to do this by reading the next page!
How to clean a K&N air filter: 3. Lubricate the filter
9. Apply a thin layer of lubricant to each of the filter pleats: K&N air filter lubricant contains a reddish tint. You'll know you're done when the entire filter is red. Afterwards, wipe off the excess lubricant with an absorbent paper towel. Do this in an open air or ventilated area. IMPORTANT: Be careful not to lubricate the filter too much! If you overdo it, the air intake could absorb the excess lubricant and therefore the engine's performance will deteriorate.
10. Let the lubricant settle: To allow the lubricant to set up properly, let it sit for 20 minutes. The lubricant is very important because it helps the filter to pick up dust and dirt as it seeps into the air intake. In addition, the lubricant will protect the filter, which will extend its life.
11. Put the filter in place: Slide the air filter into its slot in the engine compartment, remember to engage the clips or clamps that hold it in place! And you're done! If you follow all these steps, your K&N filter will be good as new again and your car's engine will be ready for another 80,000 km. Even so, we recommend that you check the condition of your filter every 40,000 km.
Now you know how to clean K&N filters. Now you have no excuses for keeping it in perfect condition. Read our tips and warnings below - they're sure to help!
Tips and Cautions
- Wear gloves to avoid staining.
- To reduce drying time, clean your K&N air filter on a sunny or warm day. Do not use hair dryers or other similar objects to dry your filter sooner, as this may damage it. Stay patient.
- Make a note somewhere of the mileage after you have cleaned the filter. This way, you can keep track and know when it needs to be cleaned again.
- If you see damage to the filter fabric, you will need to replace your K&N filter with a new one.
Things you'll need to clean your K&N air filter
Now that you know how to clean a K&N air filter, you'll need the right products. You're lucky! Because at CKC Auto Sport we provide a wide range of cleaning kits. Among them, our K&N oil and soap cleaning kit are one of the most demanded on our website. If you don't want the complete kit, we have cleaning products to buy individually, such as the K&N filter cleaning spray.
Also, if you need to replace your filter, feel free to visit our website and see our K&N air filters. Furthermore, if you wish to buy other car accessories, at CKC Auto Sport you will find everything you need. You will be surprised by our quality and affordable prices. See you next time!