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View Full Version : K & N Filter Trouble!


kalanic
06-12-2006, 06:56 PM
Just got my truck from the dealership & costed $600. I have a 2002 Chevy Silverado Ext. Cab 5.3L Motor w/ about 51000 miles. I put the filter on at about 10000 miles. Never cleaned it or oiled it.
My check engine light had come on, so I took it to the dealership. I have the 100,000 mile 5 year Waranty.
They told me it was a Code 300 & gave me a letter sent out to all service departments about aftermarket oil based air filters. They say that the oil in the filter caused the problem. It coated my Mass Air Sensor with oil which caused the truck to run Lean & burned up all my spark plugs. They had to change all my plugs, complete throttle body cleaning, & they put a factory air filter back on.
I just got offf the phone with K&N Filter. They said they have had over 400 claims of the same situation & have proven them all false. They gave me a address to send my reciept & service letter to. I had the service dept. specify that it was due to a aftermarket filter on my service reciept. K&N says they will have a resolution within 30 days, either they will get the money back from the dealer or they will pay it themselves. We will see!

My new MCX on my X-10 has a K&N Filter. Wonder if it will cause any problems??

Hoosier Bob
06-12-2006, 07:08 PM
I always have a spare stock filter for when I am charging my K&N but have never heard of that situation. Easy to tell the guy at the motorcross track that over oils his filter though(rich, smokes and fouls plugs)! If a filter is over oiled it would make sense but from the factory you should be fine. Why does it take 40k to cause the suituation. May want to check with UMP as I have had a lot of GM products that although ran great would carbon up and cause issues with EGR and Mass Air. TBI 4.3 for one. Keep them clean (fuel system) and they run forever. :twocents:

kalanic
06-12-2006, 07:10 PM
K&N Says not to clean the filter until at least 50000 miles. I just followed as it said. Mybe mine was just bad luck..who knows. Everyone I know uses the filters. Im just glad K&N is willing to make good.

Hoosier Bob
06-12-2006, 07:17 PM
I agree but someone may be passing the blame. K & N in my auto for 65K and my motorcycle for 12k. In the past I have had them but as you said never hit the 50k! I clean a little more often as I am all over and sometimes very dusty around here. My Accord needed a full egr/full system treatment at 90k. Would shudder and trans seemed to be vibrating. Fuel system, EGR and transmission service for about $230 fixed her up well! Anyway I had not heard of any issues and would only think they would happen if some Yahoo or YOOPER (UMP)loaded them up with too much oil. :D K&N Says not to clean the filter until at least 50000 miles. I just followed as it said. Mybe mine was just bad luck..who knows. Everyone I know uses the filters. Im just glad K&N is willing to make good.

Workin' 4 Toys
06-12-2006, 07:58 PM
K & N in my auto for 65K Did he say he uses it as a beer holder, not in the intake:rolleyes:
My Accord Would shudder and trans seemed to be vibrating. DUH...It's a Honda!! It's ain't the air filter.8p

On a more serious note, I have been using K&N's for many years. Quads, bikes, trucks, cars, boat. Never an air filter related issue to date, two of which had 80K each.
I bought K&N filter cleaner in Silver Lake Michigan while running the dunes. Works much better than soap and water......

Hoosier Bob
06-12-2006, 08:35 PM
Where have you been? Fixin your ride? I use it as a beer filter! Half the calories! :D Don't make me ask someone to ask someone else to ban your arse!Did he say he uses it as a beer holder, not in the intake:rolleyes:
DUH...It's a Honda!! It's ain't the air filter.8p

On a more serious note, I have been using K&N's for many years. Quads, bikes, trucks, cars, boat. Never an air filter related issue to date, two of which had 80K each.
I bought K&N filter cleaner in Silver Lake Michigan while running the dunes. Works much better than soap and water......

ntidsl
06-12-2006, 09:19 PM
hmmm....something seems fishy!!!

JimN
06-12-2006, 09:35 PM
I can definitely see how the oil could cause issues for the MAF sensor, maybe even the EGR or O2 sensor, too. However, the car manufacturers should let car/truck buyers in on their secret. I think there are more K&N users with older vehicles, though and everyone in a car parts store has said that everyone says their new filter makes a huge difference after not changing the old one for about three years. I have a '90 Silverado and did change to a K&N when I bought it about 5 years ago. It made a difference but not a huge one. Unfortunately, mine doesn't have the roller lifters and I'm not going to go nuts with it as far as mods. If I do that, it'll be on a car that's a lot of fun to drive.

kalanic- you don't have a MAF in your boat, do you?

Workin' 4 Toys
06-12-2006, 11:33 PM
hmmm....something seems fishy!!!
I'll say, HB, you forgot to take out the trash last month....

tommcat
06-13-2006, 09:00 AM
i'm a master tech for a ford dealership. we receive the same letters and bulletins from ford all the time. technically you can coat the MAF wire with oil if you over-oil a K&N, but since you havent done that it simply isnt the case.
a P0300 is a random misfire code, which wouldnt be caused even if you smashed the MAF with a hammer.
a throttle body cleaning is completely unneeded and they ripped you off for that. thats one of those make believe services dealerships charge customers for.
and i dont care how lean you run them, it wont burn up your spark plugs in any way.

you need a new dealership. they hosed you

Ric
06-13-2006, 10:28 AM
I cannot understand why GM would put such a dainty touchy set of sensor wires in that MAF. It looks like if you look at it wrong, it will be damaged, shelacked or gummed...

kalanic
06-13-2006, 10:30 AM
wow..Thanks Tommcat! I guess the good outcome would be that K&N is willing to get my money back! I believe the dealer is full of it as well! I don't think I will be invited back to that dealership anyway since I called the service rep. a F$%$! Pencil Pusher! He didn't like that too much.
Truck is running much better though..whatever they did!

kalanic
06-13-2006, 10:31 AM
JIMN-Not sure if I have a MAF in my 2004 X-10 or not.

tommcat
06-13-2006, 10:34 AM
I cannot understand why GM would put such a dainty touchy set of sensor wires in that MAF. It looks like if you look at it wrong, it will be damaged, shelacked or gummed...
has nothing to do with GM, thats how a MAF sensor works. it heats a very small wire and the amount of air flowing across it cools the wire to a certain degree. the amount of cooling tells the PCM how much air is flowing through the MAF.
if it gets coated with anything it acts like an insulator and the MAF readings are no longer valid.

tommcat
06-13-2006, 10:36 AM
wow..Thanks Tommcat! I guess the good outcome would be that K&N is willing to get my money back! I believe the dealer is full of it as well! I don't think I will be invited back to that dealership anyway since I called the service rep. a F$%$! Pencil Pusher! He didn't like that too much.
Truck is running much better though..whatever they did!you may have just been due for plugs, or could have had a bad MAF. the MAF should have been covered under your extended warranty

Ric
06-13-2006, 10:36 AM
has nothing to do with GM, thats how a MAF sensor works. it heats a very small wire and the amount of air flowing across it cools the wire to a certain degree. the amount of cooling tells the PCM how much air is flowing through the MAF.
if it gets coated with anything it acts like an insulator and the MAF readings are no longer valid.
Seems like there would be a better design by now? Whaddo I know, I just buyem. :rolleyes:

tommcat
06-13-2006, 10:37 AM
Seems like there would be a better design by now? Whaddo I know, I just buyem. :rolleyes:
i agree, but i'm no engineer.

i dont design 'em, i just fix it when it's designed poorly in the first place ;)

Diesel
06-13-2006, 10:38 AM
If you care about filtration I would put the factory unit back in the air box. Many, many reliable comparisons show the K&N (and like) are actually very poor at filtering compared to the factory paper units.

kalanic
06-13-2006, 10:43 AM
you may have just been due for plugs, or could have had a bad MAF. the MAF should have been covered under your extended warranty
You think I was due for plugs at 51000 miles? I thought they weren't due until 100000 miles. They never replaced the MAF just cleaned. They replaced my plugs though.

tommcat
06-13-2006, 10:52 AM
You think I was due for plugs at 51000 miles? I thought they weren't due until 100000 miles. They never replaced the MAF just cleaned. They replaced my plugs though.we have 100K plugs too, and if left in for that long they will be seized in the heads. we usually replace them around 60K.

sometimes a MAF can be cleaned, that might have helped. the P0300 is what i question in regards to any MAF concerns. i would never even look at that sensor for that code.

tommcat
06-13-2006, 10:53 AM
If you care about filtration I would put the factory unit back in the air box. Many, many reliable comparisons show the K&N (and like) are actually very poor at filtering compared to the factory paper units.
100% correct

djhuff
06-13-2006, 01:10 PM
What about the Banks kits? Will I have the same problem with that filter? Almost ready to pull the trigger on a kit, but this makes me think twice.

6ballsisall
06-13-2006, 01:14 PM
While we are on the subject and not trying to threadjack does anyone know of a paper filter for the MCX? I am not a fan of K&N filters as I have seen the damage they can do even when properly maintenenced. I'd rather have something with a little less bling or go fast stickers in my boat than the K&N

Ric
06-13-2006, 01:15 PM
I agree Jeff
I was just about to spring for the KN cleaning and oiling stuff for my boat when this thread came up:(

6ballsisall
06-13-2006, 01:16 PM
You think I was due for plugs at 51000 miles? I thought they weren't due until 100000 miles. They never replaced the MAF just cleaned. They replaced my plugs though.

IIRC, the 100k BS that all the manufacturers push on their plugs has to do with Government requiring that stuff. I personally would never run a plug 100k miles regardless of what they say, they just aren't designed for it. I did run my diesel 100k miles on teh same plugs............oh wait it didn't have plugs!! :woohoo:

kalanic
06-13-2006, 01:17 PM
Im with ya jrandol! It;s made me think alot about the K&N on mine as well!

6ballsisall
06-13-2006, 01:17 PM
I agree Jeff
I was just about to spring for the KN cleaning and oiling stuff for my boat when this thread came up:(

I had a K&N FIPK on my F150 a few years back. Absolute junk! Filteration was horrible and it did a # on the motor.

kalanic
06-13-2006, 01:20 PM
I did not mean to scare anyone with this thread but to only alert of my troubles. I have belived in K&N for many years & all my friends have as well! Almost every motor driven vehicle or toy we have has one. My troubles may have been a fluke but I haven't seen anything that rules out the possiblity that Oil Based air filter may be more harmful than good on newer motors.

WTRSK1R
06-13-2006, 01:46 PM
I agree with Tommcat's comments. I would not expect a P300 to have anything to do with the MAF. My wifes car had 80,000 miles on it and started to pop a P301. Basically misfiring on cylinder 1. I put a new set of plugs in and reset the codes and it has been running great since. When the code first started, you could not detect any issues other then the Check Engine light when driving, but after ignoring it for about 2 weeks, the misfire was very detectable while driving. When I pulled the plugs, they were a nice tan color like I would have expected, but the electrode was really worn down. There is no way these plugs would have made it to 100, 000 miles.

tommcat
06-13-2006, 01:46 PM
What about the Banks kits? Will I have the same problem with that filter? Almost ready to pull the trigger on a kit, but this makes me think twice.what truck are you driving?
i'm a Banks dealer as well as the only diesel tech here, i install them all the time and have not yet had a problem. i have one in my truck with 180K on it, no problems

JimN
06-13-2006, 02:07 PM
jrandol, etc- if the boat came with a K&N, use it. They did a lot of testing and it works for this purpose. How much dust and crap do you see flying around bodies of water, anyway? You don't have any sensors that could fail from using the K&N filter, with or without oiling. Go ahead and oil it after cleaning, that's what they recommend at MC training.

There is no paper filter for marine use on these motors. It's called a flame arrestor , right? It filters well enough and does breathe better than a paper one. The filtration issues are with cars and trucks, not boats.

You guys are being like Chicken Little here. One person has a problem, blamed on the filter by their dealer and then you all want to get rid of what has been working fine for years on your boats. When was the last time you heard about a boat motor blowing up due to bad air filtration? These failures, other than the cam gear issue (short lived) are almost always maintenance related with the occasional winterization procedure error. I'm not talking about the fuel pump issues, I'm referring to catastrophic failures.

If I'm wrong, tell me why.

kalanic
06-13-2006, 02:19 PM
jrandol, etc- if the boat came with a K&N, use it. They did a lot of testing and it works for this purpose. How much dust and crap do you see flying around bodies of water, anyway? You don't have any sensors that could fail from using the K&N filter, with or without oiling. Go ahead and oil it after cleaning, that's what they recommend at MC training.

There is no paper filter for marine use on these motors. It's called a flame arrestor , right? It filters well enough and does breathe better than a paper one. The filtration issues are with cars and trucks, not boats.

You guys are being like Chicken Little here. One person has a problem, blamed on the filter by their dealer and then you all want to get rid of what has been working fine for years on your boats. When was the last time you heard about a boat motor blowing up due to bad air filtration? These failures, other than the cam gear issue (short lived) are almost always maintenance related with the occasional winterization procedure error. I'm not talking about the fuel pump issues, I'm referring to catastrophic failures.

If I'm wrong, tell me why.
I have to agree which is why this thread was posted on the off topic section. My problem was in my truck not boat. It only raised a question in my mind because I di not know about it. If you boat tech's tell me the K&N filter is safe then I believe you & carry on as usual. I don't believe this issue is addressed in my manual which is why I was looking for clarification, so thank you! I believe in K&N's products, this was a surprise to me. I don't think I will be re-installing one in my truck or future vehicles.

Ric
06-13-2006, 02:21 PM
The sky is really falling?

Thrall
06-13-2006, 02:51 PM
I've heard (and read) that K&N's don't filter dust as well, but my belief is that they can get damaged easily or oiled improperly and that is probably a good part of the problem.
On a boat, there is really no dust to be filtered as the flame arrestor is in a wet and confined area.
I haven't put a K&N on my DMax due to what I've been reading, but have about 80k miles on my 01 Dodge w/ a K&N, 115k total on the truck, and haven't had any problems. Not sure the power gain was worth the cost of the FIPK (I think it just sounds faster!).
Haven't had a dealer ever raise an issue about running K&N w/ my vehicles, althought the problems havent been engine related either.

JimN
06-13-2006, 03:58 PM
Oiled cloth air filters are as old as combustion engines, and I would bet that people put wet cloth over their faces to filter out dust for a lot longer than we could imagine. It works until it's dry, clogged or has a hole in it. A dry K&N still filters, but not as well a properly oiled one. I have one on my truck and don't notice as much dust inside on the air cleaner frame as I think I would if it wasn't working. I definitely notice a difference in acceleration between it and a clean paper filter but I didn't get it for top end, just a bit better breathing ability. In an extremely dusty environment, I would probably use the filter with the smallest holes and change it a lot more often. My truck is originally from PHX and had high mileage when I bought it. I've had it for five years and added close to 100K without any performance problems. It runs great, doesn't use oil and my mileage hasn't really changed, other than when I fall behind on maintenance (I don't go too far off of the schedule, though).

My comments were more for the boaters who are now questioning the use of a filter that came as std equipment on their boats and think they'll suddenly have a problem. C'mon! How many of us have seen the same cars and trucks driving around our cities and towns? You know the kind, belching out black smoke and sounding like they'll puke in a second, or like they should have years ago but somehow, they keep going and it's a fair bet that they either haven't had an oil change is years or they just add some when it starts clacking like a bunch of ball bearings falling down a steel stairway. It's fine in an open loop system (like a boat or car without an O2, MAF or other sensor that checks the incoming and outgoing gases.

A MAF sensor (I have heard that there are three kinds) can be touchy. The hot wire kind don't like water, oil gas or really, anything on them. This may be the kind that "caused the problems". Or not. If the code was for a misfire, I would suspect the tech's diagnosis.

Yeah, it's really falling. I got nailed with a chunk this past weekend. At least, I think that's why my head hurt on Sunday morning.

tommcat
06-13-2006, 04:33 PM
realistically we dont even need an air filter in our boats. there simply isnt any dirt flying around in the engine compartment. a mesh screen to keep out critters would be fine. the "filter" is there strictly as a flame arrestor.

Ric
06-13-2006, 04:35 PM
that is all my old supra had was a metal screen "flame arrestor"

6ballsisall
06-13-2006, 05:26 PM
jrandol, etc- if the boat came with a K&N, use it. They did a lot of testing and it works for this purpose. How much dust and crap do you see flying around bodies of water, anyway? You don't have any sensors that could fail from using the K&N filter, with or without oiling. Go ahead and oil it after cleaning, that's what they recommend at MC training.

There is no paper filter for marine use on these motors. It's called a flame arrestor , right? It filters well enough and does breathe better than a paper one. The filtration issues are with cars and trucks, not boats.

You guys are being like Chicken Little here. One person has a problem, blamed on the filter by their dealer and then you all want to get rid of what has been working fine for years on your boats. When was the last time you heard about a boat motor blowing up due to bad air filtration? These failures, other than the cam gear issue (short lived) are almost always maintenance related with the occasional winterization procedure error. I'm not talking about the fuel pump issues, I'm referring to catastrophic failures.

If I'm wrong, tell me why.


Dang Jim!! Chill dude! :wavey:

Just commenting on my past experiences with K&N filters and stating they aren't my favorite. ;) Your right, in a boat probably not much need for filtering given no dust, etc.... but you have no idea how anal I am about my boat. Just as Erk :D

djhuff
06-13-2006, 05:47 PM
tommcat, driving a 2005 Excursion V10. Was looking at the stinger pack (intake and cat back exhaust) with transcommand. Don't want to mess with the headers for warranty reasons (right?).

Don't know if you remember, but I went this route based partially on your recommendation (that, and a great deal kind of fell in my lap).

Ric
06-13-2006, 05:48 PM
Dang Jim!! Chill dude! :wavey:

Just commenting on my past experiences with K&N filters and stating they aren't my favorite. ;) Your right, in a boat probably not much need for filtering given no dust, etc.... but you have no idea how anal I am about my boat. Just as Erk :D
you arent going to have him banned are you jr :friday:

Footin
06-13-2006, 05:49 PM
Had a K&N on my last motorcycle and it never gave me a problem, but never could tell of the bike had any more power with it over the stock filter.

6ballsisall
06-13-2006, 05:54 PM
you arent going to have him banned are you jr :friday:
Nah......he's useful around these parts :D

tommcat
06-13-2006, 06:02 PM
tommcat, driving a 2005 Excursion V10. Was looking at the stinger pack (intake and cat back exhaust) with transcommand. Don't want to mess with the headers for warranty reasons (right?).

Don't know if you remember, but I went this route based partially on your recommendation (that, and a great deal kind of fell in my lap).
yes i do remember, how are you liking it so far? my buddy bought the exact same truck and loves it. i've almost got him talked into supercharging it, should be sweet.

the stinger kit is good, although the manifolds are by far the most restrictive i have ever seen on anything. thats why the headers make such a nice gain. plus the Y-pipe is a joke on those. and i'm almost positive they are using the torqueshift trans in that model now and no transcommand is available(or needed) for those. i can double check if you need me to though.

warranty issues would really depend on your dealer. legally they cant void your warranty but some dealers are just a bunch of A-holes that will make life difficult if you even put in a K&N (as we've seen in this thread)
we are a Ford dealer and we install them, with no warranty problems at all. but again, i'd just run it by your dealer and see what the service manager says.

djhuff
06-13-2006, 06:22 PM
Don't think it is the torqueshift as it is only 4 speed. I still havent figured out which engine is in it. The 2005 F250 literature says the V10 is 395hp but the 2005 Excursion lit says 310hp. I have a hard time believing that ford manufactured two seperate V10 engines, but they could have put the leftover 310 versions with the old trannys in the Excursions since they were phasing out.

tommcat
06-13-2006, 06:31 PM
Don't think it is the torqueshift as it is only 4 speed. I still havent figured out which engine is in it. The 2005 F250 literature says the V10 is 395hp but the 2005 Excursion lit says 310hp. I have a hard time believing that ford manufactured two seperate V10 engines, but they could have put the leftover 310 versions with the old trannys in the Excursions since they were phasing out.
the excursion got the lower output motor for some reason. although on the plus side you got the older style front suspension(leaf spring) instead of the new coil spring set up. the new style superduty rides like sh!t. there are a bunch of bulletins out for them but they still dont fix the problem.

Ric
06-13-2006, 07:04 PM
Nah......he's useful around these parts :D
Jimn you are safe from being banned, they are working on robertt's account right now anyway ;)

JimN
06-13-2006, 08:40 PM
That's kinda what I was saying before. Not too many construction zones on the water with flying dust, etc. There's some garbage, sure, but it's not nearly as bad as on the road.

Workin' 4 Toys
06-14-2006, 12:55 AM
I like the K&N's because I can clean 'em, reoil, and put 'em back in. I have been using them for many years, and will continue to do so (until it can be proven to me, that the air filter caused catastrophic engine failure, and can guarantee me it would not have happened with the paper)
Yup, I have even used them on my remote mount differential breathers just for the look..:D
As the thread originally started out, I hope they cover your costs for the scam the dealer put you through. For that....:toast: