Everything You Need To Know About K&N Drop In Filter Vs Stock

K&N drop in filter vs stock air filters are two popular options for vehicle owners looking to optimize their air intake systems. While K&N filters improved airflow and a reusable design, stock filters provide a cost-effective and reliable solution.

Consider the benefits of each, such as performance, fuel efficiency, and engine protection, to determine the best choice for your vehicle’s needs.

Every air filter has advantages and disadvantages. Read on to find out alongside us.

What Is K&N Drop-In Filter?

k&n drop in filter vs stock
K&N Drop-In Filter

If you want to give your automobile the extra boost that factory air boxes lack, K&N filters are a good choice. These may easily be swapped in for the original OEM air filters.

They are constructed with numerous layers of cotton media that have been treated with unique oil. Before the particles enter the intake tract, the oil helps trap and hold them.

After being entangled in the network of cotton fibers, they absorb part of the oil from the filter.

As a result, more pollutants are captured because those dirt particles are practically built into the filter.

These aftermarket K&N filters are washable and reusable, an added bonus. Instead of replacing your filter whenever it gets dirty, you may wash it out and put oil on it again.

In addition to saving you money, this prevents paper filters from ending up in our already overflowing landfills.

What Is Stock Air Filter?

The engine in a car is propelled by a mixture of air and control fuel, and the cleaner the air, the better for the machine. The air filter will make sure that this is as clean as it can be.

A variation of the stock intake was specially made to capture dirt and other particles. Its primary benefits are low cost and simplicity of replacement.

This component is essential for safeguarding your stock engine and is routinely changed after a year or copious amounts of miles.

Paper is typically used as a standard air filter in automobiles. The oiled filter paper can appear thin, but it performs well if you keep replacing it on schedule.

A decent stock air filter will maintain low burning of fuel while ensuring steady performance.

A steady stream of clean, fresh air also keeps your automobile from overheating since the powerful engine heats up due to the combustion process needed to power the vehicle.

K&N Drop In Filter Vs Stock: Key Differences

stock air filter vs k&n
K&N Drop In Filter Vs Stock


Between the stock air filter vs K&N, the K&N drop-in filter performs better. So, the price is higher. K&N filters are 3–5 times as expensive as paper filters that work just as well.

An average factory aftermarket filter costs between $20 and $25. A K&N air filter, on the other hand, can cost up to $100, causing a cost issue.

It is not always cheaper or better. Because of being made to last for your vehicle’s whole life, K&N reusable air filters are well worth it.

However, the increase in horsepower is only marginal. You won’t notice a rise of more than 5 to 10 horsepower through the cold air intake, which is what you should anticipate.


Most stock paper filters are constructed from fibrous and pleated paper with holes big enough to capture solid particle dust from the air.

Particulate matter tends to dirty air filters because of high pollution levels. Whenever your car receives a general service, a dirty air filter should be cleaned or replaced.

Yet, a K&N aftermarket air filter is allegedly constructed of sheets of aluminum wire mesh sandwiched between layers of cotton gauze.

Millions of microscopic cotton gauze strands create a powerful filtering medium that holds specially tailored oil in suspension.

The filtering media can capture and keep even smaller dust particles than the actual size of the aperture in the fiber.


Despite having a higher air flow than paper filters, K&N filters allow substantially more dust in dusty situations.

Every time you change the engine oil, you must clean and re-oil the K&N filters more frequently than a paper filter would normally require to maintain 97% filtering.

According to the manufacturer, a K&N filter, for example, is engineered to achieve high, almost unfettered airflow while maintaining filtration levels essential to long engine life.

Because there are no holes to clog, the dirt particles accumulated on the fiber’s surface in a K&N element do not impact the airflow.

K&N Drop In Filter Vs Stock: Which Is Better?

high flow air filter vs stock
K&N Drop In Filter Or Stock Better

The type of car you drive is the key to the solution. K&N filters enhance airflow, suggesting that the powerful engine may perform better—but only if it can.

If you want a filter with higher performance, check out K&N. But unless you’ve got a carb and no MAF sensor, we wouldn’t advise getting one.

It does not sufficiently filter out the microscopic particles that will contaminate your MAF.

Also, a K&N filter will last much longer than a stock intake, but that won’t matter much if your engine suffers damage every time you drive your car.

Instead of replacing the entire engine block, the air filter replacement is far less expensive.

If you intend to maintain the car, K&N is well worth the money. If you remove it and clean it correctly, that is.

As a result of not having to buy a new one every year, you will save money for ten years and get better gas mileage.


Does A K&N Filter Make A Difference?

You must ascertain the type of induction system that your car employs; if it is the kind where the air is sucked in through the air cleaner, then a difference will be felt.

It won’t make a difference if your air cleaner is the kind where the box is static inside the engine compartment and has no connection to an external airflow.

Why Do People Dislike K&N Air Filters?

The fact that the filter doesn’t obstruct intake air passage makes them extremely effective. Thus, if you have a high-performance car, drive it.

But, if your car has a MAF sensor, you will need to spray the sensor with MAF cleaner because the thin wires will eventually become dirty.

How Often Should You Clean A K&N Air Filter?

That will largely depend on where you got your car. Anytime it is dirty is the brief response.

Although most filters are designed at least to come close to the capabilities of OEM filters, any filter could easily clog and decrease airflow in severely unclean conditions.

Create a schedule with a cleaning kit based on the details of your dusty conditions.


This article has outlined the distinctions between K&N drop in filter vs stock.

A K&N filter may slightly increase gas mileage for a basic automobile without any performance modifications, but this is the only advantage they have over OEM filters for regular cars.

Make a wise choice that best meets your needs.

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