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500ways
04-18-2012, 10:33 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts around K&N drop-in air filters? Has anyone installed one yet?

How does it compare to the stock paper filter and would there be any "real" benefit to this type of filter? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Felnus
04-19-2012, 11:51 PM
I've had one since they first became available for the US 500. (Be careful when ordering since K&N also makes one for the Euro 500 and it will not fit.) I consider it well worth the investment just for the fact that it can be cleaned and reused. It definitely makes some extra power that can be felt and demonstrated. For example, there is a hill on my way to work that I couldn't pull in 5th gear at 45 mph prior to installing the K&N and now it climbs it at that speed without issue. The 500 comes from the factory with a cold air intake so if you don't want to spring for an aftermarket system, just uncork the one you have by putting a K&N filter in it. It sounds better too.

Being frugal, I look at it this way. The drop in filter probably adds 2 to 3 hp to the wheels. Most aftermarket intake systems are claiming a 5 to 6 whp gain. I paid $35 for 2 to 3 whp, I can't see paying $200 to $250 for 2 to 4 more whp plus I won't have to purchase another air filter for as long as I own the car. More power and saves me money, win-win.

500ways
04-20-2012, 12:04 AM
I've had one since they first became available for the US 500. (Be careful when ordering since K&N also makes one for the Euro 500 and it will not fit.) I consider it well worth the investment just for the fact that it can be cleaned and reused. It definitely makes some extra power that can be felt and demonstrated. For example, there is a hill on my way to work that I couldn't pull in 5th gear at 45 mph prior to installing the K&N and now it climbs it at that speed without issue. The 500 comes from the factory with a cold air intake so if you don't want to spring for an aftermarket system, just uncork the one you have by putting a K&N filter in it. It sounds better too.

Being frugal, I look at it this way. The drop in filter probably adds 2 to 3 hp to the wheels. Most aftermarket intake systems are claiming a 5 to 6 whp gain. I paid $35 for 2 to 3 whp, I can't see paying $200 to $250 for 2 to 4 more whp plus I won't have to purchase another air filter for as long as I own the car. More power and saves me money, win-win.

Thanks for the post! I am approaching the same conclusion as I do more research. Any impact to MPG?

Any concerns around more impurites entering the engine versus paper?

Felnus
04-20-2012, 12:11 AM
Thanks for the post! I am approaching the same conclusion as I do more research. Any impact to MPG?

Any concerns around more impurites entering the engine versus paper?

MPG is hard to attribute directly to the K&N since I had less than 3,000 miles on my 500 when I installed it. My mileage has been trending upward for the most part. As far as more impurities compromising the engine, I haven't seen that in my personal experience. I've had K&N filters on three previous vehicles, all three are still running and at least two have well over 100,000 miles, the only reason the other one doesn't is the woman that bought it drives it maybe 20 miles a week.

Fiat500USA
04-20-2012, 01:09 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts around K&N drop-in air filters? Has anyone installed one yet?

How does it compare to the stock paper filter and would there be any "real" benefit to this type of filter? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Hi 500ways,

I posed a similar question over dinner to an engineer and he basically said that he has a certain airflow requirement that he needs and gives the specs to teams that tune the intake system. These teams compete to find the best solution. What this tells you is the limiting factor in an engine is not normally the air intake, it is valve size, valve ports, etc. Even the stock paper filter delivers more air than a stock engine can use. A K&N drop in filter is less restrictive, so there may be some improvement there, but on a modern car it is usually small.

Performance is all about how much money you want to spend. A K&N drop in will save you money because you can clean it, it usually sounds good and it may give you a small bump in power. At $50, it's the cheapest thing you can do to the car and is probably not a bad deal as long as you have realistic expectations. I'd use it if someone gave me one or I felt in the mood to spend $50.

MikeThinks
04-20-2012, 06:31 PM
For the price and ease of installation, a high flow aftermarket filter certainly is a change that doesn't crimp the ol wallet. You can also do your own short ram intake for about $100.00, you get a louder intake sound when accelerating with that type of intake though. Kinda depends on what you want to do, and what your goal is.

Roadpizza
04-22-2012, 08:53 PM
I'm on a motorcycle forum and the general opinion is that a K&N type filter adds very little to performance. I have had them on both a car and a motorcycle and can't say that it did much. To each his own. If you think it will work for you, go ahead.....

MarkG
04-23-2012, 08:22 AM
I have a K&N drop in I have run in my Pontiac Vibe(Toyota Corolla) for 40K miles. I did notice a slight power increase. I cleaned it last summer and couldn"t believe the difference! I had a K&N on a Ford Explorer 4.0 and couldn't tell any difference at all. I tried a Spectre Do-It-Yourself cold air system on the Vibe and I believe it slowed it down-It sounded like a 4 barrel carb with no air filter(57 Chevy 283)and set the check egine light, so out it came. Will probubly go K&N on the Abarth when its due it first air filter.

bsohn
05-17-2012, 05:36 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts around K&N drop-in air filters? Has anyone installed one yet?

How does it compare to the stock paper filter and would there be any "real" benefit to this type of filter? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I have had drop in K&N's in my Ford Probe GT, SVT Focus, my GF's VW GLI, and I am shortly getting one for the Fiat. I believe the most notable thing that you might find is an alteration in the manner in which torque is delivered. The K&N's seem to smooth out the torque curve. In all of the cars that I have so far put them in the shift feel has been smoothed out (Auto in the probe, DSG in the VW, and 6 Speed in the SVT) and the engine revs a little more freely. That could be attributed to more HP but I really feel that it is less of an HP change as a torque curve change as I cant notice any measurable change in overall speed where HP has the most effect.. That being said the change in torque is what you want more than HP for normal driving as that is what gets you moving.

And in any case the filter is not that expensive.

Brion

GileraWarren
05-17-2012, 06:35 PM
is there a K&N drop in filter available for the Abarth? If so what is the part#

CaBooSe
05-29-2012, 06:01 PM
Put one in last week in my 500c and as said before torque curve is smoother......... i can easily hit 5000rpms (manual) much quicker and smoother...... big difference..... and since ordering from 500madness would cost me much more for the competizione drop-in (because of extra shipping, taxes and duties here in Canada) Was the best 50$ i spent....
:)

Paris11
05-29-2012, 08:30 PM
Ive had one for a week now. Car sounds better for sure...sewing machine noise engine makes is less. No gains from stop BUT once in higher gears(mine is auto) big boost in power response....I feel like car is happier and I can pass without winding car up to redline. WELL worth the 40$ bucks and its a lifetime filter.

Doodles
05-29-2012, 09:33 PM
Well... After reading all this I broke down and ordered K&N air filter.
I hope it's easy to put in, and I'm keeping old one to put back in when I bring car back to dealer
for service, so they don't throw it a way .

SeaDawg
05-29-2012, 09:59 PM
Well... After reading all this I broke down and ordered K&N air filter.
I hope it's easy to put in, and I'm keeping old one to put back in when I bring car back to dealer
for service, so they don't throw it a way .

The K&N comes with a sticker that says 'STOP Reusable Air Filter DO NOT throw away' or some such to put on the air box so they see it when they pull the engine cover off. Besides it is a bit of a bother, at least on mine, to get it apart far enough to insert the K&N. In fact, I took the airbox off to put mine in. It was easier!

SeaDawg
05-29-2012, 10:02 PM
Ive had one for a week now. Car sounds better for sure...sewing machine noise engine makes is less. No gains from stop BUT once in higher gears(mine is auto) big boost in power response....I feel like car is happier and I can pass without winding car up to redline. WELL worth the 40$ bucks and its a lifetime filter.

Just remember that when it's time to buy the 'recharge' kit containing the filter cleaner and red oil to re-oil the filter. Yes, I have one. I don't know if I will when it comes time to clean and re-oil.

Paris11
05-29-2012, 10:32 PM
My service guy said he'd clean and oil for me when I have oil changes! Gonna let 500 Madness go at this Sport in next six months or so-Im sure air filter will be gone when cold air intake is installed...but thanks for warning about the fun of cleaning and oiling.

FiaTED
05-30-2012, 01:12 PM
I just added the FIAT 500 High Flow Drop-In Air Filter - Competizione - North American Version from Madness. I can't feel, hear or detect any performance increase. I dont think I will spend any more $$$ trying to inc performance. I'll just get a conv Abarth when they come out if I can't afford a BMW conv by then

panther76
05-30-2012, 03:36 PM
I just added the FIAT 500 High Flow Drop-In Air Filter - Competizione - North American Version from Madness. I can't feel, hear or detect any performance increase.

probably because $50 isnt going to really do anything noticeable.

imo, most of the "big difference" comments are due to placebo induced perceptions as much as anything real.

Evelyn Salt
06-05-2012, 07:37 PM
I just got the K&N air filter but don't have a clue how to install it.
Does it tell you how in the manual ?:shame:

Vaejovis carolinanus aka lowconabarth
06-06-2012, 12:03 AM
Is the K&N filter for the 500 NA part KN #33 2471 ?

pxpaulx
06-06-2012, 12:23 PM
I just got the K&N air filter but don't have a clue how to install it.
Does it tell you how in the manual ?:shame:

First you need to pop the plastic engine cover off - it will come up with a gentle pull.

The filter goes essentially right behind the front center grill. You'll notice a box that is approximately the same length as the filter at the front part of the engine block.

You need to undo 3 screws to get it open, requiring a 5/16 wrench (I'd recommend a hand monkey wrench over a socket type as it is a tight space especially on the left screw...sorry if my terms aren't too technical!).

Once that whole plastic part is loosened you'll see the current air filter - just need to pull it out (it is a tight space!) and replace with the K&N filter - note the way that the current air filter is fitted by the edging and place the k&n filter the same way (there is a plastic lip around the edge that needs to face the right way).

After placing it in, press the filter box back in place firmly so that the screws line up, then re-attach. Shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes.

Oh yeah, do it when the engine is cold so you don't touch anything too hot!

Evelyn Salt
06-06-2012, 01:18 PM
Ok, thanks I'll attempt when I can find some Wrenches, or whatever..I need.

pxpaulx
06-06-2012, 01:43 PM
Ok, thanks I'll attempt when I can find some Wrenches, or whatever..I need.

Yeah, I tried with my ratchet set and lost my 5/16 bit into the engine (down to the bottom engine guard, where I couldn't reach it...I'm sure it is somewhere on the road by now!).

I went to home depot and picked up a full set of cheap monkey wrenches for about $8 - just make sure it has 5/16 as not all of them will!

Fiat500USA
06-06-2012, 03:58 PM
Yeah, I tried with my ratchet set and lost my 5/16 bit into the engine (down to the bottom engine guard, where I couldn't reach it...I'm sure it is somewhere on the road by now!).

I went to home depot and picked up a full set of cheap monkey wrenches for about $8 - just make sure it has 5/16 as not all of them will!

If you need to buy tools, I would recommend only buying metric tools for the 500, 8MM is converts closely to 5/16. I'd be surprised if there were any SAE bolt sizes on the Fiat.

Evelyn Salt
06-06-2012, 06:09 PM
Ok, thanks I'll attempt when I can find some Wrenches, or whatever..I need.

I had my mechanic intall K&N , and car does seem to run a little smoother,no sport button needed ,
But it's really to early to tell if its anything significant.
A pound or so more air in each tire and I think the car will move out a little more smartly with the new filter.

pxpaulx
06-06-2012, 10:13 PM
I had my mechanic intall K&N , and car does seem to run a little smoother,no sport button needed ,
But it's really to early to tell if its anything significant.
A pound or so more air in each tire and I think the car will move out a little more smartly with the new filter.

That is my impression as well - a smoother acceleration and power feels spread out through more of the acceleration as well. It is a cheap investment either way, even if it is placebo! I do think small changes like this make a more perceptible difference than in a larger vehicle.

pxpaulx
06-06-2012, 10:15 PM
If you need to buy tools, I would recommend only buying metric tools for the 500, 8MM is converts closely to 5/16. I'd be surprised if there were any SAE bolt sizes on the Fiat.

First and last time I'll probably be in the engine bay, but good to know! 5/16 was a good fit for those particular bolts, my ratchet set didn't have an 8mm bit, or, at least, none of the metric bits in my ratchet set fit.

Pinecone
06-07-2012, 10:03 AM
In other modern cars, the stock paper filters, when new, have been found to flow more air than a K&N. So just replace the stock one more often. Less hassle and NO downsides.

With MAFs, over oiling a K&N can be an expensive proposition. If you over oil, ou can contaminate the MAF and if lucky can have it cleaned ($) or if unlucky may have to have it replaced ($$$).

Evelyn Salt
06-07-2012, 01:56 PM
In other modern cars, the stock paper filters, when new, have been found to flow more air than a K&N. So just replace the stock one more often. Less hassle and NO downsides.

With MAFs, over oiling a K&N can be an expensive proposition. If you over oil, ou can contaminate the MAF and if lucky can have it cleaned ($) or if unlucky may have to have it replaced ($$$).
I heard these last 50,000 miles before cleaning. If true, at 5000 miles a year, it wll be 10 years b4 worrying about some silly filter.

SeaDawg
06-07-2012, 02:30 PM
I heard these last 50,000 miles before cleaning. If true, at 5000 miles a year, it wll be 10 years b4 worrying about some silly filter.

In a perfect world perhaps. If you do mostly intown driving I'd say probably 2 years would be a good time to open things and take a look. If you operate in an especially dusty area even 1 year might not be too often to check on things. Even FIAT paper filters are good for 10's of thousands of miles, but that doesn't mean they'll last that long in real world use. The paper ones are a lot less messy to change, too.

YES, I have a K&N, it's been in use for about 8 months now. I don't know if I'll have one when it comes time to clean or change filters again. I still have the original paper element that came with the car.

Pinecone
06-07-2012, 07:13 PM
The other thing about K&N filters is, when clean the filter pretty poorly. The filtering gets better as they get dirtier.

They are great for off roading, but not so great for other use.

Get one if it makes you feel better. But if you are serious about long life of your engine, use the stock paper filters, just change them a bit more often.

Evelyn Salt
06-08-2012, 11:36 AM
I had my mechanic intall K&N , and car does seem to run a little smoother,no sport button needed ,
But it's really to early to tell if its anything significant.
A pound or so more air in each tire and I think the car will move out a little more smartly with the new filter.

With K&N filter and all tires at 35 pounds, now car moves out much easier.
It feels like a dead weight holding it back is gone.
Spot button used to be necessary ,not any more.
I'm very pleased at results.

Domiken
06-08-2012, 02:50 PM
You will gain 1 or two horsepower if even that (not to the wheels). The car will breathe much easier, and you wont spend money on paper filters (which is covered by warranty anyway), so its up to you. I've always had K&N's on my vehicles, they feel a bit smoother.

And whoever posted 3WHP... you are wrong, especially in the NA version.

Pinecone
06-09-2012, 07:12 AM
And how much is your time worth to clean and dry and oil the K&N?

How much do yo make an hour versus the cost of the paper filter? :)

Evelyn Salt
06-09-2012, 07:18 PM
And how much is your time worth to clean and dry and oil the K&N?

How much do yo make an hour versus the cost of the paper filter? :)
My mechanic put fillter in, no charge, he'll clean It too free, but remember, you'll only clean it Probably no more than twice or three, in your lifetime. Not really an issue.
The focus is on keeping your car running smoothly, which K &N does quite well it seems. At least in mine it does.

Fiat500USA
06-09-2012, 11:22 PM
I just got the K&N air filter but don't have a clue how to install it.
Does it tell you how in the manual ?:shame:

Remove the engine cover by wiggling and pulling it straight up from the motor and then remove the three screws holding together the air filter housing.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-72XD8h_1gME/TmwHOwQIzvI/AAAAAAAAJMs/6WD9Eo1aI4c/s800/500_Air_Filter.jpg

Evelyn Salt
06-10-2012, 07:32 AM
Yes, thank you, that's exactly what my mechanic did, I was watching him.