Performance Air Filters
All power tuning works on one main principle; getting more grunt by shoving more oxygen and fuel into the engine to create a bigger, and hence more powerful bang in the cylinders. One simply doesn’t work without the other: you can squirt in as much of Esso’s finest as you like, but it won’t do much for power unless there’s the right amount of oxygen present to burn it all. So, that’s where a performance filter comes in.
Standard filters are disposable items made of paper, making them cheap and great for filtration. Unfortunately, they’re not so good for airflow. A good quality performance filter will be effective at filtering out the minute particles you don’t want in your engine, but they will have the capacity to flow far more air, too. You can then shove in more fuel to match (either automatically, via the AFM and ECU software on a fuel-injected engine, or by fitting bigger jets on an old-skool carb-fed lump), and you’ll get more grunt. You don’t throw these filters away come service time either; they’re all washable and reusable, so they kind of pay for themselves.
As for the age-old debate of a performance panel filter vs induction kit? Well, that not only depends on the level of future tuning you’ll be wanting to achieve, but on how much fast-road driving you’re going to do. Induction kits and cone filters are more susceptible to sucking in hot air if you spend a lot of time in traffic. More heat means less oxygen for any given volume of air, which doesn’t burn as well. This is why, ideally, they need to be shielded. When you get to serious levels of tune, however, the airflow advantages will far outweigh the heat problems when you have the hammer down.
Performance Panel filters, on the other hand, are already shielded in the standard airbox, but this means that they’ll always be restricted to some degree. They do offer excellent air flow for mildly-tuned road cars, though, and are always a top entry-level mod.
Top Contacts K&N – www.knfilters.co.uk RamAir – www.ramair-filters.co.uk