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Automotive Science or Voodoo?

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
This will be a catch-all forum for new automotive products that are making impressive claims for fuel mileage, engine life, paint protection, horsepower---you name it!

Hopefully, you'll post links to these products and we can discuss their scientific merits or de-merits, or if you aren't a scientist or technician, the "logic" of these claims.

Any other references to laboratory results or, on the bad side, legal actions, would also be appreciated.

Have fun!

Mrshiftright
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Comments

  • what do yall think of this anyone know if it is for real or a crock?
    http://www.frictiontechnology.com/
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    Some of the claims seem quite...er...extraordinary.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
  • mvls1mvls1 Posts: 32
    Militec? maybeeeee - Biochip? snake oil via multilevel marketing (two scams for the price of one)!
  • mvls1mvls1 Posts: 32
    claim to boost gas mileage by increasing air flow to combustion chamber. Anyone know anything about this?
    I see them sold at various domestic and import dealerships parts departments, so I am guessing that they do not void the original vehicle warranty. Is that also correct? Comments please.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    I've tried K&Ns three times on three different cars, and was not able to measure any gas mileage improvement on any of the cars. I did it carefully, too. As for more power, it "sounded" better but I can't say there was anything really going on. The ex-perts say that any HP gain with K&Ns comes at very high RPM, and is maybe 1% on a big displacement engine and pretty negligible on a small displacement engine.

    But it is reasonable, I think, to support a claim for a little gain, because the factory engineers used a stock air filter, which is generally a bit more restrictive, since they don't want the car sounding like a vacuum cleaner every time you step on the gas.

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  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    So that's what that noise is! Everytime I stand on it I can definately hear it. :)
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    K & N filters are great. Yes they are expensive but you never have to buy another air filter again. And they do give performance cars a boost.
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    Have you ever heard of or tried www.blueskycleanair.com

    I also would like everyone's opinion on this new device. I cannot say where I got this info from or what very well known company is going to make it. Maybe you've heard about it too?

    A device that filters the incoming air and turns it in to pure oxygen resulting in increased horsepower.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Document ID# 1587795, 2005 Chevrolet Impala

    Automatic Transmission Shift, Engine Driveability Concerns or Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On as a Result of the Use of an Excessively/Over-Oiled Aftermarket, Reusable Air Filter #04-07-30-013A - (Jan 25, 2005)

    2005 and Prior GM Cars and Light Duty Trucks
    2005 and Prior Saturn Models
    2003-2005 HUMMER H2

    This bulletin is being revised to add additional model years and to clarify warranty coverage. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 04-07-30-013 (Section 07 -- Transmission/Transaxle).

    First, Inspect the vehicle for a reusable aftermarket excessively over- oiled air filter
    DO NOT repair MAF sensors under warranty if concerns result from the use of an excessively/over-oiled aftermarket, reusable air filter.
    The use of an excessively/over-oiled aftermarket, reusable air filter may result in:
    • Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On
    • Transmission shift concerns, slipping and damaged clutch(es) or band(s)
    • Engine driveability concerns, poor acceleration from a stop, limited engine RPM range

    The oil that is used on these air filter elements may be transferred onto the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor causing contamination of the sensor. As a result, the Grams per Second (GPS) signal from the MAF may be low and any or all of the concerns listed above may occur.
    When servicing a vehicle with any of these concerns, be sure to check for the presence of an aftermarket reusable, excessively/over- oiled air filter. The MAF, GPS reading should be compared to a like vehicle with an OEM air box and filter under the same driving conditions to verify the concern.

    If an aftermarket reusable air filter is used, technicians should inspect the MAF sensor element and the air induction hose for contamination of oil prior to making warranty repairs.

    Transmission or engine driveability concerns (related to the MAF sensor being contaminated with oil) that are the result of the use of an aftermarket reusable, excessively/over-oiled air filter are not considered to be warrantable repair items.
  • mvls1mvls1 Posts: 32
    Thanks for the info alcan. It appears that one would have to be very careful not to over oil one of these filters or damage to the MAF sensor could result in problems. I am also concerned about any dirt that may be allowed through to engine. Anyone else have any info?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    I did see a pretty good set of dyno results run by an Audi freak, testing K&N filters and it came up pretty lame for horsepower...the variable readings could be attributed to normal dyno variation, but even if you give the HP to the K&N, we are talking like .6HP to 1.3HP on a 200+ HP car! One guy actually got 6 HP by just cutting a hole in the stock box that carried the air filter AND another dyno test I read showed a DROP in HP using the K&N FIPK (kit).

    As for sport motorcycles, how about this quote:

    -------------------------------
    "Testing of aftermarket airfilters on the RC51 has yielded poor results. Typically there are no real world benefits to aftermarket filters for the RC51 as small hp gains can be obtained on topend, but only with a severe trade off for mid-range hp. Truth be told every single Honda sportbike in the last 10 years has had losses in power at some point in the rev range or even throughout it from the addition of K&N , EMGO, BMC filters etc... The only real exception being the Airbox Plus kit developed for the 900RR from Factory Pro tuning which does increase hp throughout the rev range on the 900RR, but in my experience requires some pretty extensive jetting to get it right."
    ----------------------------------
    (me again)
    Now, all cars and bikes are different and some dyno operators are far more skillful than others, so results can vary a lot---I'm not saying all this is written in stone. But it does seem to show that on most cars and bikes, any HP gains are pretty darn small for the expense and trouble.

    I guess if you have an expensive stock air filter, then cleaning the K&N will save you some money in the long run, and well, 1 or 2 HP is still 1 or 2 hp...or 5 or whatever.

    My personal decision after trying them out is to not bother.

    Maybe in conjuction with other mods the K&N would make more sense, like cold air induction or header mods, or maybe in race cars, which are always looking for that slight edge and which are normally at very high rpm anyway.

    As for engine dirt, I think this depends on how well you maintain the K&N.

    I was going to try one in my Porsche 928 but the shop I go to said they don't use them because in the very long type of air cleaner many Porsches use, they found the K&Ns warping when tightened down, leaving a small air gap. This may not apply to other cars however.

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  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    I've seen measurable power gains (i.e. up to 0.2-0.3 s less in quarter mile times- didn't use a dyno to test the cars) using K&N air filters in combination with air intake systems on two cars that I have owned. I don't believe that they are hype. As for gas mileage, I've seen decreases instead of increases after the filter.

    What about "Royal Purple" which is a lubricant advertised on Horsepower TV (Spike TV) that is supposed to increase power by reducing friction?

    A product that I strongly suspect to be crap is "The Tornado" (a metal insert in the air induction system that supposedly creates a vortex and increases mileage and power).
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    I was using Wal-mart brand 10-W30 synthetic and then I switched to Royal Purple. I have no dyno numbers or anything like that but from a seat of the pants position there's a definite improvement.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    That gain was probably due to the air intake system no doubt. (see my post about gaining HP by cutting open the air box). If you put the stock one back on and run the K&N alone in the stock box, I bet you'd notice no difference. Also, you may just be getting better at 1/4 mile driving--give yourself the credit!

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  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    If you raise your tire pressure a few pounds over the cars recommended pressure will you get more miles to the gallon? Fore some reason I remember this to be true.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    from tires and less friction (smaller contact patch).
    The tire wear pattern might suck, though.

    Krzys
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    Well you'll get an improvement but actually wheel alignment is more important. If your front end is really whacked out, you are literally dragging (or pushing) your tires sideways.

    A couple pounds of inflation might be okay and you can see if it's worth it at the gas pump, but too much and as krzys says you'll get a harsh ride and your tires will start to wear in the center and not the sides.

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  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    We dyno'd one engine with several intake mods.
    One of which was the K&N, which only netted a 1.1 hp gain on a 358 hp engine.

    The tornado or cyclone, what ever it is going by now, only gained .8 hp.

    An electric turbo we tried gained a whopping 5.8hp, which was pretty good, but the power gain dropped off completely after 4,000 rpms, so it too had its problems.

    They weren't scientific tests, just a bunch of guys with dyno time paid for and a whole lot of parts to play with.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    A device that filters the incoming air and turns it in to pure oxygen resulting in increased horsepower.
    All I see is outlandish claims by a fuel conditioner.
    They claim it works the same for gas engines or diesels AND amazingly, it will prolong engine life. Not likely.

    An additive doesn't lubricate and lower HCs.
    As far as I know, there isn't a lubricant that will do that. The lubricant would turn into HCs.
    So you either do one or the other, not both, unless they have found some miraculous way to completely burn the lubricant in the conditioner, but then it wouldn't lubricate very well if it completely burned, now would it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    1.1 HP could be a statistical variance. The HP gain could in fact have been zero, and probably was.

    You'd actually get more HP taking your air filter out and throwing it away.

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  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    I totally agree.
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    GREAT information here, and even better info disproving...
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    I'm no car guru but I don't understand how there could be no gain in HP. It's clear that the K & N flows air better than a regular filter so how can you NOT get more HP?
  • driftracerdriftracer Posts: 2,692
    I've had K&N filters in everything I've ever owned, but I've never seen a significant increase in HP or mileage - I buy them because they sound good, are less boring than paper filters, and I never have to replace them.
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Posts: 110
    It's NOT an additive it is a bolt on devise. Again, I cannot mention a name but it is a very well known, big name company. Also it doesn't claim to prolong engine life or anything like that. It's all about increasing performance.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I couldn't agree more! The BIG advantage of K&N filters is the fact that you do not have much maintenance to do. I put a K&N filter housing and element on a Harley Softail Custom I bought new. I rode it for 8 years and never bought another filter element. It ran every bit as good as the factory original, but did give off venturi noise, which was not unpleasant at all. In addition, it was far better looking than the bread box H-D supplied as stock.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Sorry, but the only thing I found on that website was a fuel conditioner.
    Do you have a better link to the "product" you are referring to?
    Why can't you mention the name?
    At least you can name the "device"?

    I know all about increasing performance and have tried hundreds of things over the course of 27 years. Some work, most do not.
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    I went to the bluesky website also and I saw the same fuel conditioner stuff (are you dropping viruses on my computer?). However, I am real curious about the device that filters air and turns it into pure oxygen. The only way I can concieve of that is by some type of permeable membrane. However, I don't know of any membranes that are selective for oxygen and send nitrogen off in the other direction. Additionally, any membrane will have a lot of backpressure (i.e. it would have to be used with a supercharger to maintain a reasonable air intake velocity). Other ways to separate oxygen and nitrogen would be very energy intensive.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    air doesn't give you horsepower per se. It's the density of the fuel charge and if a K&N is just letting in hot air from the engine compartment it might even drop HP, which happens sometimes on the dyno results apparently. Also, the amount of air it lets in depends on engine displacement, as the air is merely atmospheric pressure. So that's why (I think) you'll see some fractionally better HP on the dyno with a K&N if it is a large displacement engine. It can pump more air than a little 2 liter.

    If you combine a K&N with an effective aftermarket intake manifold and a cold air intake, yes you will probably get a few HP...but that's a long way from just a K&N filter plopped into the airbox.

    You could probably cut a hole in the side of your airbox and get more HP than you could from a K&N I think.

    But in terms of maintenance, especially if your stock filter is expensive, it could be worth the trouble.

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