Products to Compare (max of 3)
Compare These Parts

Daily Driver Maintenance with K&N Cold Air Intake

Add Article To List
Tags: Tech

I put a lot of miles on my street rod. To date, it’s got about 180,000 on the clock since its Street Rod life started in the early 80’s. I also put a lot of miles on my daily commuter car. Currently, that car is a 2015 Mazda 6. I bought the cheapest model I could, so I could customize it and not feel bad about discarding or upgrading factory attempts at “cool”, with my own spin on what I think makes an appealing car. Well...that, and I’m cheap.

Just shy of a quarter-million miles combined

Improvements in week-one included peeling all the badges that left no holes, a massive drop on coil-overs and a set of OE appearing 19”x9” wheels. Add to that, a short-throw shift kit on the 6 speed and window tint so dark that law enforcement cannot see me thumbing my nose at them.

This is my filter. There are many like it but this one is mine.

That left one thing left to add to my list of appearance and performance improvements for the new driver, a cold air intake. I selected K&N because their name is synonymous with performance air filtration in the industry. Plus, I could buy it at work. At the time we weren’t yet offering the wide variety of K&N products that we now do. I special ordered the kit and with the next stocking order we received, I had more parts to install on the new toy. Installation went smoothly and the instructions supplied were more than adequate. Typical of the K&N experience from what I’ve found.

Flash forward to 60,000 miles. I’m not certain what the suggested interval is for the cleaning of the element in this type of system is, I think it’s actually 100k. 60k seemed like a good time to do it being such a round number and with my factory warranty expiring and all. Once I got the element off and noted how dirty the underside was, I was certain this was a good call.

I followed the directions on the cleaner and sprayed the cotton filter media inside and out and allowed it to do its work on the gathered gunk for about 10 minutes. After that I rinsed away all the debris and gathered dirt and oil with tap water from the inside out.

Soaking takes time but is totally worth the wait

I went a little off-script when it came to the drying step. I make the disclaimer here that K&N advises you let the filter dry naturally. I’m the type of guy who’s never actually waited for the paint to cure before attempting assembly on a project. If you look closely, my finger prints are always enshrined somewhere.

Besides, this thing needed to be ready to report for duty in the morning to make the 120 mile round trip to the office. I found a sport bottle (that I’ve obviously had since the Vulcan Drifter Paint Spill of ’12) that was the perfect size and improvised a pneumatic drying nozzle. I think the main concern with using compressed air to dry or clean a filter is the risk of damage to the media and the weakening of the pleats or fiber. This indirect blowing method seemed to avoid those pitfalls while totally drying the filter in about five minutes.

Your results may vary

After the drying step, I was back on track to follow the directions given. They recommend oiling each pleat and allowing it to sit for 20 minutes to soak in. Then reapply where there are any light spots in the red tinted oil film. Pro-tip, do this over cardboard or the trash can to avoid an oily floor.

Here are my feet, I haven’t seen them personally, in years
Set for another 60k miles

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Karting Safety Equipment Guide
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
Many consider karting the introduction to motorsports since many professional drivers started in karting. It is a terrific way to learn at a lower cost, but you still need to consider safety equipment before heading out on track in your kart.
Benefits of Electronic Ignition System Upgrades
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
Upgrading to electronic ignition is a huge improvement in performance, reliability, and lower maintenance that you can add to just about any engine your project may be running. Learn all about your electronic ignition choices in this buyer's guide.
How to Convert Rear Drum Brakes to Disc Brakes (Install & Adjustment)
by Joe McCollough - Posted in Tech
In this video, we walk through the process of installing a rear disc brake conversion kit that uses a weld-on caliper bracket.
Using GoJak Wheel Dollies to Easily Move Your Vehicle
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Videos
The GoJak wheel dolly makes moving immobile vehicles around your shop easy as place, pump, and push! Watch the video for all the details and you'll wonder why your shop hasn't had a set sooner!
Understanding Shock Types and What Is Best for Your Project
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
Shocks and struts may be confusing, but our buyer's guide is here to help you make sense of all the options.
Dual Plane vs Single Plane Intake Manifolds Explained
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Dual plane or single plane intake manifold? Which is the best for your project vehicle's engine? Learn the differences in our buyer's guide.
Electric Fuel Pumps vs Mechanical Fuel Pumps: What Is Best For Your Application
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
Learn how to best choose between an electric or mechanical fuel pump for your project vehicle. We help you you understand the differences in order to properly design a performance fuel system with our buyer's guide.
Installing Exterior Trim on a 1969 Chevelle
by Tyson Jurgens - Posted in Tech
When Tyson picked up his '69 SS396, all the trim was in the trunk. We follow along as he installs the shiny stuff to finish out his project.
Complete Guide to Lowering Options for Your Muscle Car, Hot Rod, or Truck
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
There is certainly more than one way to get your project's ride height or stance where you want it and we provide a brief overview of the options in this buyer's guide on lowering products.
How to Restore Sheet Metal - Impala Core Support Repair
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
Jason walks us through the restoration of his Impala's core support, including some neat tricks for drepairing pitted sheet metal.