Products to Compare (max of 3)
Compare These Parts

Reusable Car Air Filters vs Disposable

Add Article To List

Many of us are running reusable, or washable, air filters in our vehicles. What a lot of us don’t know however is when we should clean them, or how we should clean them, for that matter. Most washable air filters should be cleaned and re-oiled at about 50,000 miles, as compared to replacing a paper filter around every 15,000 miles.

How To Clean a Reusable Car Air Filter

Cleaning your air filter isn’t very hard at all. Once you have it out of the car, thump it a few times to knock the heavy stuff off, then spray K&N Air Filter Cleaner over both sides of the filter. Soak it good for about ten minutes, making sure not to let it dry on the filter.

Next take a garden hose (or if your wife lets you do it in the sink) and rinse the filter cleaner off of the filter. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure; just let the water do the work. You may have to spray it with the cleaner again, it all depends on just how dirty the filter is.

Once it has been rinsed fully, let the filter dry on its own. It will take a while, so this is best to do on an afternoon when you don’t plan on taking the car out. Start at the crown of the filter rib, and apply the K&N Filter Oil evenly the length of the rib. Give it about 20 minutes to soak into the material again, and then you are good to re-install the filter and enjoy your classic for another 50,000 miles.

Now, some have said that the cost of all this is not worth the benefits. That’s understandable, but let us to lay out the true costs for you. We’ll use a 14”x4” round filter for this process.

Car Air Filter Cost: Washable Vs Disposable

K&N Filter Cleaner (x1): $11.00

K&N Filter Oil (x1): $6.00

Total: $79.00

That’s $79 (or so) for an air filter and enough cleaning agent for one cleaning. So a potential use of 100,000 miles. If you follow the standard 10,000 mile replacement recommendation for paper filters, that is 10 filters in 100,000 miles. At roughly $13 for the same size filter used above, that is roughly $130 dollars. Initial investment may sting a bit, but you will still save money over time by switching to a washable filter.

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Winterizing Your Fuel System
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
The process on how to effectively winterize your fuel system in open wheel racing. This includes step by step instructions and recommended parts to use for your fuel system.
'57 Bel Air Fuel Pump
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
The process of changing out a mechanical fuel pump in a 1957 Bel Air and some helpful tips while doing so.
Fuel System Overview
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Thinking about rebuilding your fuel system but you're not sure what it entails? Click here for a comprehensive article on what to expect!
Red Ram Revival Part Two
by Tim Matthews - Posted in Tech
Speedway Motors employee Tim M. Decided to take us along as he revives his 241 "Baby Hemi". In this installment, Tim helps his project breathe a bit better with and Edmunds 2x2 intake, topped with a pair of Speedway Motors' own "9 Super 7" carbs.
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.
Plumbing Your Dual Feed Holley Caburetor
by Zach Raddatz - Posted in Tech
There are a lot of options to plumb your dual feed Holley carburetor. We feel this one is a great solution.
Keep Your Sprint Car Engine Running at Peak Performance
by Dalton Johnson - Posted in Tech
One of the most important parts of your racing operation is the engine. This article gives a detailed overview on how to maintain your engine to get the most out of it for as long as possible. Also learn some tips to prolong the life of your engine.
Daily Driver Maintenance with K&N Cold Air Intake
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
Jeff K. doesn't just limit his tendencies to the classics. His daily drivers get the special treatment as well. Take his 2015 Mazda6, for example. Among the changes Jeff made was to install a K&N Performance Air Intake kit.
How To Set Up Multiple Carburetors on a Vintage Engine
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
There's a right and wrong way to run a two-barrel carburetor on your vintage engine. Check out this guide about how to select the correct carburetor for your Flathead or vintage engine.
Fuel Expansion Issues
by John Wulbern - Posted in Tech
In this Tech Tip, John offers up a couple solutions to a somewhat common problem of fuel expansion on the older vehicles.