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Best Cold Air Intake Filter

Which is the best cold air intake filter?

Revspeed magazine did a filter test to see which cold air intake filter did the best job at filtering dirt ie stopping dirt from entering the engine.

Dust was panned out over the filter for a fixed period of time, while air was being sucked through the filter with a vacuum cleaner. A filter was place under the neck of the filter to catch the dirt that passed through the filter. These samples were compared to see which filter filtered the best.

The Filters

The dirt intake tests were done on HKS Super Power Flow filter, Apexi, Sard, Blitz and K&N cold air filters.

1st Apexi – Best Cold Air Intake Filter

The dirt filter from the Apexi Super Intake was by far the cleanest of all the filters in the test. Power increase was also the highest with a 14PS increase

2nd K&N

Cold Air Intake Filter K&N
The K&N cold air intake filter had the second cleanest filter. Power increase was slightly down versus the Apexi filter at 13PS increase

3rd – SARD

SARD cold air intake filter
The filtration quality of the SARD filter was third behind K&N and Apexi. Power increase was also lower than the Apexi and K&N cold air intake filters. The SARD air filter gave a 11PS increase.

4th – Blitz SUS Power Cone

Filtration by the Blitz SUS Super Power Cone was worse than Apexi, K&N and SARD but it was not the worst cold air intake filter in the test which was a big surprise. The Blitz filter is made of metal which does not have a good reputation for quality filtration. However the power increase with the Blitz was almost the same as the Apexi filter (13.9PS)

5th – HKS Super Power Flow

By far the worst filtration performance of any filter in this test. The dust filter was clearly much dirtier than any other filter. It is slightly surprising to us that the foam used in the HKS filter performed worse than even the metal mesh used in the Blitz filter. Power increase was good though, 3rd in this comparison with a 13PS increase

Best Cold Air Intake Filter – Conclusion

The Apexi super intake cold air intake filter is the clear winner. By far the best filtration of dust and also the biggest power increase.

Looking at the filter material of the Apexi filter you can see there is more going on than normal filters like the K&N. The Apexi filter appears to have multiple layers but at the same time having a low restriction. The cost of the Apexi filter maybe more than the other filters and the filter material itself is not replaceable (like the HKS) but the performance looks more than worth the extra cost.

Dirt going into the engine can drastically reduce the life of an engine, paying more to filter the air well, is a sound investment which pays itself back many times over especially when it does not hinder engine power.

The only thing that was not covered in this test, as far as we can tell, is the time it takes for each filter to get choked with dust. Having said that we do not believe it would change the finishing order of the filters.

This page was last modified Mar 17, 2022 @ 4:16 pm


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