When most RVers think about increasing the power of their tow vehicle, they likely consider changing the exhaust to a free-flowing aftermarket system, or perhaps a computer upgrade. Unfortunately, air intake mod’s are often overlooked, because quite a few horses can be unleashed by improving airflow into the engine.
Automotive engines have substantial pressure available from combustion to force spent gases out through the exhaust. But the intake side relies on atmospheric pressure (which is less than 15 psi at sea level, and drops steadily with elevation gains) to push air through the air-filter housing, ducts and filter medium. Therefore, intake systems are sensitive to restrictions, and any airflow improvements you make can yield significant gains.
K&N Engineering, of Riverside, Calif., has been heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports, and K&N High-Flow Air Filters are designed to increase power and acceleration, while providing excellent filtration.
A K&N air filter is made up of four to six layers of special cotton gauze between two epoxy-coated aluminum wire screens. The cotton is treated with a specially formulated oil, which causes airborne dust particles to stick to the cotton strands. The nature of the treated cotton allows high-volume airflow, and the special blend of oil creates a powerful filtering media. K&N Air Filter media has been tested in-house and by independent labs using the ISO 5011 test developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
K&N High-Flow replacement air filters can be installed in minutes. Depending on driving conditions, cleaning is recommended every 50,000 miles. The filters can be cleaned with the K&N Recharger kit, saving money in the long run. They are designed to last the life of your vehicle, and K&N warrants its street vehicle OE Replacement Air Filters for 1 million miles.
Air Intake Tube Kits
Improving the air path between the filter and the engine is the next big potential area of improvement. For those who want more airflow and power than a K&N replacement air filter can provide through a stock air-filter housing, K&N offers Air Intake Tube kits for hundreds of popular vehicles. These allow the use of a larger open element filter, providing more surface area for increased airflow. The Air Intake Tube kits are made from two materials: molded polyethylene and polished, powder-coated or anodized aluminum. They are designed to get the largest horsepower gain attainable without causing a “Check Engine Light” to come on and are tested on in-house dynamometers. See K&N’s website application search for fitment and estimated horsepower gains.
Many K&N Air Intake Systems are 50-state street legal and include a California Air Resource Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) number, which ensures the kit complies with emissions standards. Systems with no EO number are street legal in most states, but may not be used on emissions controlled vehicles in California or other states adopting California emission standards.
K&N asserts that when you buy an OE replacement High-Flow Air Filter or High-Flow Air Intake System your vehicle’s warranty will remain in effect. K&N says it will assist customers if they have problems with a dealership warranty denial blamed on the presence of a K&N product. K&N Engineering: 800-858-3333, www.knfilters.com.
Vehicle Owners Spend on Automotive Infotainment
A recent J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study found vehicle owners have come to expect additional safety features, and are now turning more attention to infotainment technologies. The study measured vehicle owner interest and purchase intent for emerging automotive technologies. The top five — based on what vehicle owners indicated that they “definitely” or “probably” would purchase in their next vehicle — both pre-price and at market price are:
Pre-Price Feature Interest
Light emitting diode (LED) headlights 70%
Natural language voice activation 69%
Next-generation heads-up display 69%
Wireless connectivity system 68%
Remote vehicle diagnostics 65%
At Market Price Feature Interest
HD radio (at $100) 52%
Enhanced collision mitigation 46% system (at $750)
Wireless connectivity system (at $300) 45%
Surround-view rear-vision camera (at $550) 44%
Personal assistance safety 41%
services (at $15/month)