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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-29-2011, 02:21 PM
Petlover Petlover is offline
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K & N Air Filter and Charcoal Cabin Filter

Re: K & N Air Filter

I sold my 01 530i few months ago but keep the K & N Air Filter; I just bought the 2003 530i Sport Package and want to replace with the K & N Air Filter that i have now.
Someone said K & N Air Filter is not for Bimmer because Bimmer has the Mass Air Flow Sensor which could be damaged by using the K&N air filter.
Does anyone have comments about that?


Re: Charcoal Cabin Filter

Those Charcoal Cabin Filter looks kind of dark and gray, how do I know if it is time to replace
the new set. This 03 that I just bought, it looks like it is Charcoal or dirty, I can't really tell.

Please Advice

Petlover
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2011, 03:17 PM
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Throw out the K&N air filter. It is useless bling for an e39 that can actually hurt your car's performance and durability. There are several postings on how BMW engines lose performance with CAIs. The OEM air intake is designed and calibrated so that air pressure waves are synchronized in phase to maximize air flow when max power is required. And it keeps out the junk which will shorten your engine's life. There is nothing better.

You can't really tell by appearance as charcoal has that dirty grey look. Take a drive down the NJ Turnpike. If you smelling anything, replace them.
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:21 PM
air_cooled air_cooled is offline
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Yep, what fudman said. If you care about the quality of air going in your engine then use OEM
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:01 PM
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"K & N = Krap & Nasty"....get rid of it....
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:18 PM
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I'm glad you guys tell it like it is!
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2011, 04:23 PM
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I don't know guys.....I have been running a K&N filter for about 3 years in my air box now....absolutely no issues. Follow the instructions, don't over lubricate the filter after cleaning, and you will be fine.

I wonder if those bad MAF stories were from 540's and not 528's or 530's...obviously more air being drawn in on a 540 and if the filter is oversaturated....hmmmm.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by paferri View Post
absolutely no issues.

That's you're aware of..

Think larger particles of grit entering your intake tract if you need to visualize the possibilities.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Throw out the K&N air filter. It is useless bling for an e39 that can actually hurt your car's performance and durability. There are several postings on how BMW engines lose performance with CAIs. The OEM air intake is designed and calibrated so that air pressure waves are synchronized in phase to maximize air flow when max power is required. And it keeps out the junk which will shorten your engine's life. There is nothing better.

You can't really tell by appearance as charcoal has that dirty grey look. Take a drive down the NJ Turnpike. If you smelling anything, replace them.
+1
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
That's you're aware of..

Think larger particles of grit entering your intake tract if you need to visualize the possibilities.
Yep....there is documented evidence that K & N admits 3 times more dirt and grit compared to the OEM filter.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:00 PM
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So the air filter housing is critical?
Modification of the air intake is a bad idea?
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2011, 07:32 PM
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So the air filter housing is critical?
Modification of the air intake is a bad idea?
Just keep it original and don't touch it and you will be fine


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  #12  
Old 01-29-2011, 07:59 PM
Petlover Petlover is offline
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I guess I have to throw away the K & N Filter, I think I paid about $70 for it.

How about the Fuel Filter, how often we have to replace it, I have no record whatsoever when it was replaced by the previous owner, maybe it was never replaced.

Is Mann Fuel Filter a good one??
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2011, 08:52 PM
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There is no hard and fast rule for fuel filter changes (that I am aware of). Some have said that BMW says it is a lifetime filter , just like their ATF, which I don't believe. Some say change it regularly, which is probably conservative. Others say don't change it unless you have a problem. Since these filters are pretty big and cost about $70 each, I plan to use an interval of around 100K. Don't know much about brands but Mann should be fine.
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2011, 09:21 PM
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When in doubt swap it out! (regarding the cabin filters). Go stock on intake filter. Trust me.....OR if you use K&N keep a can of CRC MAF cleaner close by. Works well. 153k on my bimmer with stock MAF but I clean it often. I think at least 50% of those replacing it is a waste. Cleaning in most cases will clear any issues. Good luck!
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2011, 09:35 AM
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Mein Auto: '97 540iA
K&N here for the past 45K miles - no problemos. I wash and oil it every summer though

ive yet to see an E39 with a faulty motor caused by a K&N filter and I know about half of dozen of them with 1 528 having ~170K miles on it. My MAFs been fine too, no complaints there either.

OP, your best bet is to take everything with a grain of salt, I know for a fact some people here know a little too much for their own good that they complicate the decision making of other even when it comes to simple things
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2011, 10:11 AM
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.......... I know for a fact some people here know a little too much for their own good that they complicate the decision making of other even when it comes to simple things
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2011, 10:19 AM
96 GGM 528I 96 GGM 528I is offline
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I use K&N filters in every car I have owned and so does everyone else in my family. We have 8 cars total and everyone has a K&N. Guess what no air flow sensors have ever gone bad. If it was bad to have a oiled filter in your car then they wouldn't plumb the ccv hose into the intake.

As for performance K&N defiantly make more hp and fuel economy. For others that say no can you explain how a free flowing intake makes less power then a paper element filter? Because I can tell you how it make more. It is called pumping loss. As the piston travels down in the chamber it pulls vacuum from outside. The more restriction on the intake the more the engine has to work just to pull the air inside the chamber.

With that said cotton/paper element filters do filter more but I think the benefit is negligible when you take into account that most people do not change their filter every year. I think if you do have a K&N I would think you would clean it often because it is cheap and easy. In the end to each his own but ill stick with tried and true K&N filters.
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2011, 10:47 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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The paper element has almost the same level of air flow as the K&N, filters 3x better, and doesn't oil your MAF. This is all documented.

The CCV dumps into the intake AFTER all the sensors. There is no correlation between oil in the intake that's supposed to be there and oil in the intake that the K&N **** puts there.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/cms/in...d=58&Itemid=66
Ultimately it's your choice but when you have problems, don't come crying back to us.
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2011, 11:00 AM
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Plus you can buy 3 or 4 good quality air filters for the price of a K&N without the need to maintain an oil-based filtration system. And not everyone has the skills nor the time to wash and re-oil something as mundane as your air filter.

There are other "high-performance" options to the oil-based filters now. Someone posted up a note about a company offering dry high-flow filters but the name escapes me at this time.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:08 AM
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I skimmed this thread, and, to my surprise found mention of
- Engine air filters
- Cabin air filters
- Fuel filters

I didn't see anything that hasn't already been discussed so I'll have nothing to add except to point the OP to existing answers to the same questions (e.g., the question about Mann filters, and K&N filters, and oil on the MAF, etc.).

From the VERY best of E39 Links
- Pictorial DIY: BMW E39 Engine Air Filter Remove & Replace
- cn90 DIY cabin air filter (inexpensive solution)
- where to get replacement cabin air filters
- Activated charcoal cabin air filter replacement DIY
- DIY for replacing the fuel filter (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
etc.

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  #21  
Old 01-30-2011, 11:29 AM
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I think that a lot of confusion on this issue stems from the fact that it`s often not made clear whether we`re discussing the K&N replacement (panel-type) filter element (to be used in the stock airbox), or the complete K&N CAI system, where the stock airbox has been eliminated.
A couple of E46 Forum members have done dyno runs which showed as much as a 3 HP drop when the K&N CAI system was used (compared to stock), and even luminaries such as Steve Dinan himself admitted that his CAI provided no noticeable gain over the stock unit. Given the fact that BMW MAFs have proven to be rather sensitive *under normal conditions*, I fail to see any logical reason to introduce yet ANOTHER potential trouble spot (an oiled element) into the mix.
Sometimes you`re better off leaving well-enough alone....
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2011, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
There are other "high-performance" options to the oil-based filters now. Someone posted up a note about a company offering dry high-flow filters but the name escapes me at this time.
You might be thinking of AFE....their filters ARE very highly-rated....
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2011, 11:58 AM
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You might be thinking of AFE....their filters ARE very highly-rated....

That's the one. Thanks Bob!
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  #24  
Old 08-17-2011, 09:55 AM
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For the cross-linked record, this (rather redundant) thread was opened today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > K & N filters

Quote:
Originally Posted by randy7555 View Post
Are the K & N air filters better or worse for our BMW motors. Whats your vote?
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  #25  
Old 08-17-2011, 04:48 PM
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K&N marketing can't be wrong can it?

High Air Flow with Excellent Filtration
Designed to Increase Horsepower and Acceleration
Washable and Reusable
Will NOT Void Vehicle Warranty
Lasts up to 50,000 miles before cleaning is required depending on driving conditions
K&N Million Mile Limited Warranty®
Emissions Legal in all 50 US States.
Economical, a K&N Air Filter Will Last the Life of Your Automobile, Motorcycle, or ATV
Works with Original Equipment Manufacturer Vehicle Electronics
Easy High Performance Add-on
Environmentally Friendly
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