K&N Air Filters for the X3 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:13 PM
jmartins jmartins is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 x3
K&N Air Filters for the X3

Has any one installed a K&N filter on the.
Is a good idea or not?
I have 100.000 miles on my car and want to change the filter need recommendations for that should i or is it a bad idea to use K&N on the X3
2006 X3 6 spd
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:04 PM
bimmernut1 bimmernut1 is offline
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I use K&N on my older car. I don't put an oil soaked filter upstream on anything that has a MAF sensor. Just my opinion but OEM seems fine to me.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:16 PM
noego noego is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 X3, 1997 Chevy truck,
I have K&N filter on our X3 - used it since new April 2006. I've cleaned it twice and only apply a very light amount of oil. Seems to work okay, but the OE filter is probably just as good. If I had it to do over i would not bother.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:55 PM
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Ishniknork Ishniknork is offline
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Originally Posted by bimmernut1 View Post
I use K&N on my older car. I don't put an oil soaked filter upstream on anything that has a MAF sensor. Just my opinion but OEM seems fine to me.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:52 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Originally Posted by Ishniknork View Post
Quite agree.

There is a role for K&N's - especially in cars whose owners are prone to forget about maintenance.

As long as it is a vehicle known to not get temperamental about such things (rules out many BMWs?).

The comforting factor is that when the filter gets dirty, it actually gets more efficient from the filtering point of view.

No argument that the airflow is probably marginally better when first installed, but the filtering has to be sacrificed a bit to make that possible.

When dirty, things even out, but both airflow and filtering are likely less compromised than in the equivalent OEM paper filter at the same age/miles.
(Paper elements may get more clogged or OTOH fall apart.)

If we are still assuming the owner is not conscientious about maintenance - the K&N doesn't get re-oiled, so no risk of fouling a MAF sensor.
Hence a sound case for a K&N.

But for the average X3 owner - can't see the justification or payback.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:06 AM
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ngcreese ngcreese is offline
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If you're approaching 100,000 miles, you'd probably be better off putting your money towards new spark plugs, 02 sensors and the cabin filter. And stick with the oem paper in-take filter.

As they all should be changed out at the 100,000 mile mark.

'11 X3 xDrive35i -- Coded
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Last edited by ngcreese; 11-10-2011 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:28 AM
tturbonegro tturbonegro is offline
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Green Filters > k&n
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:20 PM
chewywso chewywso is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 x3 3.0, 2002 325i
The K&N is fine, I've not had any issues over the last 70,000 miles. I don't think that the air is getting "oily" going to the MAF as the pipes upstream to the MAF are completely dry and oil free. Makes sense to get it in dusty environments (dirt roads) or where you have other vehicles with K&N installed like I do.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:16 AM
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535MSport 535MSport is offline
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Don't waste your money

K&N might flow a bit more air BUT unless you change exhaust system and exhaust the additional air you really won't be creating any additional h.p. PLUS as stated oil from this filter is prone to contaminating the MAF sensor. Why, for no positive benefit, would you want to risk issues of any kind.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:17 PM
jvest2000 jvest2000 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 X3
I have not tried one on my wife's X3 but my 2004 Toyota Tundra V8 had one on it when i got it. I cleaned and re-oiled it and used it for a few months and made note of the butt dyno and my MPG. After a while I wanted to see if there was any difference in a disposable filter so i put in a Fram Extra Guard. Over time i can't say that i've noticed any difference in "feel" or MPG. That is on a larger V8 engine though and getting any improvement on MPG is a challenge. I've stuck with the synthetic disposable ever since on my truck and I will not use a K&N on our X3. My understanding is that the only real benefit where the higher flow makes any difference is at higher RPMs. The thing is that you are rarely in those RPM ranges in normal driving. Given that, the occasional horror story about soiling your MAF sensor, and the fact that K&Ns do not filter as well (don't believe their BS about this ... more flow means less filtration, period) I won't be using one again.

Here is a easy guide for replacing the air filter (for the extreme novice!) and some good links to nice OEM German filters online:

X3 DIY Engine Air Filter Change Guide

I'm partial the Mann and/or Hengst filters recommended there ... good prices and easy quick delivery.
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