Pros: Easy to install, improved horsepower and MPG, environmentally friendly.
Cons: Initial cost is slightly high (but worthwhile).
A few months ago, the Buick I owned for five and half years blew a second head gasket so I junked it. I liked the Ford Fusion but could not afford a new vehicle and the resale value on Fusion’s is usually high. I found a used one at a local Ford dealer with 58,000 miles (low for where I live) that only had one local, personal owner according to CarFax and was reasonably priced. The dealer performed some routine maintenance on the vehicle, but they did not replace the original, paper air filter, which is recommended at 60,000 miles. I researched the K&N high performance air filters since I knew I needed to change it, and almost all of the reviews were good.
K&N filters are different from standard, cheap air filters because they are made of cotton rather than paper. They are also treated with a special type of oil. This allows for better air flow while still filtering nasty things such as dust and pollen. Since cotton lasts longer than paper, K&N filters are “lifetime” filters. They simply need to be cleaned every 50,000 miles and reapplied with a little bit of the oil. Cotton is more renewable than paper, and use of a K&N lifetime filter keeps disposable filters out of landfills, which is worth a few drops of oil.
I ordered the filter from Amazon for $40. It was very simple to install in the 2007 Ford Fusion with a 2.3 Liter Mazda designed Duratec four cylinder engine. There are 6 clips on the filter housing that open without tools. You remove the old filter and drop in the new filter, close the housing and you are done.
The results were immediate. While the original air filter was dirty and any air filter would have improved performance, it was very noticeable with the K&N air filter. K&N makes no statements regarding improved fuel economy, but they do state that horsepower can be improved by as much as five. My fuel economy actually decreased by about a half a mile per gallon with the K&N because with the extra horsepower, I put my foot into the gas pedal a little bit more. However, when I calmed down, my fuel economy improved by about a half mile per gallon in city driving. There was a noticeable efficiency in the engine. When it was time to change the oil, I replaced it with synthetic, and that improved my fuel economy by about 2 MPG. So between the new air filter and the synthetic oil, my gas mileage approve by 2.5 easily.
Most cheap air filters cost about $10 and need to replacing every 15,000 miles, especially in the pollen heavy Carolinas. For $40, a K&N high performance air filter will save you money over the long run. Your gas mileage will improve, your car will run smoother, and you will keep paper air filters out of the landfills. The oil needed to reapply every 50,000 miles is $10 a bottle and should last a very long time. I would recommend K&N air filterts to anyone.