Is there any benefit getting a "performance" panel filter?

RobJ

Wrench Pro
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33
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Kent, England
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Alfa Giulietta 1.4T
So I was thinking of getting a performance panel filter (BiscioneRacing or pipercross) looking at between £30- £50.
is there any real gain I will get from getting one?
Also is there any negatives?

hope someone can give any indication as any little benefit is worth it in the grand scheme

(got a 1.4 turbo at 170bhp, if this helps)
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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There won't be a real gain in terms of horsepower but you should see a little improvement in throttle response.
 

obi_waynne

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The cotton ones are much better than the foam based ones. Top end improvements are possible on the 1.4 Turbo engine.
 

RobJ

Wrench Pro
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Alfa Giulietta 1.4T
no I haven't remapped it yet I was planning to get that done once my new exhaust system and camshaft were installed.
Along with this now
 

TCJBOLDIE

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Best to have everything fitted before a remap on a dyno for the best result/power IMO
 

RobJ

Wrench Pro
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Kent, England
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Alfa Giulietta 1.4T
That's what I'm doing, all my mods then remap and in a few years, a second turbo or larger turbo not decided yet
 

Guybo

Torque Junkie
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Tampa, FL, USA
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13 GenCoupe 2.0T
One problem I have read about with performance panel filters is if they are oiled and your car has a MAF sensor, the oil can foul the sensor.
 

RobJ

Wrench Pro
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33
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Kent, England
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Alfa Giulietta 1.4T
then why are "performance" air filters sold?
looking at a BMC air filter it says a standard OEM paper filter, filters up to 10 microns the oiled cotton BMC filter says it'll do up to 7 microns at increase air flow?
obviously if they are right that makes it worth the £43? right?
 

Guybo

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52
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Tampa, FL, USA
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13 GenCoupe 2.0T
I haven't heard of BiscioneRacing or pipercross so I can't comment on those, but K&N filters do filter very well- they put a lot of time and engineering into their filters.
 

RobJ

Wrench Pro
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33
Location
Kent, England
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Alfa Giulietta 1.4T
yer K&N and BMC seem to be the 2 best options im looking at. BMC is cheaper and apparently used in F1 cars, so they must be doing something right
 

Yugguy

Torque King
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507
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Rugby (expat Preston lad)
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Merc C220Cdi Elegan
Here's what I've gathered over the years.

When clean there's very little difference between a performance air filter (pipercross, k&n etc.) and a GOOD QUALITY oem paper filter. However when they get dirty the performance one will flow better.

Some manufacturer service intervals, for some bizarre reason, have you changing the oil every 10k for example, but the air filter only every other service, 20k. Which is MADNESS for the sake of a tenner.

I change mine every 10k.

Do this and make sure your oem airbox has a proper cold air feed from the bumper or grille and that's really all you need.
 

RobJ

Wrench Pro
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Kent, England
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Alfa Giulietta 1.4T
thanks for the article it was indeed an interesting read, I believe there is a point at which a performance filter may make a slight difference but where I live I don't want my engine suffering in the long run due to lots of rubbish flowing in.

and on the note of cold air induction, this will make a difference so this is maybe where I look now
 

HDi fun

TC ModFather
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Buckinghamshire UK
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Passat 2.0 TDi
Cold air feed will definitely give you better performance. Many cars have quite good factory arrangements now, which is a good thing. I am always puzzled by folk who bypass such setups and fit under-bonnet cones, thus feeding the engine warm air !! (I'm not suggesting that you're going to do this btw)

I am interested in this Alfa, any chance of a photo?
 

RobJ

Wrench Pro
Points
33
Location
Kent, England
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Alfa Giulietta 1.4T
I will get one up soon, been in London all week so no need for car stayed at home.
But yer i'll get a photo up and another once the new exhaust is fitted
 

old-git

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[QUOTE="HDi fun, post: 283107, member: 303"I am always puzzled by folk who bypass such setups and fit under-bonnet cones, thus feeding the engine warm air !![/QUOTE]

No mystery here, it's becasue they haven't got a clue as to what they are doing :)
 

TCJBOLDIE

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2011 Honda FN2
That's what I'm doing, all my mods then remap and in a few years, a second turbo or larger turbo not decided yet

IF and when you fit another turbo then curb your enthusiasm and drive it gently until it is re tuned/mapped.
 

TCJBOLDIE

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2011 Honda FN2
[QUOTE="HDi fun, post: 283107, member: 303"I am always puzzled by folk who bypass such setups and fit under-bonnet cones, thus feeding the engine warm air !!

No mystery here, it's becasue they haven't got a clue as to what they are doing :)[/QUOTE]

And they want a bit of bling as well.
 

old-git

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Elan & Robin Hood
I have no problem with bling as bling, but not bling that is dressed up as a performance part. Bling added to a performance part is fine but a quality performance part will usually look pretty good without added bling.

The phrase 'mutton dressed as lamb' springs to mind :)
 

old-git

Moderator
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Elan & Robin Hood
Why? I think it sums up my opinion on car parts sold as performance items when they are obviously not.
 

Guybo

Torque Junkie
Points
52
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
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13 GenCoupe 2.0T
I see it at work all the time- where some kid gets a poor intake setup and doesn't understand what he's doing. Most of the intake setups I see are setup by people who have heard that the pod filter gives them 5-7 BHP (the package says that! It has to be true) and they get a generic or el-cheapo pod filter, some piping and run it somewhere... anywhere it'll fit and when they get on the butt-dyno they feel the power and the "better throttle response". They have no clue what their IAT is like (what's IAT?) or if they have good flow where they shoved it in but they do it anyway. I also see articles online that generalize every pod filter based on one test and youtube videos that "debunk" the pod filter myth based on a dyno run that shows that peak HP is unchanged between the OEM intake and the pod filter. They don't show the torque curve or compare the entire curve before and after. I'll even trade peak HP for a flatter curve and gains in the RIGHT areas.

As for the clueless kids. Ah hell, they enjoy it, they won't notice the drop in HP and the extra noise increases their enjoyment of the car so who cares anyway? In time they may read a forum post that turns on a bulb inside thier brain and they do it right, but as long as you enjoy your car, does it really matter on the street?

I don't know if an expensive panel filter is better or worse, but I know that a properly designed pod filter can be better. Don't generalize based on limited information. Every car is different and not every pod filter is created equal.
 

old-git

Moderator
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Location
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Elan & Robin Hood
I see it at work all the time- where some kid gets a poor intake setup and doesn't understand what he's doing. Most of the intake setups I see are setup by people who have heard that the pod filter gives them 5-7 BHP (the package says that! It has to be true) and they get a generic or el-cheapo pod filter, some piping and run it somewhere... anywhere it'll fit and when they get on the butt-dyno they feel the power and the "better throttle response". They have no clue what their IAT is like (what's IAT?) or if they have good flow where they shoved it in but they do it anyway. I also see articles online that generalize every pod filter based on one test and youtube videos that "debunk" the pod filter myth based on a dyno run that shows that peak HP is unchanged between the OEM intake and the pod filter. They don't show the torque curve or compare the entire curve before and after. I'll even trade peak HP for a flatter curve and gains in the RIGHT areas.

As for the clueless kids. Ah hell, they enjoy it, they won't notice the drop in HP and the extra noise increases their enjoyment of the car so who cares anyway? In time they may read a forum post that turns on a bulb inside thier brain and they do it right, but as long as you enjoy your car, does it really matter on the street?

I don't know if an expensive panel filter is better or worse, but I know that a properly designed pod filter can be better. Don't generalize based on limited information. Every car is different and not every pod filter is created equal.

Can't argue with any of this.
 

TCJBOLDIE

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2011 Honda FN2
I haven't heard of BiscioneRacing or pipercross so I can't comment on those, but K&N filters do filter very well- they put a lot of time and engineering into their filters.

Actually K&N don't filter better.

You may need to read and understand this.

 
Last edited:

thexav

Pro Tuner
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2002 Clio 172
I think it's generally accepted that a performance filter will not filter as well, but will flow better.

In my experience a K&N cotton offer pretty good filter to flow ratios compared to other performance filters, lots of flow and reasonable filtering. The other options of mesh filters flow even better but have next to zero filtering.

All in though, an OEM filter will flow enough air to even a modestly tuned engine, it only become restrictive for larger power gains, in the order of 20-30% imo.
 

obi_waynne

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A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
On a Dyno and in the real world you won't gain power by adding a performance filter in most cases as the OEM airbox and filter flow pretty well

You might improve the throttle response a little, or change the induction noise.

If you've added a lot of power then I can see the need to upgrade the air filter and intake as the OEM one can become restrictive but you'll need to have added a lot more power for this to be a requirement.
 

Snorkky

New member
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VW Touareg V10 TDI
If you want to really understand how you 'add on' power by selecting and replacing parts of the intake and exhaust assemblies, then get hold of one of the later editions of "Tuning BL's A series engine". The writer (Vizard) was a development engineer for Cosworth and others and he shows how to get maximum power and more importantly, maximum driveability out of your engine by fitting the Right Parts, not the "flash" parts.
Even though the engine being written about is the A Series, the principles apply to any engine.
 

Fabia17

Torque Junkie
Points
322
Location
Lincoln UK
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Fabia Monte Carlo
So I was thinking of getting a performance panel filter (BiscioneRacing or pipercross) looking at between £30- £50.
is there any real gain I will get from getting one?
Also is there any negatives?

hope someone can give any indication as any little benefit is worth it in the grand scheme

(got a 1.4 turbo at 170bhp, if this helps)
Hi, I have a stage zero Fabia 1.2tsi. I fitted a
So I was thinking of getting a performance panel filter (BiscioneRacing or pipercross) looking at between £30- £50.
is there any real gain I will get from getting one?
Also is there any negatives?

hope someone can give any indication as any little benefit is worth it in the grand scheme

(got a 1.4 turbo at 170bhp, if this helps)
Hi. I have a stage zero 1.2tsi Fabia with a K&N panel filter and to be honest, on its own its made absolutely no difference whatsoever, even perhaps, and it's difficult to ascertain, but may have increased my fuel consumption slightly. I must point out there are no other mods, not even a map or chip. Hope this helps.
 

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