I've eventually got round to testing out the K&N panel filter I bought ages ago.
The verdict? Well, it's hard to say. There is certainly no BIG difference in the performance of the car - if any difference at all.
I'm not sure, but this is what I think the changes are, but I could be imagining it:-
1) Slightly more throaty engine sound
2) Slightly better throttle response
3) Blow-off sound a bit more prominent
4) No improvement in induction noise
04-10-2000, 01:25 PM
Don't know if you use this site at all, but the guy owns an S4 and is super eager to modify it in any way - he also gives the impression he knows alot about cars, mechanicals etc..
Anyhow, he bought a K&N panel filter for his S4 and analysed the max air flow by tapping into his cars ECU with his laptop. On about 10 similar runs it showed no difference to the standard paper filter, and when he used a device called a "GTech" or similar, again there was no difference between the two filters. And again, subjectively, he says there is no difference in noise etc..
I guess that on the S4 that the filter is not the limiting step and I guess that that is logical with a turbo charged engine - especially one so easily chippable. I would assume that a similar story exists with the A3 too as the air flow meter monitors and limits air flow. An induction kit would be the only way to increase the air flow but as you probbably know yourself, on full throttle in second gear or so, after a while the wastegate opens ever so slightly and releases boost to keep the engine at 150bhp so maybe it would improve noise but not power - booo!
Another point, I mistakenly filled up with 98ron Super Unleaded a few days ago and apart from the fiver or so it took extra, there is bugger all difference in the drive - booo!
It is frustrating at times to think of all that power that the ECU is throwing away - think about it, the only reason you can produce a flat torque curve is because your boost is not optimal throughout the rev range.
Finally, a friend of mine was driving my A3 for the first time at the weekend with me as a passenger and it feels a damn site quicker from the left hand seat than from behind the wheel (I have been a passenger before in my A3 but with the girlfriend driving - she doesn't give it much welly however!) I was really impressed by the low down pull and top end heave - I don't know why cars feel quicker as a passenger but what the hell, I may slow down from now on in sympathy for my passengers (???!!??)
04-10-2000, 03:03 PM
I have visited Audizone before, and read the filter test page. What you said in your post about boost, air flow and flat torque curve - all makes sense when you think about it. Bloody computers controlling everything and spoiling our fun! Still the filter was only 40 quid, so I've not lost much. But some questions: if they (rep panels) don't do anything, then way do so many companies make and sell them? Are we being ripped-off again?! It clearly says on the box of my filter: "Increases Horsepower, Provides superior filtering, Improves Throttle response" Are K&N bull****ting us or what?! I think they probably are.
I liked your story about your passengers! :) My passengers get a little nervous too! I've only let a couple of trusted friends drive my car, and you are right, you do get a greater feeling of speed from the passenger seat. My girlfriend says she starts to feel sick due to the lurching full-on stints of acceleration. I promptly reply "that's nothing Love, just imagine what it would be like in an Evo6!" I think passengers must feel the increase in speed more. My girlfriend always senses when I put my foot down, quickly looks at the speedo, and tells me to slow down. :(
04-11-2000, 04:08 AM
I don't think we are being fed a line completely on this issue, Alan.
I think that panel filters certainly have a role and in many applications live up to the manufacturers claims. I fitted a K&N 57i induction kit to my Saxo and it made a huge difference to throttle response, torque and power but unfortunately, as it was sited right on the throttle body, made an incredibly load roar and I was forced to change it (so loud the bloody floor shook on full throttle and you could hear the car from miles away!!) I swapped this for a panel filter in the original airbox and spent a week or so swapping between the original paper cone and the K&N version and my impressions were that the power was slightly raised, noise a fraction more but throttle response was much crisper. I suppose that the reasons we have talked about above on the Audi would account for the dissapointing performance of the K&N filter on the 1.8T engine.
Certainly with regards power/ torque etc, the computer limits this. With regards to noise, it is the throttle body itself that creates most induction "roar" and the quantity of piping from the body to open air determines how much of this is audible from outside the car - I know that the K&N 57i on the 8v Saxo is much, much louder than the 16v saxo as the 16v saxo has a length of pipe from the throttle body before attaching to the cone filter whereas the 8v has the filter on the throttle body itself. If you look at the audi underbonnet arrangement, there is half a mile of piping etc from the intake to intercooler across the engine and back again before the throttle body so I think that to increase the sound of this engine an exhaust is the best bet and not the induction system.
However, I would not be pissed of having spent £40 quid on a filter because they last forever and you won't need to pay for a new one come service time. Also, they ?may? improve overall filtration and improve the lifespan of the engine and also improve mpg? Have you checked your mpg recently??
Again, with regards passengers, i find that the quiet nature of the A3 allows at least 110mph to be reached on the motorway etc, without moans from my better half whereas in the last car 90mph got her twitchy!!
04-11-2000, 04:43 AM
Thanks David for the informative post!
I didn't know that it is the pipe-work leading to the throttle body that can influence the sound of the engine. And you are correct there is a lot of it before the throttle body.
That Saxo of yours sounded like a blast - no pun intended. A mate of mine had a Corsa Gsi and fitted a K&N induction kit, same thing, you could hear him coming half a mile down the road! Sounded good inside the car though.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not sad about shelling out £40 for the K&N panel. It was an experiment really. I might have the car dyno'd again after its next service, with the K&N fitted and without. Just to see once and for all if it does make any difference.
With regards to mpg, I'm just coming to the end of a full tank after fitting the K&N, and my range is looking quite good - 295miles just under 1/4 full. But I did a lot of motorway and A-road driving over the weekend (went to the lakes, and then across to York), so that will have affected things. But on saying that, I absolutley flew up the M6 to the lakes, foot down all the way - economical driving rarely enters my mind! :)
Anyway, thanks for the responses again.
10-30-2001, 09:58 AM
Guy's while you are on the topic of engine noise, I'm looking for some! I've recently replaced my nackered old O.E. dump valve with a nice new shiney Forge DV-006 (close loop) dump valve. Before hand I used to get waste gate chatter, you know the wee chattering noise if you wind the turbo up then come off the throttle? But now nothing? If I fit an aftermarket filter wether it be cone or panel will I here either the dump valve of the turbo spinning up any louder?? HELP I want it to sound like a turbo AGAIN!! Oh and if your looking for a wee hike in performance AND more MPG (yes it is posible!!) get your self on to www.ecotekplc.com I bought one of there valves and now enyoing 360 Miles out of a full tank!