By Glen Konoroski
Toronto, Ontario – When a good idea comes along and the big guys decide to jump on it with a similar product, you know the little guys have to be doing something right. That is just the case with the new reusable AirHog air filter from Fram.
Like the K&N filter, the Fram AirHog uses a layered cotton fibre (four layers) for it’s filtering. The filter is then coated with a light layer of oil, with which the cotton fibre catches dirt in the air as it is sucked into your engine. As for lab testing, the AirHog has been subjected to the same SAE J726 (Society of Automotive Engineers) tests that K&N have used for their filters. The AirHog has shown that it will filter out about 97 percent of the dust and dirt that your air filter might encounter, just like the competition.
The construction of the AirHog is typical of most reusable filters with the cotton fibre being held in place with a fine wire mesh all connected to a soft rubbery seal at the top and bottom or around the edges in a panel filter. I found the AirHog to be as good a quality as others in this class and the bright orange fibres a little better for checking for dirt and dust.
Installation of the air filter in our Jeep Liberty and PT Cruiser test vehicles was pretty straight forward. I just opened up the air boxes and removed the old paper filters and replaced them with pre-oiled AirHog filters.
My initial testing found that after installation we gained slightly more power as well as slightly lower fuel consumption on both vehicles. The real test came about three months after I installed the AirHog in the Jeep; I had to take it for an emissions test. In the past I had generally changed the oil and added a new paper filter. This time I just changed the oil and headed to the test. The Jeep passed with no problems, which pleased me.
The AirHog is warranteed for over 400,000 km: quite a bit lower than K&N filters 1.6-million kms. Now, if you think about it, not many cars make it past the 400,000-km mark to really make that much difference.
Fram recommends checking the filter every three to six months for dirt and dust. In my tests, I have found that if you live in the country on gravel roads you should check your filter every three months.
Prices start at around $40 and go up from there depending on the size. At present the AirHog filter is available at Parts Source.