#Sports Air Filter with Chip Tuning

25 / March 2022
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Sports Air Filter with Chip Tuning

Seletron Performance

Can I use a sports air filter in conjunction with a chip tuning?

Today we are again talking about a topic that is intended to answer a question we get asked frequently: "Can I mount a sport air filter on an engine on which I have installed one of chip tuning additional units?" To answer this question, let's first talk in a moment about original air filters and sports air filters, including, specifically, those produced by BMC and SprintFilter.


Differences between original air filters and sports air filters

Whether gasoline or diesel, almost all cars are fitted with air filters made of paper. Some engines mount cylindrical filters, while many others mount planar air filters with a square, rectangular, trapezoidal, or other geometric shape invented by the car manufacturer. A few simple examples? On many of its 6-cylinder diesels, BMW uses a filter with an elliptical cross-section and a very wide length, almost as long as the engine itself! Instead, on many of its 1300 multi-jets, Fiat uses a rectangular-sectioned filter that has areas free of filter mass, meaning an entirely unique geometry. Alfa Romeo has adopted cylindrical filters on a number of turbodiesel models, while other BMW models and many other cars have trapezoid-shaped air filters.


How are standard air filters made?

The normal filters used as standard on the engines of almost every car on the road, regardless of geometric shape, use paper-like material with a wide mesh (relatively speaking, paper fiber has a very tight mesh when compared with other mesh structures). This material is folded back on itself many times so as to have a large total filtering surface area, far greater than would be obtained by simply spreading a paper filter sheet over the area marked within the space of the filter itself. This type of filter has excellent filtering power, and thus it traps impurities well and is fairly inexpensive in terms of production, but it has characteristics that can be improved in terms of pressure drop. Pressure drops are decreases in the amount of air sucked in by the engine due to the resistance the air encounters as it passes through the filtration mass of the filter. This causes a small pressure drop (depression) that does not optimally fill the cylinders, especially on naturally aspirated engines.



How are BMC's high-performance air filters made?


As is the case with other manufacturers of high-performance air filters (e.g., the American K&N), BMC employs special technology in the production of its air filters. Instead of paper fiber mesh, special layers of cotton soaked in a specific oil that can trap impurities are used. Since the cotton layers are soft and, therefore, not self-supporting, BMC air filters employ a double metal mesh that encloses the soft filter element. The conformation is similar to that of the paper filter, and metal nets are folded several times to create a wavy section that increases the total filtering surface area.

This type of filter has a low-pressure drop as the air drawn in encounters less resistance as it passes through the meshes of the filter element. The special oil that is deposited on the cotton fiber layers traps impurities, creating a valuable filtering effect. The advantages are not only related to lower pressure drops and thus more optimal cylinder filling. This type of filter has a very long service life as they are regenerable. When the filter is very dirty (especially on diesels that work with excess air, the filters get dirty in just a few thousand kilometers), the filter can be washed with special detergents supplied by BMC. Once left to dry (no compressed air necessary), the filter is oiled with a special spray also supplied by BMC. This also makes these filters cheaper than the original paper ones since they can be refreshed many times. One of the manufacturers of these filters assures that the reusable air filter can last over 1 million kilometers if properly cleaned!


How are SprintFilter's high-performance air filters made?

Unlike BMC sport air filters (and K&N sport filters) that use oil-soaked cotton, the air filters manufactured by SprintFilter use a special polyester material that allows a constant and calibrated air passage. Air filters must provide both a steady airflow while providing adequate filtration to prevent sizable particles from entering the cylinders. With the adoption of the polyester filter membrane, Sprint Filter took a leap forward and made all previous systems obsolete.

The polyester is extremely permeable, solid, and unaffected by bending during construction, pressure difference created during operation, or maintenance. The procedure for cleaning the Sprint Filter air filter is quick and easy: just use an aerator jet in the opposite direction of suction to remove most of the debris collected by the filter. No washing or drying is required, and the air filter can be reinstalled immediately.

As with the previous brands, the sports air filter manufactured by SprintFilter will last the lifetime of your car.


Can I install a sports air filter on engines with a chip tuning?

To answer this question, YES, you can install a high-performance air filter on engines on which you have installed one of our chip tuning modules. The important thing is that the filter is properly refreshed, meaning not damaged by compressed air (normally used to partially clean sports air filters) and not over-oiled in the case of BMC filters. Excessive amounts of spray oil can transfer over time from the filter structure to the sensitive and delicate hot elements of the mass air sensors (MAFs), compromising their operation.

If the filter is in perfect condition and is cleaned strictly according to the manufacturer's instructions, the special air filter can improve engine response and optimize the operation of the chip tuning unit. However, it must be said that you cannot expect concrete differences in power and torque, especially on turbodiesel or turbo-petrol engines. To increase the horsepower and torque of your engine, you have to intervene on the electronic management, just as our CHIPBOX chip tuning unit does. Depending on the type of engine, it intervenes on the injection and boost pressure management, generating power increases of up to 30 percent.


If you want to see the power and torque gains possible for your car, look up your exact model in our catalog


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