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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My air works great in my 2016 Passion but I want to give it every advantage that I can. K&N does not make a cabin air filter for Smart (They do make the engine air filter, easy to find).

The specs on the regular fiber/paper in-cabin filters out there for Smart 453 are 8.5in x 8.5in. After scrolling through the K&N site and much like taking a psychological cognitive test, I identified all of the square filters that are available. Their VF2002 specs are: 8.375 in x 8.313 in. I'm thinking that that small of a +/- on each side would work considering it sits inside a frame with a decent lip. Not that much debris would make it around to the outer edge of the filter given air flow dynamics (the dirt gonna' follow the path of least resistance though the main surface of the filter along the air flow) and the thick rubber edging on the K&N would add additional flow barrier all the way around.

Anyone ever go this route or have experience experimenting?
 

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The air on the 453 works very well. You really don’t need to go out of your way to install a marginally less restrictive cabin filter but sometimes it’s fun to try different things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The air on the 453 works very well. You really don’t need to go out of your way to install a marginally less restrictive cabin filter but sometimes it’s fun to try different things.
I was really surprised how well the air worked to begin with. I just got mine a few weeks ago and it looked like they never really changed the cabin filter out (50K miles) so I'm flying blind on some things mechanically in terms of their overall long-term performance. When I changed my Nissan truck over to K&N's I didn't really notice an uptick in airflow. But, I'm still ga-ga over this little beauty of a 453. So fun!

Thanks for the insight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don’t own a 453. Use a Wix cabin filter in my 451, made in Israel, just like the factory cabin filter.
Oh yeah, I love the WIX filters for most stuff. Was just trying to sneak in a slightly higher air flow and the ability to wash/reuse. I used to balk at the high price of K&N but for some filters, you purchase three of them and you've covered the cost of a one.
 

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For cabin air filter... more air flow? what a nonsense! Get K&N for your engine air filter. Once you open car windows, cabin air filter is not important, like during most of the year, that I drive my cars.
 

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My air works great in my 2016 Passion but I want to give it every advantage that I can. K&N does not make a cabin air filter for Smart (They do make the engine air filter, easy to find).

The specs on the regular fiber/paper in-cabin filters out there for Smart 453 are 8.5in x 8.5in. After scrolling through the K&N site and much like taking a psychological cognitive test, I identified all of the square filters that are available. Their VF2002 specs are: 8.375 in x 8.313 in. I'm thinking that that small of a +/- on each side would work considering it sits inside a frame with a decent lip. Not that much debris would make it around to the outer edge of the filter given air flow dynamics (the dirt gonna' follow the path of least resistance though the main surface of the filter along the air flow) and the thick rubber edging on the K&N would add additional flow barrier all the way around.

Anyone ever go this route or have experience experimenting?
K&N has done a great job marketing their air filters. You see them everywhere and consider it a go to aftermarket filter. I used to race motorcycles and have experience using them. My suggestion is NEVER buy a K&N or similar filter for any application where you need/want cleaned air.

K&N filters are simply cotton gauze dampened with oil. They have the advantage of being cleaned when dirty which seems like a cost effective plan. Marketing clearly demonstrates how much better a dirty K&N filter passes air compared to a dirty paper filter. The only way a K&N type filter captures dust is by sticky oil film. As the oil collects dirt it quickly becomes less able to stop filtering air. The gauze has big gaps between threads that the oils surface tension makes these holes smaller initially. As the filter gets dirty it stops filtering as well. Actually flowing more air dirty than when freshly cleaned and oiled. Hence comparing a dirty paper filter to a dirty gauze filter the gauze filter is always going to flow more. They don't advertise that they pass much more dirt when dirty as well. Considering that a gasoline engine consumes 900 gallons of air by volume for each gallon of fuel used, the filter needs to filter a lot of air.
Gauze with oil filters get dirty very quickly. Cleaning them per instructions requires you to wash the filter in hot soapy water to rinse the dirty oil out. You then need to wait for it to dry for a couple hours. Then reapply special high tension sticky oil and let excess drain. K&N cleaning products and special oil are $18 and will clean a filter 3 times. If you want to stop as much dust from entering your engine you need to clean this filter often. Dusty conditions about every 2 weeks. Normal condition about every 6-8 weeks.

A paper filter costs about $6 dollars and lasts up to a year. It also filters better as it gets dirty. Gauze filters are expensive, time consuming and don't filter air very well. You can buy several paper filters for what it costs to clean a K&N in a 6 month period.

I will stay with stock filters.
 
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