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Cleaning Your Drop In Factory Replacement K&N Air Filter and Helping Your GTi Breathe Better.
What you need:
-K&N Recharger Filter Care Service Kit
-K&N Air Filter (already installed)
Estimated time:
2 Hours
The procedures on this page are provided "as is" and without warranties of any kind either expressed or implied., it's owner, members of the site and the author of this document take no responsibility for the accuracy of it's content or any responsibility for injury sustained by anyone attempting to duplicate or utilise any of the information on this site. The information here is strictly for educational purposes! -USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Step 1.
Locate and lift the bonnet release latch right next to the speaker on the Drivers side.
Step 2.
Lift bonnet and push release latch.
Step 3.
Locate your Air Filter Box.
Step 4.
Completely unscrew the single bottom right hand bolt and loosen the other top two bolts (there is no need for the top two to come off completely)..
Step 5.
Unclip the cover from your air box. There are three clips. One on the left, one on the right, and a sneaky hidden one directly underneath the air box.
Step 6.
After a bit of physical persuasion, you should be able to manouvre the front section of the air box and the air filter inside completely free. As you can see, the filter itself is not that dirty. K&N Recommend that you clean your filter every 80,000km ~ 160,000km. At this stage, mine had only done about 30,000km.
Step 7.
Now it's time to whack out the shopping that you should have done earlier. You can pick up K&N Recharger Filter Care Service Kits at most automotive hardware stores. The best price I found was $24.95 from American Auto Parts, which incidently is where I bought my K&N air filter 30,000km ago!

K&N Recommend using only official K&N Cleaners to clean your airfilter. I estimate this Service Kit is good for at least 10 cleans, which, at 80,000km between cleans means this kit will probably last alot longer than your car will. To save $$$, consider splitting the cost of the kit between a few fellow K&N users.
Step 8.
This is the first step in cleaning your K&N Air Filter. First, tap the filter lightly to dislodge any chunky bits of dirt. Brush as much crap as you can off with a soft bristle brush. Then, spray generous amounts of the Filter Cleaner onto your dirty filter.
Step 9.
Let the completely saturated filter soak for 10 minutes. This is where the grime fighting properties of the Filter Cleaner do their thing. This is a good chance to clean the front part of the plastic airbox that you 've already removed with the air filter.
Step 10.
Once the 10 minutes are up, use gentle running tap water to rinse off the filter cleaner solution and dirt. When rinsing, make sure the water is not strong enough to cause a hole in the filter and that the water is travelling from the clean side of the filter through to the dirty side. This ensures you're not pushing the dirt back into the filter itself.
Step 11.
Let your air filter and air box dry naturally. Do not blow the air filter with hot air or compressed air. Doing so may damage your air filter and severely shorten it's lifespan. The filter should dry in about an hour, but will obviously depend on the temperature and whether the sun is out or not.
Step 12.
While you're waiting, you may as well check on the other side of the cold air box. I found that mine had some of the rubber lining on the bottom of the air box was coming off.
Step 13.
A little bit of Tarzan's Shoe Glue.........
Step 14.
.....and it was as good as new. Now, while you're still waiting for your air filter to dry, it's time to remove the plastic plumbing restricting the air to your air box.
Step 15.
Pry off the hubcap. The plastic plumbing is located in the wheel arch of the front driver side wheel. This means you will need to remove the whole wheel to get inside the wheel arch.

- Once you have the hub cap off, loosen the four wheel nuts till they can be undone with your fingers. Make sure you loosen the nuts while the car is still on the ground. This will give you more leverage in getting the nuts off, and ensures your car does not fall off the jack.

- Now, jack the car up till the front wheel is completely off the ground. Look under the car, you will see two 'bumps' 110cm from the front of the car. This is where the jack should be placed.

- Remove the wheel nuts and take the wheel off completely.

- If you've just been driving, becareful, the wheel nuts and brakes may still be hot!
Step 16.
Once the wheel is off, remove the front part of the wheel arch guard. This involves removing two screws, one holding down the bottom left of the guard, and one on the outer edge near the top of the wheel arch. There are also a few of those pain in the ass plastic dynabolt type clips you'll need to get of as well. To remove these, just carefully push the centre of the clip and pry the whole clip off. Pry back the wheel arch guard and you should see the plastic airbox inside. The only thing holding this sucker in there is large rubber band type thing attached at the bottom of the main tank. Undo the big rubber band and then gently yank that bastard outta there!
Step 17.
Ahh.....much better. No restriction at all now!!
Step 18.
If, at this point, your dad comes home, sees his tools and bits and pieces of your car lying around on the garage floor and asks you what the hell you're doing, tell him you're just cleaning the filter for better fuel economy and reliability. Refrain from using the term 'modifying' at all costs. Ok, now that your car is no longer suffers from chronic asthma, it's time to put the wheel arch guard back on and wheel back on! Remember, dont try and fully tighten the bolts while your car is still up on the jack. Instead, tighten the bolts as much as you can with your fingers, lower your car off the jack, then tighten the bolts in a diagonal pattern. ie. tighten one bolt, then the bolt opposite it, rather than the bolt next to it. Now, go back and check to see if your air filter is dry yet
Step 19.
Yay! The filter is clean, dry, and almost ready to use. But, before we can chuck her back into the air box, she needs to be re-oiled!
Step 20.
Spray each pleat, individually from top to bottom. Be sure you have sufficient coverage on the top and bottom edges of the pleats. It helps if you flip the filter after 5 minutes so that the oil runs from the bottom back to the top of the filter, ensuring more uniform coverage.
Step 21.
Wait 10 minutes and look for white spots. If white spots are visible, respray that area again. The spray itself is a sickly 'creaming soda' red, which makes the white, un-oiled sections easier to spot. Allow the oil to work it self in for a further 10 minutes. Be sure to flip the filter to ensure uniform coverage, then wipe off any excess that has not been absorbed.
Step 23.
Phew! That's it. You're done. Re-insert the filter back into the airbox, do up all the clips (remember the tricky one underneath), re-tighten the 3 bolts securing the airbox and grab yourself a beer. The End.