Spectre vs K&N: A Comparison Between These Intake Systems

Spectre vs K&N intake systems are designed to enhance the flow of air to support combustion within your engine. They are both reputable brands capable of guaranteeing constant and safe airflow to improve the strength of your car. But which of the two brands is better suited for your car?

Spectre vs K_N

We’ll highlight the differences between the two air intake systems in this article so you can choose which brand is best for your car.

Features Spectre K&N
Material Aluminum Crosslink, nylon, or aluminum
Style Short Ram intake

Cold air intake

Short Ram intake

Cold air intake

Warranty Lifetime warranty 100,000 mile/10-year warranty
Filter Type Oiled Oiled


What Are the Differences Between Spectre and K&N Air Intake Systems?

The main differences between Spectre and K&N include Spectre being more affordable than K&N. Spectre utilizes a chrome-finished intake tube, unlike K&N, which operates with a custom tubing system. Also, K&N is the best option for sports cars, while Spectre is ideal for regular vehicles.

These aren’t the only differences between the two brands. To help you understand which brand is better for your vehicle, we’ll go deeper into the differences between the two air intake kits.

  • Air Intake Performance Gains

The performance gains of both brands are a key feature to consider before choosing which is better for your vehicle. Before now, K&N filed a lawsuit against Spectre with a focus on the horsepower increase claims of Spectre. Spectre lost the case, and after that, they stopped publishing horsepower figures on most of their products.

With that, most professionals will tell you not to take the Spectre horsepower numbers seriously. The case is different with K&N air intake systems and air filters, as there are many videos showing that they deliver up to expectations.

In cases where you don’t notice an immediate increase in power with K&N cold air intake, it’s only an indication that excess oxygen is getting into the engine. With that, you only need to adjust your engine control unit.

In general, when it comes to the performance gains of both brands, there isn’t much difference. Also, going with figures advertised by most brands, you’ll find that they are either almost the same or Spectre has higher values. However, based on professional advice and user feedback, K&N remains the superior brand for a performance boost.

  • Quality

The next feature to look at is the quality of the two brands. Even though there are many reported issues with Spectre, people still install Spectre air filters and enjoy the power gains it offers. However, the final finish and fit of the brand aren’t top-notch. This is not a big deal for most users, but what you should note is that the seal offered by the heat shield against the air filter and hood isn’t tight enough.

With that, more hot air will easily get into the intake, which can reduce the performance of your air filters. There are also some reported quality issues with K&N intakes. However, they are not as much as with Spectre. K&N generally offers improved quality than Spectre, and if you are after improving the performance of your vehicle, they are the best option to go with.

  • Price

The last factor to look at is the price of the two air intake systems. Even though K&N generally seems to be the better brand, Spectre is a more affordable option to choose. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, the Spectre cold air intakes are a great option to consider but bear in mind that it won’t perform as great as K&N.

  • Overall Comparison

Bolting any of the two intakes to your engine’s hood will undoubtedly guarantee a boost in its performance. The big question is which of the two intakes is the best option for you. Ultimately, it depends on your preference and the key features you seek.

When it comes to performance gains and quality, K&N is the ideal option to choose. However, if you’re on a budget, it may not be a great option, and you’ll need to consider getting Spectre.

  • A Comprehensive Look At Spectre Air Intakes

Spectre air intakes are designed to offer enough horsepower to your truck, torque, or car. The air filters are made from durable and high-quality materials, which mostly feature aluminum cast intake tubing. They also feature Spectre filters, which further increase output and air flow.

Specialties of Spectre Intake System

An interesting thing about the brand is that Spectre is owned by K&N, even though they are competitors. Before K&N took over Spectre, there was a lawsuit of which K&N won. Spectre has been around for more than 40 years now and has an impressive lineup of products, some of which have powered cars and offer up to 400mph.

Their cold intakes are designed to look good and offer more power. They are also designed to be a perfect replacement for the intakes already installed on your vehicle, and their installation process is very easy. The company is a respected one, and its line of performance parts includes pulleys, throttle body spacers, plumbing, gaskets, oil pans, and cooling system upgrades.

  • Key Features

The key features of the products offered by the brand include the following:

  • Better towing, which is achieved by an increase in throttle response to boost upward efficiency and speed
  • More safety, which is aided by the fact that the engine protection cap shields your vehicle from more dangerous waste and pollutants
  • An easy installation that requires only standard equipment
  • Innovative synthetic oil filters to minimize the effects of pollutants on the engine


  • Pros of Spectre Intakes

The advantages of Spectre intakes include the following:

  • They come with up to a 10-year warranty.
  • Spectre offers more affordable intakes.
  • They utilize Chromium-finished intake conduit in their design.

Spectre is generally more affordable, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not a good option to consider. Apart from being affordable, they don’t require frequent maintenance, and you can install them on your own. The 10-year warranty they come with is a guarantee that the air filters will live up to their expected lifespan.

Pros of Spectre Intakes

There are a few downsides associated with the brand, and it’s also important to know these downsides. The first thing to note is that when it comes to the engine performance boosts, they are not the best option as K&N offers better intakes.

  • Popular Spectre Lineups

There is a wide range of Spectre products on the market, and here’s an overview of some of the most popular products available:

  • Spectre Spe-9900 Intakes is a great option for V8 trucks. You can also use it on Dodge and Chrysler with V6 and 3.6L engines.
  • Spectre Performance 9976 Intakes, which is easy to install and cost-effective.
  • Spectre Spe-9028 is also cost-friendly, and you can use it on different vehicles.


  • A Comprehensive Look At K&N Air Intakes

K&N is a reputable company that has been in existence since the 1960s. They are generally regarded as the pioneers when it comes to bolt-on cold air intakes. The company invented cotton gauze filters, and they are the brain behind the popularity of cone air filters.

Features of K_N Car Intake

K&N Intakes are among the most reliable products you’ll find on the market today. Their intakes are widely known for offering numerous benefits, thanks to their study design that makes them more effective. They are also widely trusted because of their credibility over the past decades and proven track record in different aspects.

Basically, the design of the intakes they offer includes filters, which reduces their costs on the road. However, you’ll need to re-oil and clean the filters regularly to ensure optimal performance. Another thing to note about K&N filters is that they utilize thermal shells to keep out hot air. However, there are some filters that still draw in hot air, but this is to prevent water intake and minimize engine failure.

Apart from intakes, K&N also offers other products, which include oil filters, ECU tuning equipment, exhaust systems, engine oil, and other cleaning products. These products also support motorcycles, ATVs, trucks, and cars.

  • Key Features

With everything said about K&N, here are the key features of the brand:

  • K&N filters are easy to install and don’t require much maintenance.
  • They are NASCAR’s official air filters, which make them a perfect option for race cars, but you can use them on other vehicles.
  • It can be used for up to 100,000 miles without requiring servicing.
  • Their high-quality tubing is designed with aluminum, which makes it reliable and durable.
  • They come with reusable and washable air filters, which makes it a worthy investment.


  • Pros of K&N Intakes

In addition to the key features above, here are some of the pros of the intakes:

  • K&N products are made from polyethylene, which has a high density and is very durable.
  • They come with a unique and low-restrictive tubing system.
  • Their products feature mandrel bending technology.

As mentioned earlier, the density of the polyethylene material is high, and this is to ensure that internal air is cooler and the tube is hotter. Another thing worth noting about the intakes is their inner shape, which is very uniform and enhances the flow of air within the tubes. This is a feature that is not present in other intakes.

Pros of K_N Car Intakes

Another amazing quality of K&N is the reusable filters it comes with. This is to ensure durability and guarantee that the filters last long. Like with Spectre, they are also very easy to install, and you only need to follow the steps included in the kit.

The last thing to note is that the tubing system offers lower restrictions, which increase the airflow within the intakes. This further enhances the throttle response of your vehicle, a feature you won’t find on other intakes.

Despite these amazing benefits, there are a few downsides to note, which include the fact that the intakes are generally more expensive. Also, there are many reports showing that they can be loud, which may not align with your preference.

  • Popular K&N Lineups

For a brand with many amazing features and benefits, you might be wondering what products they have on the market.

Here are some of the top products they offer:

  • K&N 69-2544TP Kit, which is the recommended option for Chryslers or Dodge
  • K&N 71-3070 Blackhawk Induction Intakes, which can be used on different vehicles because it offers a flawless fit
  • K&N 77-2581KP, which is designed for Ford F150 vehicles and is known for the maximum strength it provides

Will Installing a Spectre or K&N Intake System Help with Starting Issues in a Diesel Engine?

Installing a Spectre or K&N intake system can contribute to resolving starting issues in a diesel engine. These rare fixes for instant diesel engine start help enhance the engine’s airflow and fuel combustion, resulting in improved ignition and smoother starting.

Can a Spectre or K&N Intake System Cause Noise When Turning the Steering Wheel?

When it comes to a Spectre or K&N intake system, there can be concerns about steering wheel noise when stationary. While these aftermarket systems are not directly responsible for this specific issue, they can affect the sound of the engine. To tackle steering wheel noise when stationary, it’s important to inspect the power steering fluid level, belts, and the steering linkage for any potential problems.

What Are the Key Differences Between Spectre and K&N Intake Systems?

When it comes to champion spark plugs vs ngk comparison, the key differences between Spectre and K&N intake systems become apparent. While both brands offer improved airflow and enhanced engine performance, Spectre focuses on affordability and ease of installation. On the other hand, K&N prides itself on superior filtration capabilities and longevity. Ultimately, your choice depends on your specific needs and budget.


Ultimately, the two brands are among the most respectable and reputable brands in the world. However, when it comes to quality, K&N takes the lead because of the potential to produce more horsepower gains. On the other hand, Spectre takes the lead when it comes to affordability. With that said, the best option to choose for your vehicle depends on your personal needs and preference.

Consider K&N intakes if money is not an issue, and you can rest assured that you will enjoy the benefits it offers. Even though Spectre is more affordable and lesser in terms of quality and power gains, you can also enjoy noticeable power gains, which is also amazing.

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