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Hey guys. I just ordered an AFE Pro Dry S drop in engine air filter for my 2002 Rav4 L from autoanything.com. I paid $46.95 which includes shipping for this filter. It should arrive by next week sometime. This filter is reuseable & does not require oiling like the K&N drop in filter. I read some positive comments about the filter on the autoanything site from those that installed it in their vehicles. Anyone running this filter in their Rav4 at present?



 

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Resurrection time.

Background:
I've used an AEM Brute Force intake with a dry filter on my Tundra for 100,000+ miles and liked it, it really helped my truck turn bigger tires down the highway. Have been casually looking for a similar RAV application all year.

Initial impression:
Not great. Although the filter media is recorded to be 99.2% efficient, it has just 30% of the surface area than does the Wix it replaced. If my routine schedule was to replace the Wix at annual, this AFE probably needs inspected and cleaned semi-annually. It has a robust rubber flange area. So large in fact I think it's a detriment to airflow. A significant percentage of incoming air is met by this rubber gasket, not filter media, whereas the OE and Wix filters had small plastic gaskets that didn't interfere with air flow. But otherwise, it fits right into the air box perfectly providing a water proof seal around the flange.

Performance:
I ran a couple tests to confirm my previous numbers. After three passes my times averaged 0.1 second slower than this summer, or 8.0 seconds. This of course is of no great meaning because the 1.2% change is in the realm of app error. What it is useful for are back to back comparisons, so I installed the AFE while parked beside the road and ran three more passes. 7.8 seconds 0-60 mph, or 2.5% faster. Not a significant contribution for sure, but upon further driving where I think it really benefits the 2AZ-FE is roll-on power. The U140F struggles is keeping the engine turning near peak power during gear changes. Where the AFE helps in this regard is during downshifts from 4th - 3rd or 3rd -2nd. My best guess is if 0-60 is improved 2.5%, 40-60mph is improved 8-10%. And that IS a notable improvement to me.

Final thoughts:
I'm going to give the AFE filter a couple tanks of gas to demonstrate it's staying power. If I don't see a 3% improvement in the near term, or, if I don't also see a 5% improvement during highway travels I'm putting the Wix back in. The decrease in filter media area and the corresponding increase in maintenance I don't believe is worth it for the performance benefit otherwise.
 

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So after three tanks of gas I am getting 3% improvement in fuel mileage with the AFE Pro Dry S, which surprised me? I'm a little confused as to how delivering more air, more fuel = better gas mileage? The small benefit in performance doesn't intuitively demonstrate to me it takes that much less throttle to move about town. A percentage of me remains skeptical and thinks this could be attributed to fixing the valve cover gasket leak and changing plugs . . .

But one area the Pro Dry S provides a tangible benefit in is, performance.
I drove to a section of highway that I use to perform tests up a grade. The conditions are: cruise control set @ 65 mph, 2,500 rpm, single occupant only, and A/C off.
After performing four runs up the grade, two with an OEM type filter, two with the AFE, the OEM type (this was a WIX paper filter) doesn't provide as much air at 2,500 rpm under load as does the AFE. With the paper filter the 2AZ-FE downshifted to 3rd gear twice while negotiating the hill. Meanwhile, the 2.4L was able to unlock the torque converter, stay in 4th, and grunt to the top with the AFE. In leu of dedicated highway mileage to confirm performance, this is convincing enough for me to believe I can expect 5% better mileage on road trips.

Whereas I'm still disappointed with the overall construction of the AFE, in particular is diminutive filter area, I'm going to continue to run it. I don't live in a dirty, dusty, environment. I noted the total cleanliness of the Wix after a year of use and placed it into the zip-lock bag the AFE came in, and will use it again if / when the environmental conditions warrant.

Overall I think the AFE Pro Dry S is a decent product for a RAV4.2 if you're looking for a bump in fuel mileage if you don't live in a dusty climate.
 
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