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Yes they can. Think of your engine as a big air pump (because that's all it really is). It's pumping air in & out every minute it's running & the easier the intake path allows the air to flow in, (or out, look at the exhaust side too) , the less energy the engine wastes trying to suck the air through a restrictive intake. But it's like you say, you have to be able to keep your foot out of it to realize the MPG gains :) something that's hard for most of us to do at first lol
 

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Yes they can, as stephan explained.
 

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Just remember that K&N will allow larger particles to pass where other filters will catch them.
Wix and other filter companies have done test after test showing little if any gains .
 
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