Just A Coincidence?

Today I got an e-mail from Ruben in Puerto Rico. He’s a Subaru owner and pretty active in the community. He sent me this interesting thread on one of Puerto Rico’s local Impreza forums, SubyNation.

HKS hasn’t been winning any points with me lately.

This HKS panel filter was installed on a Subaru Forester. Apparently, while the owner was getting on the throttle, he felt a complete loss of power. Initially it was presumed to be a boost leak, but upon further investigation, a disintegrating air filter was found to be the cause. Disintegrating air filter? Come on HKS, you’re better than that. What happened to Japanese quality?

HKS is probably the best known aftermarket parts manufacturer in all of Japan and this is the crap they’re producing.

It appears the material of the filter was so flimsy, that it was able to penetrate the screen in front of the MAF sensor.

Does HKS know about this? Is the same thing happening in Japan? With the Japanese enthusiasts so passionate on build quality, you’d think that HKS wouldn’t be producing the country’s best-selling air filter. Somehow, they’ve made their way onto more cars than any other brand.

I think we can officially conclude that not only is the structural integrity of their filters garbage, but the material of the filter is equally as bad. I’d be very curious to know how many miles were on this filter when it disintegrated. Regardless, it’s unacceptable under any circumstance. If I can stress one thing through all of this, it’s to not be fooled by brand names and expensive marketing schemes. I don’t want anyone to think that I hate HKS either. They’re one of my favorite brands and I’ve had great experiences with some of their other products on my car. The reality here is that I’m very disappointed.

They should know better.



  1. a little secret about jdm products: a majority of the bits are outsourced, then brought together and packaged together in japan making it “jdm” ;X

    DON’T TRUST BRAND NAMES, trust the finished products meaning something hypothetical like a HKS floor mat isn’t better than an eBay floor mat (but this analogy applies to everything including and up to say, crate motors).

    I’d say buy products based on value (say dollar vs. efficiency or longevity, where quality comes into play) and customer service. not brand name, hype, or marketing.

  2. How old is this unit? was he oiling it properly? What people don’t understand is the foam filters need to be cleaned and oiled…if not they dry up and start to fall apart….i have a USED unit that’s about 7 years old…and i have cleaned, maintained mine….and its the same material…cheapest way is clean it with dish soap..l let it dry up then spray it down the Filter oil….then it doesn’t fall apart……its a foam guys….when it drys it crumbles….id service it every oil change OR every 3-4 months if you wanna be lazy about it.

  3. are we sure it’s a genuine filter? there are knock offs of those too around, complete with HKS packaging

    the post above about oiling is a good one, and even more important here, because that filter from HKS is a dry unit. If you do oil it, it will be trashed in short order.

    dry filters flow well, but only have a limited life. Being in PR, where it’s hot and humid, a filter like this may not be the best choice.

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