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K&N HP 2009 Filter Comparison

Posted on 24 October 2015

The K&N HP2009 has been “The Standard” for replacement oil filter for the 2ZZ-GE Toyota powered Lotus Elise/Exige/211.

K&N switched the manufacturing of the filter to Mexico some time in the first half of 2013. K&N implemented a significant design change in the anti-drainback system of the filter when they moved the manufacturing to Mexico.

The BAD news is that the new design does not lend itself to a high-flow design and the valve prevents pre-filling the filter prior to installation. The GOOD news is that it’s easy to identify the good KN 2009 filter vs the bad filter simply by observing the country of origin marked on the shell of the filter.

Look for Country of Origin to Identify old vs new style

Made in USA, Old Style = OK to Use
Made in Mexico, New Style = Not Recommended.


Country of Origin is easy to identify

New Style, Made in Mexico (top) vs. Original Style, Made in USA (bottom)

All the parts laid out on the bench. Notice that the new style has a slightly larger filtering area—not a bad thing. The rubber drain back valves are completely different, as is the filter cage, spring.

Here’s where the problem starts. The New Style has an additional anti-drainback valve. This valve prevents pre-filling the filter and creates a flow restriction within our oil hungry oil systems

The new valve is easy to press and open, but has relatively small passages for oil flow.

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