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Super Moderator
“I’m a Tuner”
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's TRUE!!!

The car felt a bit sluggish... It just did not run like the other McLarens I've driven... So I started looking around under the hood and look what I found... (I will let the pictures do the talking).

V-box Data proves I went from a 7.55 seconds 60-130mph down to a 7.02 Seconds 60-130mph by simply swapping my air filters. BEST MOD EVER!!!

Notice to OLD air filters were manufactured late in 2015, so they were recently changed prior to my purchasing the car.

Now you go home and check yours! Because that gray foam "padding stuff" that mysteriously turned into a powder is inside of my air box is also inside of your air box too!
 

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2012 MP4-12C
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949 Posts
My car is currently getting its annual service. I will ask the dealership to check on this and will report back. Interesting find!
 

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My car is currently getting its annual service. I will ask the dealership to check on this and will report back. Interesting find!
usually this is included in the annual service, including getting ripped off for non essentials, key fob battery, wiper blade etc.
let me know what they find


we should have a master list of DIY items for easy reference
 

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2012 MP4-12C
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Looks to be a foam insulation or something? Maybe for sound, and if so I would think it would be great to rip it out! Very odd...

According to my dealer/service center, this is not a common issue whatsoever (my SA had never heard of it or seen an example of it). The filters are supposed to be changed with every annual service, so this type of thing would be noticed. My SA's feeling was that so long as you are up to date on services, this should not be an issue.
 

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Looks to be a foam insulation or something? Maybe for sound, and if so I would think it would be great to rip it out! Very odd...

According to my dealer/service center, this is not a common issue whatsoever (my SA had never heard of it or seen an example of it). The filters are supposed to be changed with every annual service, so this type of thing would be noticed. My SA's feeling was that so long as you are up to date on services, this should not be an issue.
That makes perfect sense. Perhaps the OP had a rodent issue since the last service.
 

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“I’m a Tuner”
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That makes perfect sense. Perhaps the OP had a rodent issue since the last service.
LOL - Not in BOTH air boxes... ;-)

The Air filters that I took out were manufactured on 10/21/15, so the car has not been lacking or is over due for a good annual service. My best guess is something caused the foam padding in the box to break down suddenly. Possibly going thru a car wash and a certain chemical was to blame? Since I just purchased the car I can only speculate.

My recommendation is have the foam pads ripped out during your next annual service to eliminate the possibility of the same occurring to you.

Thanks for all the comments and such! Conversations like this is what make sharing our unique experiences and McLaren stories so much more exciting.
 
2012 MP4-12C
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Mine was not NEARLY as bad. Air filters are dated May 27 2015 and I don't know when the air filters were actually replaced. I see no need for an annual air filter replacement if you aren't driving on dirt roads unless it's because they know that foam will degrade and requires inspection. I blew out all the foam particles from the inside after vacuuming the outside. Will I know how much difference it made? Unfortunately, no. I checked it out because I have the wheels off getting them refinished and new tires. This thread did inspired me to check, but I did make a video with a little more detail for those interested in checking it out for themselves.

 
2012 MP4-12C
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That thanks for the info how is the air filter attached to the inlet tubing or is it just a slide on?

If you look closely you can see the ridge. It just pushes in there. The orange parts are pretty soft and flexible. Something notable, I did figure out who makes the filters for McLaren so I could probably buy them for $5 a piece but I'd have stupid quantities of them to resell. I think more people have the dealership do them than themselves so that market is pretty dry. If yours are bad enough you need to replace them, I'd spend $110 on K&N before I'd spend $200+ on genuine McLaren filters. They won't perform any better, but you can spend half as much and get the same result.
 

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2012 MP4-12C
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Thanks appreciate it I have some bmc filters I might toss In if I do some downpipes

I hear the factory filters are better than BMC, I don't know what that's based on though. If your factory are clogged I'd say anything is better. It's really not that hard to do regardless. I used a 1/4" impact and all those bolts went in and out quickly. The hardest part is getting the car in the air. I happened to have mine up to have the wheels refinished so I thought I'd take a look while I had town time.
 

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McLaren states 4 years or 40,000 mi to change air filters

Mine had never been changed as far as I could tell. I also noticed foam
breakdown on one side but not the other. Replaced with BMC and pulled all the foam out. Can’t tell on performance but the turbo spool does sound more pronounced
 

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Thanks for the write up, it was helpful. I just swapped my filters to BMC's. I believe the material inside the airboxes is heat insulation for the airbox given the proximity to the downpipes. Mine were perfect at 11k. Did you change the downpipes without using blankets?

Here are some more pics of the BMC's different design. They have cones inside. Here are some pics of what the insulation inside looks like unmolested.
 

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