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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
I have 2014 2.5L 1LT, currently with just the basic Advantage tune from trifecta meant for stock only vehicles. I’ve been considering getting a K&N cold air intake for it for a while, but after doing some more research, particularly reading other threads on here, the consensus seemed to be that due to the flawed design, the K&N filter won’t really boost performance, and may, in fact, be detrimental to it, as well as cause problems with the MAF sensor, and possibly the engine itself by not filtering particulates as finely. If I do get the CAI, I’m going to pair it with Trifecta’s specialized tune meant to go with it, but I’m wondering your opinions: should I even bother doing this, or just stick to the stock system with my current tune?
 

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Get the tune, forget the K&N.
 

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Get the tune, forget the K&N.
I agree with Driven Daily. I have the Trifecta tune on my 2.0L and have had it for about 2 years. My grin from the beginning hasn't stopped yet. I drive mine "spiritedly." It's too much fun not to. Even at that I can many times get 20 mpg in town even on short Walmart runs driving spiritedly" if I handle the go peddle just right.
 

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By specialized do you mean the Trifecta Elite? I don't think they offer Elite for the 2.5 anymore, just Advantage. Perhaps if you contact support they can dig something up. Either way, I'll go against the grain and vote no on the K&N intake and recommend you keep your current Trifecta Advantage tune.
 

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My 2.5 runs just fine WITHOUT the k&n with the Trifecta tune.
Too many MAF issues with them. Personal experience speaking with one 15 yrs ago. Only thing a CAI does is increase intake noise so you think your on a ''power rush'' .
Use the money you save not buying the intake to service your transmission fluid every 20k miles since your gonna be stressing it more enjoying the tune.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thx for the replies guys. Yea I already have the Advantage tune, but apparently Trifecta has a specialized version of it specifically meant to work off of a K&N CAI (the Elite as someone mentioned). Sounds like the money it costs plus the extra risks it brings just aren’t worth it, I’ll keep my money and use it for better things!
 

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K&N is an overrated brand and their intake design for the Malibu 2.5L is lousy, it offers no seal from the hot engine bay. Oiled filters don't belong on daily driver cars regardless of brand.
 
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Hey Repairman,

I have a 2014 2.5L... Is the Trifecta tune worth it? I've seen quite a few people on the forum who have purchased it and were very happy... just wondering what your thoughts were...

Thanks.

Josh
I would say it's worth it.
Gets rid of auto stop which I hate.
Off idle throttle response is way better, so much you'll have to lighten up the way you used to ''mash the gas'' when the light turns green as it spins the tires easier.
Holds gears a little higher instead of short shifting into higher gears with light throttle input. Less back and forth shifting like in short curves in hilly terrain. Kinda hard to explain .
Under 60 mph it feels like it's got more power and a lot sportier. Over 60 mph it's still a 4 cyl. car. Big V8 motor experience talking here.
My car pings on regular gas when it's wide open over 5k rpm. Premium required if your gonna get on it. Gas mileage is good so I have no issues using premium fuel. I'm avg. 26 mpg in suburban driving.
When I first installed the tune it was a pain to burn off that tank of regular LOL.
 

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Along with that I'll add: Don't forget to pay attention to the intake valves on your DI engine. They will need to be cleaned as the miles stack up. You'll notice a performance drop and maybe even have driveability issues. It's not the tune or your driving, it's the fact that it's a DI without any port injection to keep the valves clean.
 

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I would say it's worth it.
Gets rid of auto stop which I hate.
Off idle throttle response is way better, so much you'll have to lighten up the way you used to ''mash the gas'' when the light turns green as it spins the tires easier.
Holds gears a little higher instead of short shifting into higher gears with light throttle input. Less back and forth shifting like in short curves in hilly terrain. Kinda hard to explain .
Under 60 mph it feels like it's got more power and a lot sportier. Over 60 mph it's still a 4 cyl. car. Big V8 motor experience talking here.
My car pings on regular gas when it's wide open over 5k rpm. Premium required if your gonna get on it. Gas mileage is good so I have no issues using premium fuel. I'm avg. 26 mpg in suburban driving.
When I first installed the tune it was a pain to burn off that tank of regular LOL.
Gotcha. Thank you for your detailed response! I'm new to this forum and its nice to see that everyone is so nice here.

I don't see why they even implemented the auto start stop. Does it REALLY save you that much gas vs. idling at the stop? Plus, wouldn't it just chew through your starter? Also, it's nice to see that the take off from idle is improved. It feels like I have to go half way on the gas to move "briskly" away from the red light.

And yeah honestly what's a few more bucks a tank getting premium, the car sips gas.
 

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Along with that I'll add: Don't forget to pay attention to the intake valves on your DI engine. They will need to be cleaned as the miles stack up. You'll notice a performance drop and maybe even have driveability issues. It's not the tune or your driving, it's the fact that it's a DI without any port injection to keep the valves clean.
Forgive me for my ignorance, but what causes such buildup on DI engines? I (think) I know the difference, DI engines spray the fuel directly in the combustion chamber vs Port injection sprays it from the intake valve? I don't know alot of the advanced stuff, most of my car knowledge comes from my buddies who "got me into car stuff". I.T is more my thing. But I know (most) of the basics.
 

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Gotcha. Thank you for your detailed response! I'm new to this forum and its nice to see that everyone is so nice here.

I don't see why they even implemented the auto start stop. Does it REALLY save you that much gas vs. idling at the stop? Plus, wouldn't it just chew through your starter? Also, it's nice to see that the take off from idle is improved. It feels like I have to go half way on the gas to move "briskly" away from the red light.

And yeah honestly what's a few more bucks a tank getting premium, the car sips gas.
They redesigned a more robust starter for the start/stop system. Regardless, I think start/stop is bogus as well.

Forgive me for my ignorance, but what causes such buildup on DI engines? I (think) I know the difference, DI engines spray the fuel directly in the combustion chamber vs Port injection sprays it from the intake valve? I don't know alot of the advanced stuff, most of my car knowledge comes from my buddies who "got me into car stuff". I.T is more my thing. But I know (most) of the basics.
Port fuel injection is constantly cleaning the ports and backs of the intake valves with fuel spray and you can boost this with injector cleaner additive. In direct injection engines, the only thing passing through ports and intake valves is air, so any carbon particles from the combustion process just builds up over time and it can only be cleaned manually.
 

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I don't see why they even implemented the auto start stop. Does it REALLY save you that much gas vs. idling at the stop? Plus, wouldn't it just chew through your starter? Also, it's nice to see that the take off from idle is improved. It feels like I have to go half way on the gas to move "briskly" away from the red light.
On a single car I don't see much difference based on my driving pattern. I rarely sit in traffic and at stop signs I only briefly stop. The hopes of the system is all cars in aggregate adding up to lower global consumption and emissions - a lot of small adding up to a big sort of thing. Setting aside the economic stuff, my question is about the environmental side: With the 1st gen stop/start system you have 2 batteries. Sometimes the car idles with engine on, sometimes "idles" with engine off. Assume the car lasts 10 years and you replace the aux battery 3 times. Is the environmental impact of producing and disposing of the 3 extra batteries really that much less than the net difference in idle emissions and fuel production?

As for the starter, the starters are tandem reinforced units and really durable. If you use advanced search you will see all of 2 posts under the gen8 section where owners were troubleshooting a possible starter issue.
 

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They redesigned a more robust starter for the start/stop system. Regardless, I think start/stop is bogus as well.



Port fuel injection is constantly cleaning the ports and backs of the intake valves with fuel spray and you can boost this with injector cleaner additive. In direct injection engines, the only thing passing through ports and intake valves is air, so any carbon particles from the combustion process just builds up over time and it can only be cleaned manually.
The thing that pisses me off about the auto start stop is that I will pull into my parking spot, and the car will shut off. Then I put it into park, then it starts up again, just for me to shut it off. Like WTF? I guess the tune will rid me of that problem :)

Also, when you say "Can only be cleaned manually" how hard is that, if you've ever done it? I haven't done too much maintenence with cars, but I replaced the spark plugs on my old trailblazer, took off and cleaned the throttle body because of a poor idle. And did an oil / filter change on the Malibu. so if its any more involved than that I might have to phone-a-friend on that one. lol
 

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On a single car I don't see much difference based on my driving pattern. I rarely sit in traffic and at stop signs I only briefly stop. The hopes of the system is all cars in aggregate adding up to lower global consumption and emissions - a lot of small adding up to a big sort of thing. Setting aside the economic stuff, my question is about the environmental side: With the 1st gen stop/start system you have 2 batteries. Sometimes the car idles with engine on, sometimes "idles" with engine off. Assume the car lasts 10 years and you replace the aux battery 3 times. Is the environmental impact of producing and disposing of the 3 extra batteries really that much less than the net difference in idle emissions and fuel production?

As for the starter, the starters are tandem reinforced units and really durable. If you use advanced search you will see all of 2 posts under the gen8 section where owners were troubleshooting a possible starter issue.
Ohh I gotcha. Yeah that's a good point. I noticed in the back of my trunk that there was a spare battery for the auto start / stop, did they get rid of that with the 9th gen malibus?
 

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The thing that pisses me off about the auto start stop is that I will pull into my parking spot, and the car will shut off. Then I put it into park, then it starts up again, just for me to shut it off. Like WTF? I guess the tune will rid me of that problem :)

Also, when you say "Can only be cleaned manually" how hard is that, if you've ever done it? I haven't done too much maintenence with cars, but I replaced the spark plugs on my old trailblazer, took off and cleaned the throttle body because of a shitty idle. And did an oil / filter change on the Malibu. so if its any more involved than that I might have to phone-a-friend on that one. lol
I used to recommend a top engine cleaner like Seafoam spray administered at the throttle body, but GM has recoiled at the prospect of people using top engine cleaner as a preventative. I think there are some clogged cat issues because in some cases so much carbon is getting blown out the tailpipe. A new catalytic converter costs more than a proper cleaning service.

Manually cleaning means removing the intake manifold, soaking the ports and valves, and scrubbing them out by hand. Many shops offer a service called walnut shell blasting which costs around $300 and they clean your ports and valves like new.
 

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I used to recommend a top engine cleaner like Seafoam spray administered at the throttle body, but GM has recoiled at the prospect of people using top engine cleaner as a preventative. I think there are some clogged cat issues because in some cases so much carbon is getting blown out the tailpipe. A new catalytic converter costs more than a proper cleaning service.

Manually cleaning means removing the intake manifold, soaking the ports and valves, and scrubbing them out by hand. Many shops offer a service called walnut shell blasting which costs around $300 and they clean your ports and valves like new.
Oh, I guess for what they have to do to get to the ports / valves that cost doesn't sound too bad. Interesting that they don't include something like that on the service schedule. If you had to guess, about what mileage would you recommend to get this done? Even though my malibu is only at 30k miles, it's always good to know :)
 

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Oh, I guess for what they have to do to get to the ports / valves that cost doesn't sound too bad. Interesting that they don't include something like that on the service schedule. If you had to guess, about what mileage would you recommend to get this done? Even though my malibu is only at 30k miles, it's always good to know :)
Depends entirely on the car: driving habits, city vs highway miles, quality of gas, etc. It all affects the amount of carbon build up significantly. Most people don't bother until there are symptoms of carbon build up, or you can use a scope to inspect the state of your ports and valves.
 

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Depends entirely on the car: driving habits, city vs highway miles, quality of gas, etc. It all affects the amount of carbon build up significantly. Most people don't bother until there are symptoms of carbon build up, or you can use a scope to inspect the state of your ports and valves.
Oh okay. Thank you very much for all the info!

also, how do you like that SS? I feel like it would be so weird to drive what is basically a 4 door corvette that looks like a mean malibu haha! But I bet it is fun.
 
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