How long can a car drive without an air filter?

How far can you drive without an air filter? I have to leave to pick up my kids from school soon, but my brother removed my old filter. He’s replacing it soon, but I don’t have time to wait for him to come back to install the new filter.

Coordinating our plans for the day can always get a little hectic. While you shouldn’t continuously drive without an air filter, a short trip is okay.
That said, most advise against driving a vehicle without an air filter. The filter is responsible for filtering the air you breathe and the air your engine uses. If you drive without one for an extended period, your vehicle sucks in dust, debris, insects, and other contaminants. If these unfiltered contaminants enter your engine, this can result in internal damage.
A few miles will not cause damage to your engine, but you’ll want your brother to replace your air filter as soon as possible.
Since you care about your car, another way to maintain your vehicle is a roadside assistance membership with Jerry. Jerry’s membership provides you with industry-leading roadside assistance, including benefits like towing, lockout service, and a mechanics hotline. To find out if you’re eligible, you can check the app or call one of our friendly agents. You may qualify for a special rate of $50 for your first year!
Phoebe Mah
Answered on Nov 22, 2021

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