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Went to check airfilter, realized I'm parked on gravel, is it a good idea to start the engine?

Sooooo I’ve never checked or changed the air filter on this vehicle, I’ve had it about 2,000 miles shy of 20k miles.

It’s been idling really low and “chugging” on acceleration. I am keen to listen for different noises made by my engine, so when this appeared I had to investigate (turn to google). Its 10pm here, all the auto parts shops are closed, and I went over to my vehicle to check the filter. I did so, making sure to keep the airbox more or less closed after removing the filter, but my concern is that some airborn dust may have inevitably made it beyond the filter.

I’d like to hear thoughts on this. Do you think any dust may have gotten inside, and if so is it a good idea to start the engine? If not what is something I can do about it? I understand that past the filter, the air goes directly into the engine combustion chamber (if I’m not wrong). I’d imagine the dust may have mixed with the oil at this point, and I’d rather not destroy it. :smiley:

Just put the filter back in. You don’t say if this is a new car but most Corolla Air filters are good for 30,000 miles. Either change the filter at the parts store or buy a new one before you open it up if you are worries about dust blowing in.

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Dust will only get in with the engine running. Year? Miles? Chugging sounds like some other problem.

agree. a light coating of dust on airbox interior is not a big deal
now, have you ever changed the cabin air filter?
i would be more worried about the air you breathe instead

I’m a tad confused here:
Have you had this car for 18,000 miles?
or have you had this car for 2,000 miles, and the car only has 20,000 miles on it?