The air filter is designed to remove a large percentage of contaminants from the incoming air en route to the engine. Can your engine run without a filter? Yes, but there are several reasons why you should not operate the vehicle without an air filter and why it is recommended to periodically service the engine intake air filter. By removing contaminants from the incoming air, the vehicle can operate in environmental conditions that are less than optimum. You should regularly inspect the air filter, especially if the vehicle is operated in environments where there are a large number of airborne particles. These areas include deserts, agricultural environments, industrial settings, and continuous stop and go city traffic.