My air filter housing was quite dirty. I'm referring to the part in the pic which I believe is referred to as the air filter housing.
I was trying to clean it out, it was quite windy and I noticed some dirt(dust and maybe small particles of other dirt) flow into the air intake hole.
1) Would a little bit of dirt cause any noticeable damage to the engine?
2) Why does one need to clean this housing? It seems to me the filter will block/trap any dirt going u and you can remove it by hand if need be, that's even if the dirt goes onto the filter to begin with. Basically can I just not clean the housing since it seems unnecessary and when vacuuming the dirt might flow into the intake hole which would be worse.
3) If you guys do still vacuum how do you go about covering the hole, do you really go to the trouble of sealing it up as I recall reading somewhere.