Keep Your Car's Nose Clean

in Blog
posted by: Ray Guarino

Now is a good time to clean out the air intake at the bottom of your cars windshield. Before you open the hood, if you can see leaves, pine needles, stems, & twigs poking up from this part of the car you know you've got some work to do. Once the hood is up and the existence of flora is revealed to you, what's the best way to clear the area, and why are you doing this in the first place?

All of the fresh air that enters the cabin is drawn in from this area of the car, making it ground zero for this type of debris to accumulate there. This blockage will not only turn to water holding sludge that will rot out the metal that forms the lower fenders, it also blocks fresh air form entering your driving space (think about how dirty vacuum cleaner bags and home air conditioner filters get), and decreases the efficiency of the blower motor.

If you blow the debris off the intake vents with a compressed air source (or a leaf blower), avoid injury by:

  • wearing impact safety goggles
  • using the proper blowing tip,
  • pointing the hose/blower tip away from yourself
  • you might also want to use ear plugs (so you can't hear your significant other screaming at you to be quiet)

Also, direct the air flow on a 45 degree angle (or greater) from the vents to avoid blowing debris deeper into them.

Once you've cleaned out the under hood area you should walk around the back of the car and take a look at the area right below the rear window by raising the trunk lid-the same accumulation of debris may be found there if you regularly park under trees.

Bonus points: Look up the cabin air filter replacement procedure in your cars owners manual and folow it if your car has one. Sometimes the filter is behind the glove compartment, with most newer cars and SUV's being accessible by merely opening the glove box door. This MotorMouth changed the filters in his wife's car and daughter's SUV this past summer and they both reported a decrease of "stale air" odor, and an increase in the force of the air coming out of the dash vents. The filters cost uner $20 each, so this is cheap insurance to ensure a more comfortable & healthy driving experience.

Benefits of changing the filter:

Keep Your Cars Nose Clean

This is a very mild case of under hood accumulation. This car was thoroughly cleaned only a week prior to this picture being taken, imagine what it might look like after a heavier leaf fall.

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