Cleaning Cowl Screens?

  1. Mad Hatter

    Mad Hatter Well-Known Member

    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JLUR, 2011 MDX Advance
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Location:
    SW PA
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    In my driveway I park near a pine tree of waning vitality, so it dumps lots of pine needles onto the adjoining roof, which then get blown over the driveway and parked vehicles. On my MDX and some past cars, the intake for the HVAC system is hidden under the hood near the windshield, however the Wrangler's intake is fully exposed to the elements.

    Per the attached photos, my Rubicon's ventilation intake screens are fairly clogged with pine needles. Some have worked in between the plastic grid screen and the finer metal mesh screen. I've tried vacuuming and removing some with big tweezers, but the lion's share of the needles have made their home in my intakes.

    Now that we are in air conditioning weather, full flow through the HVAC system is important. So I want to clean the screens.

    Does anyone on the forum know, if I remove the windshield wipers and the four torx bolts on either side of the cowl, do the cowl and screens lift off for removal and hopefully cleaning? Any caveats?

    Thanks!

    MH

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    mike2019 likes this.
  2. mike2019

    mike2019 Member

    First Name:
    Mike
    Vehicle(s):
    2019 JLUR Ocean Blue Metallic
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    Jul 17, 2019
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    Long Island, NY
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    I would thonk they come out just like you are saying. Maybe a dealer parts dept can show you how to on a blow up schematic or call the service dept and ask, they might help you. I have a friend who had a yj and he would cover the vents of that model with a white sheet. Its a pain but it worked for him. Just some ideas.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Mad Hatter

    Mad Hatter Well-Known Member

    Vehicle(s):
    2018 JLUR, 2011 MDX Advance
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Location:
    SW PA
    Posts:
    93
    Liked:
    84
    Thanks for your comments. It looked like there were some push-in connectors for the cowl assembly under the hood, suggesting this wasn't so simple. So, without more information I left the cowl assembly intact. In addition, one of my wiper arms would not loosen, and I didn't want to over torque the wiper motor mounts.

    I ended up taking my shop-vac on a day where the pine needles were all dry and vacuuming while picking at the pine needles with various sizes of tweezers. Took a while, but finally was able to clean to an acceptable level.

    My lawn guy says the pine tree in question is diseased and has to come down. That will eliminate my pine needle question via the nuclear option! :)
     
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