How to clean a car’s windscreen scuttle water drains?

As you drive the car, the car collects dirt and debris in all kinds of nooks and crannies. Usually a bit of dirt won’t affect the car’s functionality, it only ruins the looks of your car. In some cases though it can be that dirt prevents parts of the car working properly. Take, for example, water leaks which usually come about due to inadequate drainage of water in wet weather conditions. A common drainage problem usually occurs at the drain holes just under the windscreen.


How does it happen?

Dirt (like sand, decomposing leaves and so on) can block the drain holes preventing water to clear from the plastic windscreen scuttle (or cowl) underneath the car’s windscreen. If, added to that, the seals around this area are not in a good shape it can be that water drips into the passenger compartment, in many cases it will run into the footwell. If not addressed, the affected areas can ultimately start to corrode leading to further, more expensive repairs.



Thankfully, preventing the drains from clogging up is super simple. It just takes you, your hands and some regular effort. With other words you ought to make sure the scuttle is clear of leaves and sludge whenever possible, to reduce the chance a drain clogs up. Especially because water drains are not usually cleaned at regular services. Remember to raise this at your next service with your mechanic too. The drains and scuttle should be cleared of any dirt and debris at your next service. Of course, if you can, do remember to clean the scuttle of leaves and dirt yourself daily.


How to clean?

Should you be so unlucky to already have a blocked drain hole, then try following the following to clean the drains:

  • Accessing the drain holes depends on your car, in some cases it might mean that you would have to remove the windscreen wipers and scuttle.
  • Once having gained access to a drain hole it can usually be cleaned with a flexible wire and flushed with warm water.
  • Seek professional advice if you find that the water still does not drain correctly or if water still leaks into the passenger compartment.
  • Done!

The nitty-gritty?

Don’t forget that every car is a little different and might need a different approach to unclog the drain holes than the one presented here. Seek professional advice if you find that water has seeped through to other areas, risking corrosion of underlying components. Especially, as water leaks around the windscreen are not necessarily down to clogged drain holes (in this case consider one of our other guides).

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