How to Clean a Car’s Windscreen Scuttle Water Drains?

This article explains how to clean a car’s windscreen scuttle water drains, which can become blocked due to dirt and debris. It outlines how to access the drain holes, how to clean them with a flexible wire and warm water, and when to seek professional advice. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the scuttle is recommended to prevent the drains from clogging up.

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 and is completely expected, it only ruins the looks of your car. In some cases, though, it can be that this debris prevents parts of the car from working as it should. 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 the windscreen scuttle drain get blocked?

Dirt (like sand, decomposing leaves and so on) can block the drain holes preventing water from clearing from the plastic windscreen scuttle (or cowl) underneath the car’s windscreen. If added to that, the seals around this area are not in good shape it can be that water drips into the passenger compartment, and in many cases, it will run into the footwell. If you park your car under a lot of trees, there are higher chances of the drain getting clogged, especially if the decomposing leaves are left there for days without cleaning.

If not addressed, the affected areas can ultimately start to corrode leading to further, more expensive repairs.

How to prevent the windscreen drain from clogging?

Thankfully, preventing the drains from clogging up is super simple. It just takes you, your hands and some regular maintenance. In 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 regularly (and daily during the rainy days).

How to clean clogged scuttle water drains?

Should you be so unlucky to already have a blocked drain hole or you find water leaking inside the car on the passenger side, 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. It’s a good idea to refer to the owner’s manual before getting started.
    • To remove the wipers, you may need a basic tool to undo the bolts and a pry bar to take them off the mechanism. Be careful not to damage the windscreen while doing this!
    • For some car models, you may need to open the bonnet of the car to access the screws needed to open the plastic scuttle and access the drain hole(s).
  • Once having gained access to a drain hole it can usually be cleaned with a flexible wire and flushed with warm water. Some DIYs may also use wire brushes or a plumber’s snake to remove the debris.
  • Seek professional advice if you find that the water still does not drain correctly or if water still leaks into the passenger compartment.

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.

If you’re not sure what is causing water leaks, ClickMechanic can help identify and fix the problem for you

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Meet Kurt, an automotive industry expert with over 13 years of experience. He currently leads the Marketing & Growth team at ClickMechanic, of which he has been an integral part of for the past decade. He has been involved with most parts of the business helping grow the company to new heights, from the creation of the innovative quote engine, and operations, to content and growth marketing automation.

With his extensive background in car repairs and customer support, Kurt is well-positioned to share his expertise on automotive technical topics. A car aficionado from an early age, his physical journey in the automotive world began with his trusty VW Golf 4, which took him on memorable adventures throughout Europe during his student days.

Outside of work, Kurt is a maker, as well as a design and technology enthusiast, embodying a unique blend of creativity and precision with an international outlook. He has a keen interest in the latest advancements in car maintenance and clean vehicle technology, as well as a heart for classic cars. His favourite classic cars include the Lancia Fulvia Series 2 and the Citroen DS, showcasing his appreciation for timeless automotive craftsmanship.

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