Forums

Aftermarket HVAC Air Intake Vent Cover

Aftermarket HVAC Air Intake Vent Cover

I see this product, and many like it, for sale on Amazon and eBay. For $13.49, and delivery by 11/27, I decided to give it a shot.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/312806091915

Would love to know if anyone else is using something similar, and if so, how you like it. Will post my review later this month.

M3phan | 17. November 2019

Others here have pointed out that this device may restrict airflow which can be detrimental to AC, leading to less moisture evap, creating a moist environment for the infamous AC vent stink. (Did I recall that correctly guys?)

jebinc | 17. November 2019

-@M3phan

I saw others are also installing a filter in there, under the grill... IMO, that would cause numerous problems. Not sure how, if any, airflow would constricted by just a leaf grill -given the size of the "mouth" of the intake and negative pressures created by the fan. Not overly concerned to the point of breaking out old computational fluid dynamics text books, however.

whazupman | 17. November 2019

I have this installed on both my M3s. I do not believe this could possibly restrict the airflow since it is covered in holes. When I took my car to the service center they were very impressed with this addition and said it should be on the car since the Fan is in front of the filter unlike most cars. Anything falling in the intake can get chewed up by the fan.
I had the stink before I installed this so I do not believe this will affect it at all. Since I have cleaned my system twice with Klima cleaner and the second time I replaced the cabin filters with OEM filters. I hope the stink does not come back next summer :)

Magic 8 Ball | 17. November 2019

It will restrict airflow. The designers would have loved to make that whole inlet piece much smaller I am sure but it is large and funnels the air down to the fan intake with minimal restriction for a reason. I have seen an open wire mesh version that looks like it has minimal total cross section interfering with the inlet flow that I like much better.

jebinc | 17. November 2019

-@Magic 8 Ball

Where have you seen a wire mess version? Link?

vmulla | 17. November 2019

"since the Fan is in front of the filter unlike most cars. Anything falling in the intake can get chewed up by the fan." @whazupman

Is this different from X and S as well?

Magic 8 Ball | 17. November 2019

Give me some time, it may have been homemade, i liked it the second I saw it. That being said I am not going to bother and we do park outdoors under trees. There already is a large wire mesh screen down at the bottom of the funnel made of small diameter wire (they are being conscience of restricting airflow). I have not found it difficult to get down there with a vac extension and clean that screen. Anything that gets past that screen gets trapped in the filter pair. Of course everyone has different situations so it come down to personal judgement also.

Modifying the A/C is a real can of worms with some people having issues. Once you start playing with variables you don't know if you are improving one thing just to cause a problem elsewhere.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. November 2019

Should say:.......... not going to bother getting one....

jebinc | 17. November 2019

-@Magic 8 Ball

If there is a screen down at the bottom of the scoop, and leaves get in there before you dive in with the vacuum, your airflow would be restricted from the time between when leaves got in there until when you get around to vacuuming, right? I'm going to give this cheapo a try. would prefer a screen and look forward to you providing a link if you can find one.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. November 2019

I have been busy looking, no dice yet Yes, the leaves get trapped somewhere and, so far, I have not had enough get down to the screen (in a year's time) to worry about. I pulled the filters and they were dirty but nothing unexpected or out of the ordinary or large. You never know the inlet may be oversize to begin with and blocking half of wont matter and maybe it could help in some other way. Worse case is you can remove it. Here is a pic of my screen after one year of service and parking under a redwood tree.

https://imgur.com/KB8Eul9

jebinc | 17. November 2019

-@Magic 8 Ball

Thanks for the pic. I'm surprised that the screen isn't a bit finer; looks more like chicken coop wire mesh. With fir trees galore in WA, the needle drop is unreal - especially by my house on wooded acreage. The F'n fir needles are everywhere, so I'm going to try this plastic PoS for now, until a finer screen variant intake cover becomes available. I was really hoping you could produce a link... got all giddy and all...

Magic 8 Ball | 17. November 2019

I will look a bit more. The one I saw looked about the same diam wire but a finer mesh. The pic might be a bit deceiving since I am in so close with the lens. I was actually able to get a finger on the wire and it felt fairly fine. But if you have a heavy tree load I can see it being an issue. It has been an issue with every car we owned and am somewhat pleased it is not so bad with the M3.

jebinc | 17. November 2019

I couldn't find a screened version upon initial search, but there are many people selling this Chinese manufactured covers. Many report dressing theirs in stockings/nylons to stop things like needles. I made mod mine, since it's so cheap, by drilling large holes in the center and then dressing it with a stocking. Might end up just using the frame portion, by taking out the entire center, then dressing, we'll see. Need to play around with a mod of some sort, until a screen version becomes available.

M3phan | 17. November 2019

Here’s the link on YouTube that I’ve seen of a guy who made a homemade one made of wire mesh
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yr00t8Buzuw

CRAIGJFIFTY3 | 17. November 2019

I had some 1/2” galvanized wire mesh that I cut to fit the air inlet. Works just fine, doesn’t buzz or rattle and is a good first line of defense against larger debris. I may switch to a 1/4” mesh in the future.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. November 2019

That's the one! I thought it may have been homemade.

Zeus140 | 17. November 2019

Would it make better sense to place the wire cloth on the exterior of the grill? That way the grommet is not impacted and it would keep debris where it could easily be removed.

Magic 8 Ball | 17. November 2019

@Zeus140 Funtionaly, I agree, I think he did that for for appearance. If I do it I will probably do it the way he did it or similar. The wire ends where they are cut are protected and out of the way, it has a nice clean appearance.

andrewsjra | 17. November 2019

I just received one in the mail I purchased on amazon identical to the OP’s. Very hesitant now to install it. Thinking of just sending it back.

rob.kibler | 17. November 2019

Thanks @M3phan for finding that youtube video.

CRAIGJFIFTY3 | 17. November 2019

I just watched the video. I did it a little differently. Instead of attaching the wire screen to the under side of the plastic grill, I cut it to match the shape of the opening and just placed it in there. It’s a snug fit.

jebinc | 17. November 2019

-@M3phan

Thanks for the video! With lots of small for needles here, I will have to come up with a different solution as 1/4” mesh won’t get the job done for me.

jebinc | 17. November 2019

fir needles... damn auto incorrect

M3phan | 17. November 2019

Aye aye, y’all.

Varricks | 18. November 2019

I got one, because for the price of a burger and shake I figured why not. When I pulled the cover off the firewall area and saw what kind of toilet bowl was being used for an air intake, I was glad to have gotten it. No apparent difference in airflow. Sure seems like rotting stuff in the bottom of that intake would tend to bring on a cabin stink.
The entire "funnel" on the intake comes out for more efficient cleaning.
I'm a little baffled (so-to-speak) about how the under-hood area seems to gather leaves quite a lot, and use a foxtail bench brush to clean them out while charging. I wonder what a seal around the edge of the fenders/hood might do.

jebinc | 19. November 2019

-@Varricks

Thanks for the input!

CST | 19. November 2019

Mobile tech just told me that you can turn on the AC and spray some Lysol or Febreeze in there for a few seconds, and it'll resolve all your problems. YMMV!

jebinc | 19. November 2019

-@CST

Yes, for years I have have used Lysol as it kllls mold, etc. Frabreeze is more like perfume. No antimicrobial ingredients, I don’t think.

Varricks | 20. November 2019

Ozium has been the solution for charter planes since the fifties. Another good option.

M3phan | 20. November 2019

So one can spray Ozick directly into the AC intake? Then let the system run for how long?

M3phan | 20. November 2019

*Ozium

ReD eXiLe ms us | 20. November 2019

FYI... There certain cleaners deodorizer sprays that are boldly advertised as being 'ALL NATURAL!' & 'NON-TOXIC!' that nevertheless give me a blazing headache. One is SIMPLE GREEN and the other is FEBREZE. One more reason why I hate advertising.

jebinc | 20. November 2019

"Febreze, doesn't cover up odors like other products - it gets rid of them..." Yeah, tell me again how that works? [Rhetorical question]

CST | 20. November 2019

He said spray for a few seconds and let it run for a couple minutes, switching between fresh & recirculation twice.

TeslaTap.com | 20. November 2019

@jebinc - The tiny nanobots in Febreze go after smelly molecules and irradiates each one. Or perhaps not :)

jebinc | 20. November 2019

-@TeslaTap.com

It's amazing what is allowed today, as opposed to yesteryear... Remember the days when manufacturers could not advertise medications? It's a free for all today... kind of like throwing a banana into a cage full of bonobo monkeys... yeah, look it up!

Varricks | 20. November 2019

So one can spray Ozium directly into the AC intake? Then let the system run for how long?

Well, it's not rocket surgery. Five seconds of spray, five minutes of running. Or so.

M3phan | 20. November 2019

Awesome. I’m about as handy as a brick on certain things, so I had to ask. Will give it a go *if* the smell ever returns.
I had the AC service done and new filters switched mid Sept and still no smell. Very pleased.

jebinc | 10. Dezember 2019

I found my solution! Been using for a month now. No aftermarket covers required.... These are the super high flow HVAC intake grill filters used in most houses that have forced hot air/AC systems. Just cut to size and pop in. Good bye fir needles and leaves!

https://www.homedepot.com/p/True-Blue-24-in-x-36-in-x-1-in-Budget-FRP-2-...

trimble2 | 10. Dezember 2019

M3phans link video looks like a good DIY solution but I think a better way to secure the mesh screen is with plastic zip ties instead of wire so it won't chew into the plastic cover.

bp | 10. Dezember 2019

Well, based on the other thread on this subject, I just bought the cheap Amazon intake cover with the holes. As another Evergreen State resident (fir needles and maple seed pods), this seemed much wiser than just leaving the massive funnel essentially open. Will see how it goes post install.

M3phan | 10. Dezember 2019

@ trimble2, good idea. Zips would be better

jebinc | 10. Dezember 2019