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Discussion Starter #1
This should be a simple question to answer. We got lots of snow yesterday and, of course, the car was covered with snow and the area below the wipers was filled with frozen slush that would not come out. It is my understanding from discussions regarding A/C smell that this is where the intake is for the climate control system. My question is then, if that area is filled with snow and ice (hard to remove) where does the defrost air come from? It was hard enough to get the wipers free.
 

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If you hermetically sealed that area, you would get no air. But, if it is plugged with snow and slush, it will get some air from around the edges and even some through the snow itself. That plastic cowling which is the air intake is not exactly hermetically sealed. Some air will leak where it meets the windshield, firewall, connections, etc, at a reduced volume which you may or may not notice. Pretty much the same with all vehicles by all manufacturers (except submarines).
 

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AFAIK all of the intake air for the HVAC comes from below the windshield. Now, the rear climate zone may have its own intake, but I believe it's inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Certainly seems that ice and snow clogging limits airflow at a time when the defroster needs the most air.
 

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Certainly seems that ice and snow clogging limits airflow at a time when the defroster needs the most air.
That's somewhat true for all cars. Try the Recirc button.
 

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That's somewhat true for all cars. Try the Recirc button.
Be careful how long you use the recirc function. You may end up with condensation causing fogging inside the windows due to recirculating moisture-rich exhaled air hitting the cold glass. Please don't ask me how I know!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is what was happening. The windows were fogging up on the inside, I tried stopping breathing and that was point to a bad outcome. Maybe it is time to become a snow bird and leave Chicagoland for the winter.

Unfortunately the van has to sit out so this is a common problem. I may try covering the intakes somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Normally I do that but this most recent event was inches of slushy snow followed by a drop to zero. The whole area was a block of ice. Looking to the weekend for above temperatures and sun.
 

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Certainly seems that ice and snow clogging limits airflow at a time when the defroster needs the most air.
True, and as Waldo says, true for all cars. Though the ice & snow may limit airflow, they don't completely block it. I've found that making sure the A/C is on helps the defroster (even in the cold of winter) as that de-humidifies the air. Maybe it's worth investing in remote start? Or one of those windshield covers?

Anyone know if it's true that our vans have a wiper de-icer? I remember reading about it in the manual.
 
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