The Noisy Leaf

Cars can make all sorts of noises. Suspension squeaks and clunks, grinding brakes, uneven tires, leaking exhaust, all of these are mechanical noises from outside the car. Inside the car there can be squeaks or creaks from trim panels rubbing against each other, or just noise from a pile of coins in a cupholder.


Sometimes there’s a noise when the ventilation system is on. This can be caused by a failing blower motor, or from debris that fell into the blower motor. I was looking over a used car and there was the most annoying noise when the blower was on, but it was coming from the dashboard near the windshield. It was only happening when on defrost mode, so I knew something had to be up in the vents by the windshield.


I couldn’t see anything when I looked into the vent from outside the car, so I got the shop’s bore scope and stuck the camera down into the vent and got lucky. There was a leaf stuck inside the duct, and when the blower was on, it would catch the wind and start vibrating, making the annoying noise. I stuck my flexible grab tool into the vent alongside the camera and was able to break up the leaf so it would blow out, and the noise was gone.

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