1998 Ford Escort blower debris

pine needles and dust and debris are blown into the passenger compartment when I turn on the fan. I noticed that a seal on the windshield is loose and coming detached. Is this related? Is there a filter for the blower on this model? How do I fix this?

The loose windshield seal is not related. Air for the HVAC system is drawn in through a vent in the cowl at the base of the windshield. The debris comes in through the same opening. It may be easier to see if you open the hood. I doubt there is a filter, just the perforated grid.

You could remove the blower and clean out the debris. Not parking under trees would help prevent future accumulations.

Thanks for your help and quick response. I’ll pop the hood and take a look. The seal joins the windshield and the cowl you mentioned. The cowl is warping outward due to Southern California heat. The rubber seal is loose and creeping up the windshield. That’s why I thought debris (including dust) is continually getting into the blower. This is a crummy design if the seal isn’t the problem.

It’s possible the warped cowl trim piece is contributing to the problem, but many people get debris of this kind in the blower even when nothing is warped or damaged. The openings through which air is drawn are not small enough to keep dust, pine needles, etc, out.

In my neighborhood we get the seeds from maple trees (those things that “helicopter” down all over the place). The smaller ones will fit through the air intake on my Subaru. They make noise for a while in the fan, then eventually break up and blow out the vents.

I wouldn’t normally care but sometime I turn on the vent fan and get debris in my eyes which makes it hard to see. I checked under the hood and the cowl has perforations in the center area of it as you said, but I could not locate the air intake for the vent. Where is the blower motor located? I’d like to clean the whole thing out.