Hot Air Coming In Thru Parking Brake/Center Console

acura
integra

#1

I have a 1997 Acura Integra LS coupe 5-speed with 130k miles. I actually a full service checkup on the car done at the Acura dealership where they found nothing majorly wrong with the car except needing the bushing replaced.



Since then I have driven the car across the country and I am currently living in california where I sitting in a lot of stop and go traffic.



Once the car has been running for a while, a the engine starts to run a little hot (not more than halfway up the dial but still looks high)and hot air comes into the car thru the whole where the parking brake is and the center console.



Its hot enough to make the cab uncomfortable and I have to run the AC and blow it on my feet to keep the cab cool.



Any idea on what is causing this? Do I need a new cat or exhaust system?



The dealership said there was nothing wrong with the exhaust but I didnt really notice the car doing this til after I drove it across the country from Missouri to California.


#2

Once the car has been running for a while, a the engine starts to run a little hot (not more than halfway up the dial but still looks high)and hot air comes into the car thru the whole where the parking brake is and the center console.

Half way up is totally normal.

Someone will need to take a look at the parking brake issue. I would look for a local independent shop. This could be serious. It is possible you are getting exhaust in the cabin and that is very very bad.

[b]  I actually a full service checkup on the car done at the Acura dealership[/b] 

  Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.  During the warranty period be sure to have all required (as listed in the owner's manual) maintenance done and to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic. 

Note: Never ever use a quick oil change place. They are fast cheap and very very bad.


#3

The shifter and parking brake should each have a rubber boot between the body panel under the console and the mechanisms and grommets for the cables. These are heavier and uglier than the nice leather shift boot and parking brake cover, if equipped.

Remove the center console and check the condition of these rubber boots and grommets. I suspect one or more is split or rotten with age. The dealer should be able to order a new one and get you back to comfortable again quickly. I do this work myself, so I’m not sure how much they will charge to do it for you, but the rubber stuff is cheap.


#4

You may also be missing a heat shield underneath or even have an exhaust leak, as you mentioned. I’d suggest that this also go up on a lift for a good look-see. A missing heat shield could present a fire danger and an exhaust leak could be allowing carbon monoxide into the passenger cabin.


#5

Given that (a) you don’t hear/smell any differences in the exhaust, and (b) you’ve had the exhaust checked out, I think we can rule that out.

I agree with BustedKnuckles that you probably have a torn/missing rubber boot where the e-brake cable exits the interior.

What happens is that on many FWD cars, the exhaust pipe is routed down the center of the vehicle, in a recessed area of the floorpan. Generally, the e-brake cable also passes through this recession, because it’s the easiest way to route things.

Now, for aerodynamic reasons, the air pressure inside the car is less than the pressure underneath. That means, if there’s a hole in the bottom of the car (in the area of the exhaust “tunnel”) it will pull in air that has been warmed from its close proximity to the exhaust pipe.

(An easy way to test this is to partially lower a window: does the warm air flow increase?)

While you’re not getting exhaust in the car NOW, this creates an easy means for any future exhaust leak to get into the interior…so it’s a “safety issue” that should be fixed as soon as practicable.