The drain holes in your car are unsung heroes as they work behind the scenes to funnel water and dirt out and away from your car. They work hard to make sure that rainwater is kept away from your cabin diverting the water when it rains or when you get a carwash straight to the ground.
That being said, their designs also come with a bit of a drawback, if enough dirt and grime accumulate they can become clogged. When this happens instead of removing water they end up retaining it which can lead to rust or a bug infestation later down the line.
This is why it is important to have your car’s drain holes cleaned at least twice a year for them to properly do their job. With that said, we have created a quick guide to help you find where your car’s drain holes are located to help you keep these clean.
How to locate the drain holes
The drain holes in your car are typically found in several locations. The first of these locations is on the bottom section of your door. These are often covered by a rubber strip that helps prevent water and dirt from entering the cabin of your car.
Next, you can find drain holes near the shock towers of your car or with the windshield washer motor cowl at the front. Depending on the design there might be a flap that you can open to access this area where you will need to remove a plastic cover. The other location for a drain hole, depending on your car’s body type, is typically behind your taillights, this section can be harder to access and will vary depending on the design of your vehicle and may require you to remove your taillights in order to access. There can even be a drain hole in your trunk located under the spare tire. If you find that there is water there, you can pop it off, or if it's sealed you may need a sponge or a rage to help soak up the water and drain it.
How to check for clogs
A quick car wash can help you determine if there are any clogs in the drain holes of your vehicle. If you notice that during a wash that water begins to accumulate in a certain area or drains at a much slower rate than other sections, then this could indicate a clogged drain. You can also do a visual inspection around your vehicle to see if the drains require declogging but are prepared to get down and dirty as these drains aren’t always easy to access.
Cleaning your car’s drain holes
It's a straightforward process with cleaning these holes. All you need is a hose and a bit of pressurized water to get things quickly unclogged. Simply find the drain hole and give it a good hose down and watch as all kinds of gunk and dirt slowly come out. Do note that this will take several tries to do depending on how much dirt and grime is stuck in the drain hole.
If you want to be more thorough you can even use a toothpick to get more dirt and debris out. Just insert the toothpick into the hole and start gently scooping and clearing debris away. If you can manage to find a small scoop that would be even better so you can be more efficient.
You can even go the extra mile and couple it with a small towel to get into the hole and get everything out. Of course, make sure to hose down the hole once you’ve gotten most of the debris out. You can check if your work is good by using water to check if the holes are functioning properly.
Bring it to a professional detailer
If you don’t want the hassle of doing everything yourself, you can bring your car to a professional detailing service and have it done. There they can even open up your doors for a thorough inspection and better cleaning as well. Conversely, if you are working on a budget and plan to have your car washed soon, you can request that the carwash clean the drain holes with a pressure washer to make sure things are flowing smoothly.
As mentioned earlier it's always best to have these checked twice a year or more depending on the weather conditions, where you park, and how dirty the roads that you travel on are. They might go unnoticed but they do play a big part in keeping our car clean on the inside.