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It’s no secret that car house owners have gotten extra hands-off in terms of car upkeep and restore. A few of that blame may be attributed to the rising complexity of contemporary automobiles, and automakers are utilizing that to their benefit as they try to make automobiles much more hands-off. The instrument roll and spare tire you’d discover in older automobiles have been changed with a can of fix-a-flat and a roadside help card.

Modifications just like the disappearance of the spare tire are the results of chasing gas economic system requirements, although others — like elevated use of plastic engine covers — seem to be the automaker’s manner of telling house owners they’ll have to subscribe to a service plan as an alternative of making an attempt to show a wrench on their very own. A lately revealed patent exhibits somebody at Ford had the thought to take this to subsequent degree — so house owners won’t ever must open the hood in any respect.

The one objects that requires the opening of a contemporary automobile’s hood frequently is the windshield washer fluid fill, and this patent describes a strategy to get round that. Patent US9,725,074 describes a grille emblem which can be utilized as a hood launch and a windshield washer fluid fill.

The diagrams present an emblem that may be pulled from the highest to disclose a reservoir through which to pour washer fluid. When pulled from the underside, it releases the hood latch.


In line with the patent’s background, the inventors consider that refilling washer fluid includes a process that’s comprised of “a number of inconvenient and irritating steps.” They go on to state that:

On many automobiles one should attain below the hood and run a hand alongside the highest of the motorized vehicle grille in search of to find the extent which is hidden from view. This not solely ends in soiled palms but additionally potential frustration if the latch lever isn’t discovered rapidly.

Additionally it is important to notice that the engine compartment is commonly scorching in the course of the windshield washer fluid refilling job, because the low fluid degree is often found whereas driving. This creates an extra hazard whereas working below the hood to carry out this job.

Whereas Ford has an inexpensive level concerning the latch space getting soiled, I discover it exhausting to consider that individuals are getting annoyed and burned whereas making an attempt to entry the washer fluid fill. The background abstract ends by stating this new system wouldn’t require opening the hood in any respect, representing “a big advance within the artwork.”

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An exterior washer fluid fill might be a helpful function however, primarily based on the diagram, it might require many extra elements than present designs and might be prone to amassing filth and particles.

One other challenge with the system, which was talked about by resident Michigander Adam Tonge, is that snow and slush may trigger the mechanism to freeze and forestall you from including washer fluid within the freezing situations when it’s most wanted. It’s an fascinating thought, however I don’t see the inconvenience in refilling the fluid now, because the washer reservoir is often near the entrance of the engine bay and painted in a visual colour.

I consider this form of invention does extra to propagate the concept house owners mustn’t keep their automobiles than something to do with comfort.

[Images: Ford, via U.S. Patent and Trademark Office]

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