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Hood Scoops: Purpose, Pros & Cons

Educational  ·  March 31, 2023

Hood Scoops: Purpose, Pros & Cons

Hood scoops are the kind of feature that almost instantly makes a vehicle look sportier. But are they just for show, or do they offer significant performance benefits?

A hood scoop is a raised portion of the hood that allows more air into the engine compartment. It forces more air into the engine, helping it produce more power. However, it can also let in dust and rainwater, potentially causing problems for the vehicle.

In this guide, you’ll learn the hood scoop's purpose and how it can benefit the engine. It’s a helpful resource if you’re trying to decide whether a hood scoop is a worthwhile upgrade for your car.

What Are Hood Scoops, And What Is Their Purpose?

A hood scoop is a raised section of a vehicle’s hood, with an opening that allows air to flow directly into the engine bay. These hoods are also known by several different names, including air vents, dams, and other terms, depending on where you are in the world.

The engine bay in most vehicles typically receives air through the front grille. The grille provides ventilation to the engine bay and lets air flow in more effectively when the car is moving forward.

However, that airflow through the grille isn’t always enough. Some drivers may want to increase their engine’s performance by getting more direct airflow into the intake, and a hood scoop is an excellent way to achieve that. 

Hood scoops also provide extra cooling to the engine bay. The increased airflow helps to carry more heat away from the engine, dissipating it into the surrounding air.

Hood scoops can also be for decorative reasons only. For instance, some cars have hood scoops without an opening to let air in. Instead, the hood scoop is only there to make the vehicle look sporty.

Why Do Some Hood Scoops Face the Windscreen?

When you see a hood scoop on a car, it’s almost always pointing forward. That makes sense considering the purpose of the scoop, which is to let more air into the engine compartment.

So why are some hood scoops pointing in the other direction (directly at the windscreen)? At first glance, that makes absolutely no sense. But look at it a little closer, and you’ll see it performs the same function despite pointing the ‘wrong’ way.

Windscreen-facing (or ‘rear facing’) hood scoops were much more common decades ago, some say around the 1960s. The windshields on vehicles back then were much more vertical than they are today.

A vertical windshield creates high-pressure air directly above the hood, particularly when the car moves forward. So, a hood scoop pointing at a vertical windscreen would force pressurised air into the engine compartment.

Again, that was only possible because the windshields on older cars were vertical (or pretty close to vertical). That’s no longer the case, as most windshields are now at an angle.

In other words, the rear-facing hood scoop wouldn’t work on today’s cars, that’s why the hood scoops you see today are mostly front-facing.

What Are the Pros & Cons of Hood Scoops?

Adding a hood scoop to your vehicle has its fair share of pros and cons, just like any other vehicle modification.

Here are some of the benefits of having a hood scoop on your car:

Of course, hood scoops aren’t perfect. Here are a few cons or drawbacks that they come with:

Naturally, some workarounds could minimise the downsides listed above. For example, you can modify the hood scoop to block or trap incoming dust, but that will also reduce airflow.

You should consider the tradeoffs before adding a hood scoop to your car, but it’s more likely that the pros outweigh the cons, making it a worthwhile investment.

Do Hood Scoops Let the Rain In?

Another notable downside to adding a hood scoop to your car is that it allows rainwater to enter the engine bay. Too much water can affect the air filter and suffocate the engine.

Thankfully, there’s a way around that—use a smaller hood scoop! If you're driving in the rain, larger hood scoops will undoubtedly let too much water in, but that’s less of a problem with smaller ones like a Jeep Wrangler hood scoop.

Although rainwater will still enter the engine compartment, smaller hood scoops minimise the amount that gets in and reduces any associated problems.

Final Thoughts

Remember that a combustion engine needs three things to produce power: fuel, sparks, and air. The hood scoop plays into that by allowing as much air as possible under the hood and into the engine.

When a car with a hood scoop moves forward, the air is forced under the hood and pressurised. That helps to get more air into the engine, which can help burn more fuel and produce more power.

Still, remember that the hood scoop is an opening that can let other things into the engine compartment, like dust and water, especially when it rains.

If you'd like to add a hood scoop to your car, you'll need professional help. Find the nearest automotive businesses in your area through CarpartAU's Directory. You can get the best workshop details and contact them directly there!


By Ray Hasbollah

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