Saturday, May 12, 2012

Magnets, How They DO Work

Love bug season has descended unexpectedly early here in north central Florida.

Love bugs love lovin' at our expense.
Swarms of these annoying insects, male and female joined at the butt, fly adrift, ready albeit unwilling to let themselves be splattered at high speed against the finish of your car. Given time and accelerated by summer heat, their acidic gut chemistry can pit the paint and fill the delicate fins of your radiator with bug parts.

An easy, somewhat ghetto measure can be taken to protect the radiator and engine compartment from these annoying insects. All you need is some plastic screening material, a dead hard drive, and scissors.

I drive a minivan, so I don't much care about its finish, I'm more concerned about function than form. In my case, I just cut a swatch of plastic screening material large enough to cover the radiator openings in the front grille, then secured it at either top corner with a rare-earth magnet salvaged from a long-dead hard drive.

The few inches of overlap will allow the screen to stay draped over the grille openings while driving, as will the curve of the grille itself. A masochist might go so far as to have a wire mesh complete with some power running through it to act as a mobile bug zapper and decrease the bug population, but I lack the motivation and time to go that far, I'm content to just keep them out.

Now my engine can remain bug free, without compromising airflow the engine needs so that the radiator can dissipate heat on the road.

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