minimizing dust intrusion



This weekend was the first time I got my new to me 2nd gen Xterra (2006) out in the dirt. I certainly wasn't taking all the necessary precautions, nor was my 5 year old son, but I got what seemed to be an excessive amount of dust coming in through places like the interior door handles.

All my door and hatch seals seem to be in good shape, but coming up on ten years old, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't seal quite as well as they did when new.

The next time I'm out in the dust I plan on keeping the cabin sealed, and lightly pressurized with the A/C on recirculation but I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks for keeping as much dust as possible out of the interior?




Good advice! I recently changed them out and discovered that the door had been broken off and replaced with duct tape. For now I used a 100mph tape as a "door" but need to figure out a better solution.


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It sounds really silly but a leaf blower helps to clean out the dust once it has made it inside. I know this because my truck doesn't even have a cabin air filter =( My wife's 2002 base model Civic has one. My 2002 base model Impala has one. But the F-150 that's "made to work?" Nope... not available and can't really be retrofitted due to the shape and location of the intake.

But the engineers did put air filters IN THE DAMN SEATS so as it blows hot or cool air, it filters it. It seriously filters the air for my ***, but not the air for my lungs. WTF Ford...


Door seals on the Nissans IMO are lacking a bit ... I noticed this past summer with my 14' Frontier that dust would make it's way past the doors seals and accumulate on the interior panels around the door. Dust is tough to completely mitigate, but the Nissan seals (at least on the Frontier) seem to have some gaps. My Titan sealed up tight ...


Check the alignment on the door weatherstripping, I know my rear doors' sometimes don't line up quite perfectly. I've yet to have too bad of dust intrusion, your vehicle also will not pressurize no matter the AC setting. There's plenty of intentional air vents/leaks so you can close your doors and not suffocate when parked.


I guess I should not have used the word "pressurize", I come from an aviation background and know that I can't pressurize the cabin of my vehicle.

Maybe I should have worded it like this "use the air conditioning to the best of its ability to attempt to create an scenario of airflow leaving the vehicle, versus dust coming in"

I suppose that by pulling air through outside vent, and filtering the incoming air using the factory filters, I could 'potentially' create an environment where 'clean' air is being brought in and escaping through gaps in door vents, leaks etc to as to minimize dust intrusion by creating an outward airflow.

I need to look closer at my door seals, but its discouraging to learn that others feel they are of lesser quality.



Pulling in outside air through the cabin air filter will most certainly help keep the dust out. It'll just be at the cost of more frequent cabin filter replacements, which is probably a good trade.

I learned this the hard way myself leaving it on recirculate in the desert all day... dust makes it in at the forward edges of the rear door seals, about half way up (quad cab). Also makes it in around the door handles. If you have leather seats and long legs, you'll get noticeable dust streaks on the side of the seat backs.

I run outside air except for brief periods where I'm passing through really dense dust clouds from someone else, or from stopping. Haven't had an issue with it since - no sign of dust coming in through the seals or around the inside door handles.

I don't think the seals are "bad" per se, they just have at least one spot where they could fit better. I had this happen when the truck was brand new.