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How do you solve the problem of a ton of debris getting caught in that gap between the trunk lid and your car's body?

I generally like my Honda Civic, but one problem it's always had is that the rim along the trunk lid always fills up with a ton of plant debris. Leaves, twigs, seeds, dirt, small animals, pieces of Skylab, that sort of thing.

I've had 5 other cars before this one, and every one of them has that gap between the body and the trunk lid, but they've never filled up so quickly with crap the way my Civic does. Even worse, whenever I open the lid, the rim is ever so slightly angled so that a lot of that debris falls into the trunk. Come fall, there are more leaves inside my car than outside my car.

So that got me thinking, is there anything like a "gutter guard" that I can install in that gap, which will keep out debris, but still allow rainwater to flow into it? I guess I could epoxy in some light black plastic mesh in there, but I have to believe I'm not the first person to have this problem.

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Have you considered a car cover or putting it in a garage? Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 1:08

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Purchase a length of plastic window screening, as long as the width of the trunk lid. Cut a strip about 8 inches and roll it into a long cigar. Place it in the trough with a few dabs of hot glue near the ends. The closing trunk lid should squeeze the cigar so it bulges slightly when the trunk is closed. To get the right diameter you can roll a foot-long cigar of various diameters and do a test.

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  • The gaps accommodate body flexing while the rubber weather stripping seals against dust/dirt/water infiltration. Perhaps trying foam pipe insulation, cut and trimmed to fit to help fill the gaps. It should be flexible enough to compact when closing the trunk. Trial and error fit until satisfied then a little rubber cement to glue it place, removable at any time with little trace of glue left on the rubbers. Cleaning the weather stripping before gluing helps with adhesion.
    – F Dryer
    Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 18:03
  • Thanks, I like this idea. It's simple, and easy to revert if it doesn't work out.
    – Cerin
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 3:40
  • @FDryer The gap on my model is so big, either by design or defect, that it doesn't seal against debris. The gap is nearly 1/4". I had a 2008 Civic that was designed like you mentioned, but not the model I have now. I was thinking of putting in a strip of foam too, but I'm worried that will be so exposed that it will deteriorate quickly, and stop rain water from flushing out dust from the rest of the rim.
    – Cerin
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 3:42
  • Many may consider a 1/4" gap large while others like having less. It's all for esthetics to show less gaps for fit and finish. You're concern with debris falling into the gap then ending up in your trunk may be from design and/or where you park. As long as this doesn't interfere with keeping rain, snow and ice from getting past rubber weatherstripping, you're left to try suggestions. You'll never debris proof these gaps.
    – F Dryer
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 22:14

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