2009 BMW M3: Two-Card Monte
June 16, 2009
You've got a 50-50 shot at this. One of the hood vents in our 2009 BMW M3 performs a very important function; the other is a fake put there for the sake of design symmetry.
Which is which?
The passenger side one is the fake (right-hand side for those of you playing in the UK, Oz or other RHD countries). They've gone to great lengths to hide it by adding enough depth beneath the grille to create the inky shadows required to make it appear that it actually goes somewhere. A small slice has been made in the floor of this charade, presumably to prevent rainwater and carwash suds from pooling up.
The driver's side vent is the one that actually does something. What important function could this be, you may ask?
Why, it's an inlet for the intake snorkle that feeds air into the M3's V8 engine. That's pretty important.
I'd have to take the airbox apart to figure out where the carwash suds go when they disappear down this hole, but you can bet they don't make it past the air filter.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,565 miles