The cowl of a car is the front section of the chassis that supports the hood, windshield, dashboard, pedals, and instrument panel. The passenger compartment is separated from the engine by the cowl.
A cowl can rust and leak with time, causing damage to the electrical and air conditioning systems. Before the entire cowl needs to be replaced, silicone sealants can assist prevent future leakage.
Cars can be fitted with special cowl hoods that let more cold air into the engine, improving fuel efficiency and combustion. On typical automobiles, vents on the top of the cowl let normal volumes of air into the engine compartment. Extra vents are located further away from the windshield on cowl hoods.