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A snorkel is a hollow tube commonly made of metal or plastic that brings air from above the vehicle into the engine’s air intake system. Snorkels serve several purposes. They allow vehicle operation in deep water by positioning the air intake above roof level so the engine can breathe even when the vehicle body is submerged. This enables crossing rivers or flooded areas. Stainless steel snorkel also reduce dust intake in dusty off-road conditions by having the air intake high up away from the ground. With the majority of 4wd vehicles having the air intake in the inner wheel arch cavity from factory, raising the intake to a clan air source can greatly improve air filter life and reduce loading on your vehicles filtration system. Snorkels also contribute greatly to the overall aesthetic of the vehicle and snorkel choice can greatly add or detract from the visual appeal inline with other accessories chosen.

Potential Snorkel Maintenance Issues

Several common problems can occur with snorkels that require maintenance to prevent any compromising situations that may affect your vehicle in adverse ways. Corrosion is one issue, as snorkels are exposed to water, mud and debris which can cause corrosion over time, especially on metal surfaces. This gradually degrades the tube and connections. With material choice being critical when dealing with accessories developed for vehicles used in off-road application. These vehicles are often be exposed directly with salty water and spray when operated on beaches. A common place for 4WD Use in Australia. Fatz Fabrication use only the highest standard of material from our stainless tube selection, silicone couplings and hose clamps. We have done longevity testing on many items to ensure your accessories last as long as the vehicle installed on. Another potential problem is build up of contaminants inside the snorkel such as mud, sand and dust can clog the interior of the tube, restricting air flow and leading to reduced engine performance. This is not a common problem but may result over a long period of water and dust build up in the snorkel interior. Damage is another concern, as accidental impacts or stress from motion can distort the tube, cause cracks or loosen joints. This allows additional dust and water into the engine. With Fatz quality manufacturing techniques, our snorkels are build tough to handle even the roughest usage. Finally, over time, rubber couplings connecting the snorkel tubes or intake can dry out, perish and leak. This also allows unfiltered air into the engine. This is only ever to be expected after many years of product life and can be avoided with general inspections of couplings, clamps and drainage locations to avoid and unnecessary leakages.

Recommendations for Snorkel Maintenance

Some tips for keeping a snorkel in good working order include regular cleaning using soapy water and a soft sponge to remove accumulated dirt on the tube, while avoiding harsh chemicals that can damage surfaces. It’s also important to periodically examine the snorkel for any dents, cracks or leak points in couplings and connections replacing components as needed. Using protective coatings like vinyl protectant or corrosion inhibiting spray helps maintain the tube and connections. Furthermore, worn parts like aged rubber gaskets and connections that may leak due to hardening should be replaced. This is only required after an extended service life periods.

Maintaining Polished Stainless Steel Snorkels

Stainless steel is a popular snorkel material due to its durability and corrosion resistance. To maintain a stainless steel snorkel, regular washing with soapy water and a soft cloth removes dirt and salt deposits which can allow corrosion over time. Fine grit sandpaper or gauze pad can blend out small scratches to maintain the protective surface layer however this does need to be done in the direction of the grain to avoid and cross graining and unappealing appearance. This does need to be followed up with a light polish with automotive or metal polish to blend out any surface finish differences. All Polished snorkels built at Fatz Fabrication are built in High quality 316 Grade Stainless steel for the longest life and stain resistance.


With regular inspection and cleaning, snorkel maintenance is straightforward. Addressing small issues promptly preserves function and prevents larger problems. Using protective coatings aids any snorkel. Proper snorkel care enables continued deep water operation and protection from dust – essential for the off-road environment. Selection of a Quality Fatz Built snorkel for your 4WD ensures a product developed by a team with genuine passion for all things 4WDing and from processes developed over the last 14 Years in business.