Mice… When the weather starts getting cooler the mice are looking for a place to call home and keep warm. The results can be damaging if they find comfort in your vehicle. They pull apart filters for insulation, chew on wires, and clog up components with their meals and snacks.
A vehicle was in the shop recently because the a/c wasn’t working and there was a bad smell coming from the vents. After Ken (one of our technicians) inspected the concerns he found a few issues. One being the cabin air filter; as you see pictured here. This mouse chewed it apart and made a home with it to raise her family. Then when Ken inspected the a/c issue- he found that the blower motor was jammed and not working because the mouse and one of her babies got caught in it and died; thus also causing the bad smell. After further inspection into the engine Ken with his trusty video inspection camera found the home and the rest of the babies (dead) and mounds of food stored. The heater core box had to be removed to get this all cleaned out and disinfected. This family of mice made for an expensive repair, with the blower motor being replaced, the new cabin filter, and the labor involved with cleaning out the family. This is just one incident so far this year, there have been others and there will be more.
What can you do to prevent this from happening to you?
First, if your vehicle is in the garage keep any dog food or bird seed out of the garage or stored very tightly. This attracts the mice into the garage and then you will find these stored in the hiding places under your vehicle’s hood. Acorns and walnuts are another favorite to store. If there is no food around they may just choose to feast on the wiring in your car. Set traps or poison baits in the garage, or strategically placed moth balls (but away from where children and pets can get them) are ways to deter them from getting near your vehicle. Keep your vehicle clean, french fries between the seats or crumbs in the back seat may not seem like much to us; but that’s a meal to a mouse. I have heard of many ways to keep them out of the car but the one that seems to work the best is Bounce Dryer Sheets. (Not generic ones, Bounce). These do need to be replaced every other month or so. I bought a vehicle from someone that had a major problem with the wiring under the hood getting chewed. He coated the wires in hot sauce and jalapeno’s seeds. There are products out there that are garlic oil based or have white pepper in made for this reason but there are no guarantees.
I think the best way to rid the problem would to find the source, wood piles, compost piles, or sheds may be the place to start. If your near a wooded area obviously you can’t control the population out there. I have heard of people spraying around the perimeter of the vehicle each night with ammonia. Or every couple days spraying the actual bottom of the car with a solution of 1/2 C. dish soap, 1 Tbs. hot sauce, and 1 qt. of water.
You could always try getting a cat too.
We can help
When a vehicle comes in for an oil change and routine maintenance we inspect it for wear and tear and anything out of the ordinary. Such as mouse homes or food storage. The cabin air filter is behind the glove box and generally takes up to a half hour to get out; but this is a place mice like to be and use that filter. We check the engine air filter and if that one is dirty we advise to replace the cabin filter as well. We also check the maintenance schedule to determine if it should be replaced. For your convenience you will find coupons below for the filters and more.
Off topic of mice, but….
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