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How to remove mouse nest from car ventilation system

Updated on February 23, 2011

Tired of stinking mice in your car ventilation system? Try these steps.

During the winter, mice love to get into cars and build nests in the ventilation system, usually in the blower fan. To fix this, you can either take the car to the shop and pay them a couple hundred dollars to have them remove it, and then pay this again when the mice come back, or you can do it yourself at home, and while you are at it, make sure the mice never come back.

Here is a guide for the second option. I did this on a 2002 Toyota Sienna and a 2004 Toyota Camry. The pictures above are from the Camry, but whatever your make or model, the steps will be similar.

Step 1
Step 1

Step 1: Remove the air intake cover.

Open the hood to your car, and carefully remove the plastic air intake cover. It is below the windshield and is usually attached with some sort of plastic clips or screws. I used the screwdriver and needle nosed pliers at this stage. On the Camry, I had to remove the windshield wipers, but this was not necessary on the Sienna.

Step 2a
Step 2a

Step 2: Clean out Blower fan housing.

Once the plastic cover is removed, you can see how the mice are getting into the blower fan. There is a water drain hose that goes down the side of your vehicle. They climb up that, and then down into the ventilation system through the air intake opening. If there is a nest inside, clean it out with your hand or with a vacuum if you have one available.

NOTE: Make sure you wear gloves and a face mask, as there may be mouse droppings inside which can carry various diseases and viruses.

Step 2b
Step 2b

Step 2b.

Just another picture for Step 2. This one is more of a close-up on the opening where the mice get down into the ventilation system. I've already cleared out the nest that was in there, so you can see the blower fan.

Step 3
Step 3

Step 3: Cover the blower fan intake with metal mesh.

To keep the mice from returning, put some wire mesh over the hole. The hardest part is attaching the mesh permanently. The Sienna had some screws I took out, then put back in after laying the mesh down. On the Camry, I had to drill some holes and put in some screws on the intake shaft to fasten the mesh.

Step 4: Put the plastic air intake cover back on.

Put it all back together, and you're done! You just saved yourself about $200, plus any other damage the mice might have done to your blower fan and ventilation system.

Have Further Tips? - (or Questions?)

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      Troy Hayes 2 years ago

      Nicely done. In the past I dropped my heat fan unit from inside the cabin--a real pain. Your method was easier, faster, and allowed me to put a grill of aluminum gutter guard over the opening. Rather than drilling and screwing, I used cotter pins to "paper clip" the grill onto the opening. This worked well. If your car has a cabin filter slot behind the glove box, make sure there's a filter there. In my car the mice built the nest on top of this filter, as it prevented access to the blower.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Man this was short sweet and to the point! Hope you make your living as a teacher.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Could we please have larger photos? These are so small, it's almost impossible to tell what's going on. I appreciate your making the effort to share the information, but without good pictures, it's less useful than it could be.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank You so much jeremyers1..This is such an expensive problem and in today's economy ..it's nice to know someone shares the info like you did..Merry Christmas & a Blessed New Year..

    • jeremyers1 profile image
      Author

      jeremyers1 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Glad I could help!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been looking for a way to do this! Very instructional! My wallet and I thank you!!!!

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      transmissionrepair88 6 years ago

      i hate mouse specially if they are trying to make my car a house. thank you so much for this information.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I can easily imagine this happening. Thank you for the advice.