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That statement won't hold water! Every vehicle ever built has "holes" in it. My wife's Chrysler had the same problem. Don't blame Toyota, blame Mother Nature.
Speaking of water, do you know if there is a drain hole somewhere (to let any incident water out of the system) that might be a hidden entry point?
 

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Speaking of water, do you know if there is a drain hole somewhere (to let any incident water out of the system) that might be a hidden entry point?
Over against the fender is the drain point. It is just a ripple opening in the sheet metal. Around here we have to close 1/4" size holes because the very small meadow mice will get in otherwise. And they can jump up things like crazy. May also want to check the pressure equalizing vents at the rear of the cab behind the rear seat. Many are just a rubber flap in a plastic frame and they can chew threw the rubber to gain access.

I had a real problem with another car last summer. Almost disassembled the entire thing looking for mouse entry points. It turned out that they would get in two places: the pressure equalization vents mentioned above and when the doors/hatch were left open during loading/unloading. Especially if outdoors. Several would get in at a time and hide everywhere imaginable. You would think you finally got them just to have another reappear. It took a month to finally get the last.
 

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Discussion Starter #63 (Edited)
Taco,

I have an '05 Access cab. There is no rear seat, per se, just the rumble seat. Would those rubber pressure equilization vents be visible with the rumble seatbacks down? I don't think I've ever noticed any. Need to go look tomorrow in daylight.

In my earlier posts, I took care of the only known outside entry I had which was the fresh air intake vent (sealed with wire mesh).
 

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Taco,

I have an '05 Access cab. There is no rear seat, per se, just the rumble seat. Would those rubber pressure equilization vents be visible with the rumble seatbacks down? I don't think I've ever noticed any. Need to go look tomorrow in daylight.

In my earlier posts, I took care of the only known outside entry I had which was the fresh air intake vent (sealed with wire mesh).
I have the same truck so I know what you are talking about. You would have to remove their storage boxes and maybe the pseudo seats as well. Looks like a pain in the rear to me and I have not done this particular surgery.

Rather, the vents sit low on the cab so try looking from the outside. Maybe grab some mirrors and a flashlight and go to the gap where the cab meets the bed. I think if you are underneath you should be able to see them more near the cab's corners. They should be fairly large as they have to exit a lot of air when your blower fan is running. If they are chewed you should see some evidence. On my other car they had completely chewed away the rubber flappy-thingy and had free access to the interior. I have to get under mine today and will look and see if this tells us much.
 

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Over against the fender is the drain point. It is just a ripple opening in the sheet metal. Around here we have to close 1/4" size holes because the very small meadow mice will get in otherwise. And they can jump up things like crazy. May also want to check the pressure equalizing vents at the rear of the cab behind the rear seat. Many are just a rubber flap in a plastic frame and they can chew threw the rubber to gain access.

I had a real problem with another car last summer. Almost disassembled the entire thing looking for mouse entry points. It turned out that they would get in two places: the pressure equalization vents mentioned above and when the doors/hatch were left open during loading/unloading. Especially if outdoors. Several would get in at a time and hide everywhere imaginable. You would think you finally got them just to have another reappear. It took a month to finally get the last.
Thanks, very helpful!
 

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Ok folks, the Regular Cab has two pressure vents in the general area I indicate above. However, the Access Cab has one large one right in the middle of the lower rear of the cab. For those who need to replace the one on the AC its part number is 62930-04030.

Well, off to see what I can see with the mirror and flashlight. Back later.....
 

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...from the top rail you can see the black frame of the vent about 6 in. down. I was not able to turn a mirror sideways to look into the vent. I really don't think mice could climb the slippery side of the bed there or the painted metal of the cab unless there were some debris lodged in the crack such as twigs or stuff that has been hauled. But mice are very capable. So I dunno...

On my other car they were going up under the plastic bumper cover and jumping across to the frame of the vent. Someone else look and see if you think they might be able to jump down from the frame rail of the bed to the top of vent. If so it would then be easy to get inside the vent.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
I have the same truck so I know what you are talking about. You would have to remove their storage boxes and maybe the pseudo seats as well. Looks like a pain in the rear to me and I have not done this particular surgery.

Rather, the vents sit low on the cab so try looking from the outside. Maybe grab some mirrors and a flashlight and go to the gap where the cab meets the bed. I think if you are underneath you should be able to see them more near the cab's corners. They should be fairly large as they have to exit a lot of air when your blower fan is running. If they are chewed you should see some evidence. On my other car they had completely chewed away the rubber flappy-thingy and had free access to the interior. I have to get under mine today and will look and see if this tells us much.
OK, thanks for the info. At one time, back when the fresh air vent was still open, I had what looked like something shredded a corner on a rug I had spread out on the back seat (laid down)...like getting nesting material. I thought it might have been one of the mice that got it through the air intake, but now maybe they got in the pressure equilization flap. Haven't seen any evidence of anything chewing inside for the past couple of years, though.

I'll crawl around underneath and see what I can see.
 

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Need help locating air intake hole in 2003 RAV4

I found a dead mouse and a huge nest hanging out in my cabin air filter in my 2003 RAV4. I've replaced the air filter and cleaned everything as best I can, but I live in the country and by all accounts this will happen again. I'd like to put a metal screen over the hole, but I can't seem to find it - any folks out there know where the air intake might be? The air filter was located behind the glove box, so I removed a cover directly below the windshield, thinking it was hiding the hole. All I found was the battery. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #70
I found a dead mouse and a huge nest hanging out in my cabin air filter in my 2003 RAV4. I've replaced the air filter and cleaned everything as best I can, but I live in the country and by all accounts this will happen again. I'd like to put a metal screen over the hole, but I can't seem to find it - any folks out there know where the air intake might be? The air filter was located behind the glove box, so I removed a cover directly below the windshield, thinking it was hiding the hole. All I found was the battery. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
If you will just take the time to thumb back through the pages in this thread, you will find many photos and descriptions of the air intake and the fix for the critters getting into your RAV. That's how I solved my mouse problem.
 

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Cleaning stinky evaporator box

I couldn't take the smell even after the vacuuming and lysol. So I sprayed the evaporator coils with bleach and the inside of the box. I was afraid it would corrode. So I hosed it down with a high pressure spray and attached a small clear hose to my shop vac so I could draw the liquid out as fast as I was putting it in. Did this only after I saw the drain hose underneath was just coming out a few drops at a time. I never seemed to be able to fix that problem.

Before using the shop vac to pull water out of the evaporator box I flooded the interior under the drivers seat. Because I was working on the passenger side which was bone dry I wasn't aware of it until the whole area was saturated. I suspect it might have drained down through the vent in the back of my center console.

Everything seems to be working ok now so the drastic measures didn't seem to have any deleterious consequences other than the flooded interior.

A note for people who can't get the hardware cloth installed right away. Keep your ac switched so it recirculates. Not an optimal solution cause they will probably nest on top of it and when you let fresh are in you will dump them down onto the filter.

I found the bat inside the shopvac. It came out from underneath the drivers seat. I live in S. central NM. Guess I won't keep my windows cracked when it's in storage anymore.
 

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I couldn't take the smell even after the vacuuming and lysol. So I sprayed the evaporator coils with bleach and the inside of the box. I was afraid it would corrode. So I hosed it down with a high pressure spray and attached a small clear hose to my shop vac so I could draw the liquid out as fast as I was putting it in. Did this only after I saw the drain hose underneath was just coming out a few drops at a time. I never seemed to be able to fix that problem. ...
Wow, you sound like some kind of hard-core! I'm really curious about something. Getting to and removing the evaporator in the HVAC box is a really big dismantle job. You did not mention a PITA dismantle so did you do this in situ? I suppose you could fish a hose either from the fresh air inlet side after removing the fan motor, or down from the top of the dash and backwards into one of the vents. I would be fun if you shared some more details.
 

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Wow, you sound like some kind of hard-core! I'm really curious about something. Getting to and removing the evaporator in the HVAC box is a really big dismantle job. You did not mention a PITA dismantle so did you do this in situ? I suppose you could fish a hose either from the fresh air inlet side after removing the fan motor, or down from the top of the dash and backwards into one of the vents. I would be fun if you shared some more details.

I didn't dismantle or remove the evaporator. But the stench was un-exceptable even after I vacuumed every place I could reach including the inside of the box with that clear plastic hose. I removed the plastic cover just under the windshield and blew in there with a yard blower. Put a preventative piece of hardware cloth in the hole while I was there. I just bent the edges so it's kind of wedged in there. Didn't seem to be necessary to fix it there with screws or glue or anything.

I did the same from the inside (vacuum as much as I could) underneath, where I removed the blower motor from under the dash. Stuck vacuum in there also using the soft flexible clear hose so I could bang it around without damaging anything inside the box. Didn't seem to remove anything but the stench remained. Sprayed lysol in there let it stew for a few days, did it again. The fragrance masked the odor but didn't get rid of it.

If you have small hands you should be able to snake them in where the evaporator unit is. (up through the open hole where the blower motor is mounted, with it removed of course. And feel it with your fingers. Feels like a radiator cause essentially that's what it is. So in hind sight I would have jury rigged a garden pump up sprayer so I could get it in there and spray the evaporator. If I am ever in there again I'll do this. But didn't think of that at the time so I took a spray bottle of 20% chlorox and 80% water and sprayed it in there with the blower motor off. put the motor on and sprayed all the intakes again. Let it stew a day or two which I would not recommend cause it might cause some corrosion and damage the evaporator or heater core or whatever you call it. Took it all apart and flushed it with the high pressure nozzle thinking if I paused every now and than the water would drain out. When I saw the trickle out the underside of the car. A little 3/8" rubber hose protruding out the underside in that same area under the passenger side just in front of the passenger seat, protruding about an inch. I put a vacuum hose on it to speed things up. It might have a little bit but didn't seem sufficient.

That's when I got the idea of putting the vacuum hose and the garden hose right inside the box where the evaporator is simultaneously with the vacuum and the hose running. Kinda same thing your dentist does to your mouth. Very effective way to remove fluid.

It was a mess when I pulled out the filter as you can see from the picture below. Found no dead carcasses though. The car wasn't used for two years. I'm 14 miles from the closest town and just about anything you park there get's infested. I am always putting out bait. My theory is if you poison them before they set up shop in your home or you car or your boat or your trailer they will go back to their nest (outdoors) and die. After that they go to where ever they set up shop (inside your home or car or whatever) and die there. That they go outside to find water is bs. So I am pretty anal about leaving bait out for them.

What's odd is I drove all the way from NM to NC in early Sept. and almost positive I used the ac a good portion of the trip. Didn't notice anything. The place in NC was a cabin in the mountains, so very forested and no preventative measures outdoors. I parked the car there for three weeks and when I came back and turned on the ac the smell was a combination of rancid urine and rotting flesh. There is no amount of money you could pay me to sit in there and breath the fumes coming from the unit. One of the worst smells I have ever experienced!

I thought there was going to be nothing short of removing the dash and exposing the box so that I could get to it to clean it enough to where I could get rid of the smell.

Happy to say the smell is so well removed if I were to sell the car nobody would notice anything enough to ask, if I were to run the blower with them in the car.:smile:
 

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Also I would recommend taking out the passenger seat, 4 bolts takes 5 minutes. Get a couple of old cushions to level out where your back is going to be laying. Much more comfortable than trying to contort you body to work around the seat.
 

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Welcome to TN! Glad you were able to get rid of the smell.... you sure went to a lot of effort. I have been around a house with bat-infested eaves (not mine) and the stench was indescribable.
 

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Discussion Starter #76
antares,

I think you'll find that the hardware cloth you put in the fresh air intake will solve your problem of critters getting in the evap and blower area. I have blown leaves and acorns off the cowling before and found that some of the debris will pass through the screen and land on your cabin air filter, so be sure to check it often (as you should anyway).

Next you might consider placing a hardware cloth screen on your air cleaner intake tube as well. The critters took up nesting against my engine air filter as well.

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Welcome to TN!
Thanks!
Glad you were able to get rid of the smell....
Me too!
Bat carcass was somewhere under the drivers seat. Interestingly I probably wouldn't have ever known about it cause it was mummified and didn't really smell. But I flooded the area under the drivers seat washing the evaporator box. Had to suck all the water up under it with a shop vac.

They like to wedge themselves in weird places. I had one fly away in broad daylight, one time when I took my rain gauge out of it's basically 1" galvanized pipe "holder" to check it. Wasn't expecting that!

Now the air condition with the mice nesting. That was a real mess!
 

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antares,

I think you'll find that the hardware cloth you put in the fresh air intake will solve your problem of critters getting in the evap and blower area. I have blown leaves and acorns off the cowling before and found that some of the debris will pass through the screen and land on your cabin air filter, so be sure to check it often (as you should anyway).
Thanks Oazrkie
I wasn't in the habit of checking cabin filters in the past, but I certainty will be in the future! Have had my (engine) filter box on my old chevy truck inhabited with mice in the past. I let it set unused for a while also. Chalked the experience up to that. I did check my air intake for engine on Camry and it was clean. But like you say now that I have the ac blocked off there going to be looking for a new place to nest. So I think your right, should probably just go ahead and beat them to it.
 

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I found the bat inside the shopvac. It came out from underneath the drivers seat. I live in S. central NM. Guess I won't keep my windows cracked when it's in storage anymore.

That's a new level of disgusting. Glad you didn't find it with your hand while looking for a dropped pair of sunglasses.
 
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