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I di

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:
Update to my method of cleaning evaporator core with bleach. VERY VERY BAD IDEA! I have corroding screws all around this area where I splashed bleach. Also three plug blocks underneath have some very visible signs of corrosion. Blue green contacts.

Cleaning methode was probably ok. But I would highly dissuade getting bleach anywhere near the electronics inside your car!


I'm having a no crank situation right now. Made a few comment's in a couple of threads related to that.
https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/104-camry-5th-6th-gen-2002-2006-2007-2011-2nd-gen-solara-2004-2008/1625006-cranks-sometimes-tries-somewhat-but-won-t-start.html

https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/104-camry-5th-6th-gen-2002-2006-2007-2011-2nd-gen-solara-2004-2008/780786-2004-camry-no-start-problem.html#post13899694
 

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Update to my method of cleaning evaporator core with bleach. VERY VERY BAD IDEA! I have corroding screws all around this area where I splashed bleach. Also three plug blocks underneath have some very visible signs of corrosion. Blue green contacts.

Cleaning methode was probably ok. But I would highly dissuade getting bleach anywhere near the electronics inside your car!

The bleach probably wasn't a bad idea, not rinsing afterward was.



A nice mix is acidified bleach (recipes on many home brew sites), followed by a rinse. Much less devastating than raw bleach, kills crud better.
 

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The bleach probably wasn't a bad idea, not rinsing afterward was.



A nice mix is acidified bleach (recipes on many home brew sites), followed by a rinse. Much less devastating than raw bleach, kills crud better.
Never heard of acidified bleach I will look that up.

Did rinse the evaporator coil really good. Might want to go back in the tread and read how I did this.

Essentially I stuck a hose with a stubby spray nozzle on the end of it into the evaporator housing, along with a hose I hooked to my shop vac. Got the idea from how dentist's clean fluid out of mouths as they are grinding on teeth and what not.

Worked really well. After I got done I could tell something was still off but I doubt anybody else could have.

Problem was that there was a plug block just under where the fan bolts up to the heater core. Some fluid splashed out of there. My fear is I got a little bit of the 10 to 1 bleach solution on the plug block.

And that is my warning to anyone doing this. Be very careful to move any of the wiring far enough out of the way that it can't get splashed.

Still don't know how good of an idea it is to have bleach anywhere near car's wiring. No matter how careful you are. Don't know weather it's worth the risk.

Has to be other disinfectants that are not so corrosive?
 

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Every disinfectant comes with some side issue, Hydrogen peroxide, iodine, etc., all trade off something.


And no, I didn't track down your original post on the bleach to see that you rinsed.
It's on page 5 of this same thread "Cabin air filters and MICE!"

Thanks for the link. I'll look into this.

My guess is the combined products such as vinegar and bleach have a synergistic effect. Star-san seems to be more for brewing equipment where you want to leave a residue that is safe to consume. I'm thinking for any other application bleach and vinegar would be fine?
 

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Well, add me to the list. Since the Moose now lives outside, my electric trap in the garage is not doing any good keeping them away from the Moose (although I’ve caught 4 mice in the garage in the last few weeks bringing the total to 8 since spring). They stole insulation from the engine cover and who knows where else. They also ate thru the HVAC plastic rod that goes across the top where the two foam flaps seal up against when on recirc. So now there’s a two inch gap when on recirc that allows fresh air in.

Took some leftover metal screen (from when I covered the back of the BBQ because rats chewed thru its cover and wiring and nested there). Attached it to the opening and then use construction adhesive/sealant to seal off all the edges.

Then reinstalled my rain shield over that. Wish I’d done screen when I installed the rain shield. My reusable cabin filter helped keep them from going in further. They chewed on it a bit before stopping. Insulation was filled in all the way to the top of the inlet.







The new gap on recirc allowing fresh air in:






 

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Discussion Starter #87 (Edited)
Mouse problem

Moose, sorry to see the mice have attacked your "Moose". I saw the metal sheeting over your fresh air vent. What's that for? Didn't the wire mesh work for you. Since I installed the 1/2" mesh on the cowling vent and the round air inlet for the engine air filter, I haven't had a mouse get inside.

My bad...I went back and re-read your post. The sheet is the rain shield, right? Does it restrict air flow into the truck any?
 

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Moose, sorry to see the mice have attacked your "Moose". I saw the metal sheeting over your fresh air vent. What's that for? Didn't the wire mesh work for you. Since I installed the 1/2" mesh on the cowling vent and the round air inlet for the engine air filter, I haven't had a mouse get inside.



My bad...I went back and re-read your post. The sheet is the rain shield, right? Does it restrict air flow into the truck any?


No, it bows out over the top. It’s at least a couple inches above the opening, so plenty of room for air to get in. Way larger than the small tube the blower fan pushes the air into. I would have done the mesh sooner if I didn’t already have my aluminum shield there to solve the two times I got water into my blower.
 

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Damn rodents!! Sorry to see the damage they did to your truck. We have 'em in the woodshed -- they aggravate our dogs and eat pears in our backyard tree but that's all. Between dogs and traps, we killed several last year. This year they have outsmarted us so far.
 

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Well, I finally found this thread about mice and 2nd gen 2006 Access Cab Tacoma!. We're out in the woods outside of town and rodents are always an issue. The truck was starting to smell bad, and I caught a mouse with a trap in the cab. Today I found a large rat nest on top of my cabin filter and a dead mummified rat stuck in the doors of the recirculation mechanism! Yuck. I had been trying in vain to deal with the problem by chasing small cracks around the plastic air intake grill under the hood in front of the windshield and had put steel mesh on top of the grillwork of the plastic. This didn't work obviously. I will be doing the hardware cloth fix for the intake port on the firewall asap. How hard is it to get to? Is there a step by step procedure someone has put up? If there was it seems to have disappeared and lapsed. Additionally, someone mentioned an air equalizer flap behind the rear jump seat, as another possible point of rodent entry. Is this port accessible after removing the jump seats? If it's hidden behind cab and in front of the truck bed it would seem the tight space would make it almost impossible to get to. My goal is to chase down ALL possible points of rodent attack and screen'em!
 

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Discussion Starter #91
Update on the mouse screens....in past posts 05 Moose and I have posted photos of the hardware screens on air access points on the Tacos. Some came, I believe, from Photobucket which has prohibited photos from their site being used by third parties. That being said, I am posting two photos to update the topic. 05 Moose posted one of the cabin air intake as well as I. The other is of the air filter intake hose, where the mice were nesting against the filter. I just jammed some hardware cloth into the tube and it worked wonders...no more mice in the air plenum.

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Update on the mouse screens....in past posts 05 Moose and I have posted photos of the hardware screens on air access points on the Tacos. Some came, I believe, from Photobucket which has prohibited photos from their site being used by third parties. That being said, I am posting two photos to update the topic. 05 Moose posted one of the cabin air intake as well as I. The other is of the air filter intake hose, where the mice were nesting against the filter. I just jammed some hardware cloth into the tube and it worked wonders...no more mice in the air plenum.

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Thanks for the updated pics! Yesterday I screwed up my courage and started the project. I'm sure that they're coming in the "grand canyon" beneath the windshield since I've had several nests on top of the cabin filter, and I intend to implement the fix as detailed in your reply. But in my case, I think they're also getting into the cab through the "ventilation exhaust port", or whatever it's called behind the year jump seat. I've trapped adult mice in the passenger cabin - and the filter, although nested upon and contaminated, was still intact and presumably, they weren't able to get around it. So I pulled the backrest from the rear jump seat (it's not screwed on just held with those plastic barbed widgets) and found a so-called "ventilation port" hiding there. It has a flapper 'valve' arrangement on the outside, and four channels doing a right angle turn upwards and into the space behind the jump seat's backrest. From other non-rat related posts, I learned that this device is intended to be a "passive pressure release" for when the doors are slammed shut when the windows are closed - to reduce the pressure wave on the windshield gasket AND to reduce back pressure on the A/C and ventilation blower when turned on. This vent is very difficult to see from the outside since it 'lives' in the space between the cab and the bed of the truck, pressed into the back wall of the cab, and is concealed by the backrest of the rear seat. [On my truck, there is only one centered in the middle, but on other Toyota models, it seems there can be two.] Using a small cheap (Banggood!) endoscope/borescope I could see down inside of it and down and out the back window into the crevice between the bed and cab. The rubber, or perhaps silicone, flapper valves are totally gone on one side, either chewed up by the mice or just plain failed in the 14 years I've owned the truck. Machts Nicht. Now mickey mouse has a nice big hole to get into the cab there. Hard to believe they can climb, jump or whatever up and into this valve, but so far its the only other entry point I've found into the cab, short of the air filter box via the grand canyon under the windshield. I suppose If the flapper valves were still in good shape and intact they wouldn't be able to get in? It appears that this "air valve" device might be impossible to remove/replace - short of removing the entire pickup's bed. It seems to have been inserted and pressed into place from the outside during vehicle manufacture before the bed was seated - but that's a guess. (Any thoughts on this point would be appreciated) So yesterday I fashioned a "fixit" cludge using 1/4 inch galvanized hardware cloth and some copper mesh "wool", inserted from the cabin-side into and down the four channels that lead to the flappers and outside. I topped the whole thing with another piece of hardware cloth, boxed at the corners, which sits on the top. Hopefully, this will allow enough air to pass through so the vent will still be able to perform its original function of a pressure release - while preventing the mice from entering. My apologies for going on and on about this, but the mice are driving me MAD! Today I will start on the Grand Canyon beneath the windshield, and perhaps provide more thoughts on the matter. Maybe then I will have succeeded in finally saving my truck from becoming a stinking pile of ...
 

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Don't put a filter in and he will be in the blower. Probably would be a great smell to deal with when the blowers turned on and mouse is there.
Been there, done that. I had a smell in my Corolla. Traced it to a dead mouse in the blower, really hard to clean out. Two weeks later another mouse was in there , I guess attracted to the rotting flesh of the first one. I turned the blower on and decapitated the second mouse,. Another real mess to clean out.
 

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Yesterday I completed putting a screen on the cabin air intake port directly above the ventilation fan/filter box and put it all back together. Now I need to wait and see if any of my resident rodents can figure out another way in! To be safe, I am keeping a couple of baited mouse traps in the passenger area, and will check the filter more frequently.

Many thanks to the persons on this forum who have contributed so much information and support on the subject. Without it, I don't think I would have had the courage to tear into it... Forums like ToyotaNation are what make the internet worthwhile and outweigh all the negative stuff out there.

What follows is a somewhat lengthy rant about the rat problem with Toyota Trucks. I will apologize in advance. Feel free to ignore it. On the other hand, I think I've made a few valid points, most of which are not particularly original but have been culled from this rather lengthy thread. And yes, I'm a bit perturbed...

I had always assumed that a work/outdoor/farm vehicle would be designed in a manner that, if not totally eliminated, would greatly reduce the risk of rodent invasion of either the engine or passenger compartment. I think Toyota has apparently failed in this respect with the gen 2 of the Tacoma series - at least the product sold to the American market.

As it is, other than leaving your vehicle windows/doors open, there seem to be two major well-known gateways to rodent invasion of the truck's cabin and one into the engine air filter box.

First, is the opening in the firewall directly above the air recirculating doors and cabin air filter.

This opening was formed and manufactured with a horizontal flange and having 2 unoccupied through-holes - obviously intended to mount something or other (Presumably Toyota wouldn't have gone to the expense of forming the unused flange and holes unless it had a function). Perhaps a grill? The only impediment to rodent access through this hole is the black plastic cowl/grating overlapping the bottom of the windshield. However, although this cowl is pretty good at catching leaves and debris, it is not rodent-proof. Specifically on either end where there are spaces between the cowl plastic and body which any reputable mouse wouldn't have any problem. Additionally, some of the grating's 'holes' are more like 'slots' that mice can readily squeeze through. On my vehicle, an inspection of what others have called the Grand Canyon is obscured by the aforementioned black cowling which is solid, not slotted directly above. (A good thing I suppose as it somewhat limits the amount of small debris that might fall directly through the hole.) From day one of ownership, this vent has always be an open invitation to rodent invasion . It does not require any equipment failure whatsoever. Worse, it's concealed and not apparent to the owner.

I found one thread on this or another forum where a Toyota Representative actually commented that the "solution" to the Grand Canyon problem was to ALWAYS keep one's air recirculation doors above the air filter CLOSED when the vehicle is not in use. Well, that doesn't work either. I tried that for a while. The rodents simply built a nest on top of the circ doors. Furthermore, since the doors are opened automatically when in defrost mode, any sh*t on top of the doors will immediately fall down onto the filter. In my case eventually, the rodents also actually chewed a small hole through the circulation doors - large enough to gain access into, or out of the filter chamber.

Obviously, the only real solution, as many have described in this thread, is to fit a grill on the entrance to the so called Grand Canyon/Hole. If it were available I would gladly have paid a princely ransom for an OEM grill to cover the said hole - one that was designed to fit its peculiar shape. It is not square, making the retrofit task somewhat more difficult. As it is like others have done before, I made do with 1/4 inch hardware cloth.*

The second point of easy entry for rodents is the 'exhaust' vents, or single vent in some cases, behind the rear passenger area in an Access Cab Tacoma. Although too small for rats, these are once again a slam dunk for mice to gain entry to the cabin compartment. The only impediment to their entry is the flapper 'valves' on the outside of the port, which allows air to exit/enter the cabin but remain 'closed' with neutral pressure. Note that these are passive devices, not solid mechanically activated doors. I'm not so sure a determined mouse couldn't push their way through them - even without a failure of some sort through age deterioration, mouse chewing, or both. Personally I believe that a simple flapper is not a great obstacle to a determined rodent!

Again, an inspection of the rear plastic exhaust port's design reveals something interesting. There are several projecting tabs located on the front and sides of the port which have no obvious function - other than perhaps, to have secured some sort of a grill/grate on top. As it is, there is nothing there at all. The solution is to fashion and install some sort grill on top of the vent. Again, I would have gladly purchased an OEM part, but as far as I can tell, there are none available.

Although outside the scope of this thread about the passenger cabin, the third problematic rodent entry is to the engine's air filter. The air intake port for the engine filter on my vehicle hides above the passenger side wheel under the fender. It has no grill/grate whatsoever and is just open. There is nothing to block easy rodent access to the lower chamber of the engine filter box. It is the perfect rodent hotel. And once there, nothing could satisfy a rodent's natural urge to gnaw like a brand new air filter!

I discovered this problem a few years ago before I started reading this forum while changing the air filter. Since installing BOTH a hardware cloth screen on the intake AND over its outlet in the box, I haven't had any further problems. I used 1/4 inch material and have assumed that the added air resistance is negligible - hopefully, less than a big rodent nest would be!

Generally, I am a great admirer of Toyota products. I currently own and operate three different Toyota vehicles. Four including my son's car. But with this well-documented rodent problem, I feel Toyota has failed. Especially since there is ample evidence that something is MISSING from both the front and rear ventilation ports - namely a grill/grating. The existing tabs, flanges, and holes bear silent witness to a missing part! If Toyota has decided for some unknown reason to not install these devices on average consumer vehicles, it would seem the reasonable and responsible thing to have provided an aftermarket product for installation by dealers, or independent shops and owners. Apparently, this is not an isolated problem, nor a trivial one. Rodents can easily cause thousands of dollars damage. They can also be a health hazard.

Comments or critiques welcome. Especially if there are any other holes or ways for rodents to invade the passenger cabin.

* Although there has been some discussion on the thread regarding this particular point, personally I don't believe even the smallest mouse can squeeze through the 1/4 inch square of the typical "hardware cloth". A 1/4 inch slot might be entirely another matter, however. I have actually observed mice squeeze under a door's bottom edge - which is something of that general size, by flattening their body. But that is a slot opening under the door, not a square. The jury is still out I suppose, but since 1/4 inch is the standard in the building trades for pest-proofing, I elected to go with that. Besides I already had an unused roll laying around the barn ...
 

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A couple other things I have done which have worked so far:
1. Buy a bar of Irish Spring soap and just open the box and leave it in the truck. They don’t like the pungent smell.
2. Buy some cayenne pepper. Pop the hood and sprinkle it around inside. It’s another deterrent due to the smell. Not sure how long it actually works. From time to time, I sprinkle more under the hood. I will say that it will not blow off or rinse off in the rain (or snow). I think the engine area stays pretty dry and the pepper seems to stick to the surfaces. I have one of those tiny containers and it goes a long way.

Edit: Another thing you can do is if you park near a garage, keep a trap active in the garage. I think I’ve been eliminating them when they come into the garage (sometimes in the middle of the day when I’m doing things outside with the door open). I keep a Victor Electronic Rat Trap on at all times in our garage with sunflower seeds in it (they keep the trap from getting soiled with food that can spoil and are easy to replace after catching critters). In the last 12 months, I’ve caught over a dozen field mice (sometimes two at once). It’s a nice no mess solution.
 

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A couple other things I have done which have worked so far:
1. Buy a bar of Irish Spring soap and just open the box and leave it in the truck. They don’t like the pungent smell.
2. Buy some cayenne pepper. Pop the hood and sprinkle it around inside. It’s another deterrent due to the smell. Not sure how long it actually works. From time to time, I sprinkle more under the hood. I will say that it will not blow off or rinse off in the rain (or snow). I think the engine area stays pretty dry and the pepper seems to stick to the surfaces. I have one of those tiny containers and it goes a long way.

Edit: Another thing you can do is if you park near a garage, keep a trap active in the garage. I think I’ve been eliminating them when they come into the garage (sometimes in the middle of the day when I’m doing things outside with the door open). I keep a Victor Electronic Rat Trap on at all times in our garage with sunflower seeds in it (they keep the trap from getting soiled with food that can spoil and are easy to replace after catching critters). In the last 12 months, I’ve caught over a dozen field mice (sometimes two at once). It’s a nice no mess solution.
Thanks, but over the years (30) I've tried mothballs, commercial repellant, various traps, victor sonic repellors, laundry softener bits, keeping the hood open, etc. You name it. I don't have a "garage" perse, but a carport. None of these have really worked. We live in a heavily wooded area with lots of rodents out in the forest. So no matter how many you kill, there are three more behind them. The only solution I can see is some way of keeping them completely OUT of the cab and engine...
 

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I get it. We have pine squirrels, mice, and rats to deal with in the forest here. Neighbor had his new car chewed up under the hood just a few days ago. I just know that I was accumulating tons of fir cones getting eaten under the hood until I started sprinkling the pepper. That has definitely deterred them on mine.
 

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et it. We have pine squirrels, mice, and rats to deal with in the forest here. Neighbor had his new car chewed up under the hood just a few days ago. I just know that I was accumulating tons of fir cones getting eaten under the hood until I started sprinkling the pepper. That has definitely deterred them on mine.
Interesting. I have kangaroo rats and mice in NM. And I make sure I drive every vehicle as much as once a week to keep them from getting established. I also put plastic foldgers cans everywhere inside and out with the types of bait pieces that have the holes through the middle so you can anchor them inside of the trap. Otherwise they will carry it away and it might end up somewhere where a dog or cat or raccoon or child can get it. So make sure you buy the type with the holes through the center.

It should be in violation of federal law to do any different but it's not. Some people just toss them outside around their homes.

I just make a hole in the can large enough for the rodent's to enter but not large enough for them to drag the bait out with a wad of wire attached to it. Don't even have to go through the trouble of anchoring the wire to the trap. Just make it so it can't fit back out through the hole.

If you stay on top of the baiting campaign they will go back to their nest and die as opposed to there new nest inside your house or car or motorhome, or trailer, or wherever.

Have to check out the pepper idea.
 

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In addition to standard mouse/rat traps, we sparingly use bait stations under our house and in enclosed areas. I make homemade bait stations with 3-inch drain pipe (lightweight white). The station consists of a "T" with two short sections at the ends and an entrance down the middle. The ends are closed off using either standard drain "caps" or old baked beans/dog food cans. (The 3-inch drain caps designed for the purpose are ridiculously expensive!) I buy bait chunks that are predrilled with a hole down the middle to place in the ends of the station and wire these together. I loop the ends of the wire out the end so that the cap on the end captures the wire - this prevents the rodents from being able to carry the bait off. As a further precaution, I leave my hood up and open at night so that the engine bay is fully exposed - and not the dark, concealed space rodents seem to love...
 

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Hey gang

The little critters bit me as well, after 14 years of ownership. Got a piss smell when starting the truck, took a few starts to realize the source. Took the cowl etc off to see a nest and other gross debris in my filter. Thanks to @ozarkie for reposting his pictures, save me asking for them. And Moose too!

I also did the engine air cleaner inlet. Will add my pics to this post in a few hours. (Or days)


I took a Tuesday off from online meetings, to get some "me time" in, putter around the garage etc. Instead spent it in the driveway, with the vacuum and some SS 1/4" hardware cloth. The smell is faded, throwing away the chewed up and peed on filter really helped. Got one new cabin carbon filter installed, and 2 more en route.

Love the archives, only took a few minutes to find the right post with pics on how to fix. Thanks again.
 
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