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Discussion Starter #1
This thread may horrify some people.

Let me just say that I am in the fortunate position that I have enough skills and not enough judgement to partially disassemble a brand new ( less than 100 km) 2017 Rav4 and mess with it.

The reason I did this is simple: almost all the problems I have had with our first Rav4 were mouse related. I had to diagnose and repair wires on 5 separate occasions and I suspect the reason the AC went was mouse related as well. I also took the interior of the car apart several times to remove a rotting carcass.

I had similar problems with my Matrix although I only had 1 chewed wire but I still had to take it apart to remove the occasional mouse corpse.

I studied the Matrix carefully and determined the fresh air intake was the main entry point for the mice. Mice also probably entered by the air outlet vents. There were signs mice went into the engine air filter as well.

I decided to place hardware cloth on all main access points in the Matrix. So far so good.

So when I got the new Rav4 I decided the first thing I would do when I got it home is take it apart and seal the known entry points.

I know I might jeopardize my warranty but mouse related damage is not covered so I think I'll come out ahead.

You make think I'm crazy for doing this but if you have had mouse problems it might be an option to consider.

I am also working on a chemical solution to chewing on engine compartment (and interior) wires.

If you decide to do what I did,do so at your own risk. I can afford whatever damage I might have caused.

There are 4 major steps involved: sealing off the engine air filter, sealing off the ventilation intake, protecting the cabin filter (just in case) and sealing the air outlet vents.

Because I don't know how to do a photo essay on this forum it will take multiple posts.


The engine intake is a challenge for the Rav4. I was able to remove the inlet pipe on the Matrix but could not figure out how this was done on the Rav4. I used a different approach an made a sort of cone of 1/4" square metal "cloth" and pushed that into both the inlet and the hole in the air filter canister. I sized the ID of the pipe using a plastic cup and a marker (see photos)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Part 2: Mouse Grand Central Station

I am virtually certain the main pathway for mice is the air inlet vent behind the cowling.

First you remove the windshield wiper arms then you remove the cowling. This is very easy because it is held in by two plastic plugs and some snaps. It is like a 5 minute job.

The air inlet is basically right above the cabin filter
 

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Shutting Down Grand Central

The air inlet is directly above the cabin filter.

I cut 1/4" galvanized mesh to fit the air inlet and fastened it in place with screws (I know: "he put holes in a brand new car!") :surprise


After that I reinstalled the cowling and windshield wiper arms.
 

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Protecting the Air Outlets

The air outlets are likely another pathway for mice. They are air "valves" but very easy for Mrs. Mouse to get through. I seal them off as well. It turns out the Rav4's outlets are real easy to access just by removing the plastic trim at the hatch. This is another 5 minute job.

The only complication is you need to cut a slot in the mesh to fit the plastic back in.

I installed the mesh held in places with screws. No mouse can get through that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And finally

I believe I sealed off the major paths for mice into the Rav4. A similar approach worked on my Matrix (obviously the details are different). I was very careful and don't think I damaged anything. There is no reason the mesh will impact cabin or engine air flow.

If anybody knows of other mouse pathways please let me know. I am working on a way to protect the engine compartment wires but it'll take some time.

Remember I have the skills and lack the judgement. Do not try this at home if you can't afford the consequences of making a mistake.

Bonus photo: my wife wanted a mat in the back of her car so I cut some heavy rubber material to fit.

This photo was before I cleaned it.
 

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I believe I sealed off the major paths for mice into the Rav4. A similar approach worked on my Matrix (obviously the details are different). I was very careful and don't think I damaged anything. There is no reason the mesh will impact cabin or engine air flow.

If anybody knows of other mouse pathways please let me know. I am working on a way to protect the engine compartment wires but it'll take some time.

Remember I have the skills and lack the judgement. Do not try this at home if you can't afford the consequences of making a mistake.

Bonus photo: my wife wanted a mat in the back of her car so I cut some heavy rubber material to fit.

This photo was before I cleaned it.
Very nice, and props to you on taking the initiative to keep the mice out. I am wondering, though what kind of rubber mat you used for the cargo area, and if you attached it to the back of the rear seats or if it is just laying there?

Cheers!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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As I've posted on previous threads when I lived on farms and we had our vehicles parked where they were rodent-accessible we never had any problems. RAV wiring obviously is attractive to rodents - I believe that it was JuneBug who posted that the insulation used in RAV wiring is different and is attractive to rodents. Not enjoyable for RAV owners . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TheMothy

The material is, I believe, called heavy duty anti-fatigue mat and it is 48" wide and sold by the foot. It is about 1/4" thick. I bought it at Princess Auto, which is like Harbor Freight in Canada but a bit upscale. I could not find it on their website (lousy search function) but I suspect many auto parts type store would carry it.

I cut the first piece "across" because the trunk is over 48" wide. The top piece was length wise.

Both pieces are currently floating. The bottom piece won't move because of the fitting. I have been debating how to deal with the upper (seat back) piece. I think it is too heavy to be fastened by Velcro so I might sew/rivet some loop to anchor it to the headrest or just leave it float and pull it back when the seats are being used as seats.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I also live on a farm. They love the Rav4, have some interest in the Matrix, and pay absolutely no attention to the Tacoma.

I have mostly (but not exclusively) had problems with the inside of the car so I figured if I kept them out that would be part of the battle. Time will tell if I was successful.

I am trying to concoct a chemical solution to the "external wiring" issue but obviously that is high risk to warranty.
 

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As I've posted on previous threads when I lived on farms and we had our vehicles parked where they were rodent-accessible we never had any problems. RAV wiring obviously is attractive to rodents - I believe that it was JuneBug who posted that the insulation used in RAV wiring is different and is attractive to rodents. Not enjoyable for RAV owners . . .
Not just RAV or Toyota. Many manufacturers have seen an increase with the use of soy in wire shielding.
Honda has their own rodent tape with hot pepper flavor to please your furry friends.

https://www.amazon.com/Honda-4019-2317-Rodent-Tape/dp/B00AJTG3N0
 

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Not just RAV or Toyota. Many manufacturers have seen an increase with the use of soy in wire shielding.
Honda has their own rodent tape with hot pepper flavor to please your furry friends.

https://www.amazon.com/Honda-4019-2317-Rodent-Tape/dp/B00AJTG3N0
Interesting product, but has had mixed reviews on Amazon's site. Suggest reading buyer experiences before buying . . .If the tape uses hot pepper flavor perhaps that actually is attractive to vermin from and in locations where that is a favorite flavor. :wink
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Mazda has it as well. Very expensive and I find it hard to believe it would be practical to tape everything.
 

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Here's the rodent control method I use:

 

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The last time I asked JuneBug whether his rodent method could be rented out, he replied that it was already too busy! :wink
But it's the best method for dealing with the pests - our neighbors' super cat takes care of everything from rodents to, on at least one occasion, a raccoon.
 

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I applaud your efforts.

I had to deal with mouse carcass in my son's 2008 Vibe (Matrix), and was surprised the air inlet opening under the cowl was so easy to get into. The mouse had been chewed up in the blower and partly thrown deep into the vents, beyond reach. I attached a garden hose to my shopvac and retrieved the remainder of the body by suction. The smell was awful for weeks.

I covered the air inlet with mesh as well but used a heavy bead of black RTV that I pressed the mesh into, rather than use screws.
 

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I've never had a problem with mice in my vehicles parked in the drive in the 34 years we've been in this home, but my wife has cuz she parks in the detached garage which has a gravel floor(home built in 1940), I just put Victor Tin Cats baited with peanut butter near the car and they quit going inside and haven't had an issue since which was many years ago. I've used them all around the place, nice thing about em is they keep catching, had as many as a dozen in em, just be sure to empty it every day and dispose of them after dispatching or giving them a ride somewhere else if you've a mind to.

https://www.amazon.com/Victor-Humane-Live-Mouse-M310S/dp/B00004RAMU
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I was thinking about glue as well but I decided I wanted the mesh to 'form fit' and it was too springy without screws.
 

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I could not find the story but not too long there a story about a lady in florida who had a snake come out of her a/c vent while she was in traffic. That would be a shocker. Wasn't a rav4 or anything but still.
 

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If the tape uses hot pepper flavor perhaps that actually is attractive to vermin from and in locations where that is a favorite flavor. :wink
This guy would like it!

 
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