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After removing the air filter for the heating/air conditioning, I found that a mouse had set up shop on top of the filter (found many seeds, fecal matter, and pee) and also chewed through the filter in several places. Obviously, vermin can gain access to the inside of the heating/air conditioning system, NOT GOOD! I installed a wire mesh screen under the filter (screen window material) and replaced the filter with polyurethane material used for filters in air conditioners. I cut the filter material to approx. 8.5" x 7.75". The wire screen should prevent vermin from exiting the heating/air conditioning and getting into the cabin. I also placed a mouse glue trap on top of the filter in order to capture the little bast**d. I am not pleased to learn that the design in the RAV allows vermin access to my passenger compartment. If that little vermin ever showed his face to my wife, she would have exited the vehicle irregardless of the speed she was traveling.
 

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Well I guess you now know why so much dirt was getting in your cabin eh? Somebody was munching on your filter and setting up a home.
 
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I hate those mieces to pieces! This mouse better find another house. His days are numbered.
 

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I wonder how the mouse got in the ductwork to begin with, other than coming through an open window. I can't think of an opening that a mouse could crawl through, although they can squeeze through very small holes.
 

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At least the mouse didn't die somewhere in the dashboard (as far as you know), it really stinks when they start to rot.
 

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Yeah, I was thinking about that too.

Weather at our farm or beside the house the mice usually keep a low profile and looks for well sheltered areas, like tall grass, bundles of wood.

Far from what is depicted with Mighty Mouse having all of those parties. :)

Anyhow, you can always go to the humane society and look for a Big, Mean and Skinny cat. Then lock it and the Rav in the garage for 2 days. :D
 
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RAV is kept outside (see my avatar) and driven every day. I WILL find the entry point that he is using. Time to hit the Factory Manual and study the heating/air conditioning system. This is WAR!
 
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:roll:

Indeed the mouseees 'can' enter the vehicle. I had one after owning my RAV for only 2 weeks. It had also entered through the air duct and had gotten to the fan (or something) ...so when the heater was turned on it made a horrible vibrating sound. I couldn't believe something was wrong with my toyota...soo much for reliability.
Anyhow, after searching I found the little mouseee. It had died an untimely death, going round and round in the little fan, he/she was kind of plastered up against the edge, just a little too much centrifugal force apparently.
But agreed that it is disturbing to think they can get in. What if I had not found the thing....rotting mouse is not a good choice for aromatherapy !!
 
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Last winter some pesky vermin ate into the wire bundle behind the intake that contains the wires for the engine sensors in my 2003 RAV. The wiring harness from the underdash computer to the engine had to be replaced. The wiring harness had to be ordered and took two weeks to arrive.

Fortunately, comprehensive insurance covered the damage. The insurance adjuster said it happened occasionally. This winter I have kept traps set in the gargage.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Removed cowl cover(s) and found the HVAC air intake the vermin are using to gain access to the fan/cabin. It's on the pass. side of the vehicle in the firewall behind a bulkhead, directly above the HVAC fan, very difficult to access. Opening is approx. 10" L x 4" H on the firewall with a small lip around the perimeter. I will attempt to construct a wire screen and secure it to the small lip to keep the vermin out. Got tired of setting traps, etc. There are many ways the vermin can get behind the bulkhead in front of the firewall, so screening the actual intake opening is the only way. The mice are chewing up the foam lining the HVAC system conduits to use as nesting material.
 

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If I remember this correctly from years ago, the air from the cowl area is ducted to the sides and down the fenders to air dry the rockers panels. If you've noticed when washing the RAV, the water applied to the windshield runs out the back of the front fenders next to the leading edge of the front doors. So mousie uses this route to get to the cowl area and into the heating system.
In VW's and Volvo I've had, I've found them nesting in the air filter box..........the joy of living in the suburbs and garaging the car every nite.......... :roll:
When you screen the heater intake under the cowl, how about taking some pics and posting them in this thread........we all might want to do it...... :shock:
 
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There is also a rubber flapped drain on the extreme passenger's side of the larger cowl, near the battery. This drains water into your engine compartment towards the firewall. I'm going to try to make a template of the exact HVAC intake dimensions to try to make a protective aluminum screen, I'll take some pictures. I've screened my engine air intake snorkel to keep the vermin out of my air cleaner. I have screened the HVAC intake and engine air intake on all my other cars, but the Rav's HVAC air intake is a real PITA to screen because of the bulkhead and it's position behind it. You have to climb onto the passenger's strut tower, position your left knee on the strut tower, right knee near the radiator, and brace with your left hand on the bottom of the windshield and work with your right hand to have any shot at it. Feels like I'm playing Twister.
 

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noodlerooney said:
After removing the air filter for the heating/air conditioning, I found that a mouse had set up shop on top of the filter (found many seeds, fecal matter, and pee) and also chewed through the filter in several places.
Just to be absolutely clear, thank you for tracking a solution, but mice and other vermin can find ways to access ANY vehicle's interior, not just that of the RAV4. They always could.

While it could easily be argued that Toyota ought to have gone to a few more lengths to protect such things, the only true solution would be to hermetically seal the cabin, and that's not a very viable solution unless you happen to be a zombie who doesn't need air.. :)

In any event, keep on truckin.

Wayne
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, it is good to know our vehicles, to be aware of such things. But as has been said, it's nigh impossible to keep critters out of our cars. When a mouse takes up residence though, would a solution not have been a mousetrap to remove the little pest? Fortunately, a mouse making its home in a vehicle is not a common occurance, and a permanent solution might not have been necessary.

Still, the investigative work is not wasted. :) And thanks for the update, it's good to know.
 

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Noodle.....
As an aside, where did you get the Factory Manual.......Dealer?
 
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I got the Factory Service Manual (Vols 1 & 2) and Electrical Wiring Diagrams Manual from ebay about 1 year ago, paid $140 USD, brand new, invaluable IMHO. I'm pretty sure the Stealer charges much more.
I'm aware that vermin can access any car, but I have a problem with them coming in through the open HVAC intake, you might as well hang up a welcome sign. Also, I've killed many mice buy setting a trap in the HVAC filter area, when you get one, it is replaced with another very soon. I have 8 large oak trees in my yard, hate the d*m things, so with all the acorns in my yard, there's plenty of food for the little buggers.
10/26/05: Another one bites the dust. Let's see how long until I get another. If it ever stops raining, I'll try to put the HVAC screen in place. I talk tough, but when I find them in the trap, I feel kind of sorry for the little vermin, they are kind of cute in their own vermin way, would prefer to just keep them out. If they would only stay out of my car! I'm ranting now....
 
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