Gamalot

Help needed, 2015 RX350 with Mice!

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We live in the country and my wife's car is always in the garage each night through the winter. We do get mice in the garage but now we have mice in her car.

On Sunday I found a new born baby mouse on the passenger side front floor mat still alive but too young to move. Again today there is another baby mouse in the same spot. So, we have a mouse nest somewhere in the car, probably in the dash by the glove compartment. I will be tearing into it tonight when she gets home from work.

Please help me here if you can. Where should I look to find how the mice get inside the car from the outside? There has to be some pathway that allows entrance. Has anyone else ever experienced this issue?

How do I rid the car of a mouse infestation? I am well aware that mice can cause very serious damage from their chewing on electrical wires so this needs to be addressed immediately. Her doors and hatch are never left open while in the garage so the mice have a passageway that I must find and close. I just have no idea where to start looking.

 

Thanks

Gary 

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Update! I tore into the problem last night and located the offender. Picture attached. Behind the glove box there is a cabin air filter and when I removed it I found it completely loaded with mice and a big nest.

I still don't know how the mice get in but this is highly unacceptable. I buy my wife a nice luxury vehicle and she is completely freaked out and wants it gone. She fears driving the car and having a mouse running around on the floor which would wig her right out.

Gary

 

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If you can keep the mice out of your garage, they won't get in the car.  When we first moved into our current house, there were lots of mice around.  Several years of trapping & poisoning them finally eliminated the problem, but I must have caught/killed a couple hundred of them.  Not fun, but I felt my efforts were necessary so we didn't have problems like yours.  Mice love cars, they're warm, and if the mice are hungry they eat the wiring.  You need to eliminate the source.

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Try a cat

we also live in the semi county and have 5

no mice problems but I do have coins and possums coming up to dine on the cat food my wife leaves out.

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On 9/16/2018 at 4:05 PM, mtbmtb01 said:

Try a cat

we also live in the semi county and have 5

no mice problems but I do have coins and possums coming up to dine on the cat food my wife leaves out.

A good vizsla will take care of those raccoons, possums and other critters.  

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Cats! Yup, tried that until we realized we then need to kill all the coyotes that kill the cats. Trapping and killing the mice is the better plan and I have blocked their entrance into the garage all except for every time we open the new door.

I posted this issue here in the hope of hearing from a Toyota/Lexus technician who knows the vent system and could describe exactly where the mice are able to enter up to the top side of the cabin air filter. If I knew where to look I would make a cover with chicken wire to block their entrance and glue it in if necessary. It just seems ridiculous that a premium vehicle such as a Lexus would leave such an obvious design fault open to mouse intrusion and the stench that follows when they die and permeate the entire cabin with dead mouse stink.

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If you open the hood, you should see a row of air intake vents (5 0n the 2018) plus drain hole for the water coming off the windshield. I can only tell you that Ive had mice come into the house thru square holes the size of the ones in these vents.  So have no doubt that there is a chance that’s where they are coming in.  To patch the vents with a smaller mesh screen would not be an easy job cutting and pasting all the odd size vent intakes.  Seems like it would be easier to glue down some sticky traps next to the intakes just to see what you catch.

The little critters love peanut butter on their menu.

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Thanks Les, I am sure you are correct however when I open the hood on my 2015 RX350 the very first thing I see is plastic covers over the entire engine compartment. All of this will need to be popped off and removed before I can even see the vents you speak of. There appears to be an air intake tube that goes forward behind and under the plastic wheel well cowling as well. All of that would have to be popped and removed too. Knowing which of these air intake vents gets the mice directly to the top side of the cabin air filter is the key to tearing into this repair and so far I don't have the benefit of hearing from any technician who honestly knows this system. I could spend a full day dismantling all the shrouds and screening any entry points I can find and still not get it fixed. Back when I first posted this ordeal I also sent an email directly to Lexus customer service hoping they might have some advice. Never got a reply at all from the company.

At the dealer while still under the warranty they offered to replace the cabin air filter for free but I had already done that when I first found the dead mouse babies. They had no clue where or how the mice could have gotten in to that area and really didn't care. They claimed this was the first and only time they ever heard this complaint yet in talking with a mechanic at an auto body repair shop he said he finds mouse nests and dead ones in all sorts of strange places when he is rebuilding cars after crashes, snakes too.

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The air intake is immediately below the windshield and under the windsheild wipers which set right over the intakes which run all the way across the vehicle. No covers involved.  Designers decided to hide the intake bank behind but not really under the hood.  You don’t see them until you open the hood. Older designs have this bank next to the hood lid and exposed.

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There is only one air intake and most all vehicles have it in the same place because below the windsheild is the 2nd highest pressure point for collecting positive pressure. Front grill being the first.  The exhaust vents you speak of are at the rear next to the back hatch where the highest negative pressure (vacuum) point is. And the wheel wells are the perfect place to put them. Those vent holes are too small on the inside for mice to get in on my 18. Seems likely that they like to nest in the filter inside of the air intake because that is where they come in.  Restricting these air intakes would likely degrade your climate control system, as defeating the designers intent never turns out great.  IF his design could go with smaller holes, most likely he would have. Mods would be last resort - As it starts getting cold, inspect your filter often - real often... I have had to cut thru dry wall to extract a dead sickening mouse and I know what you went thru.

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Thank you Les. The very first indication of mouse intrusion was a dead new born mouse dropped from under the glove box onto the floor mat. I did a thorough search of the cabin to find a nest but none was present. A few days later my wife, it is her daily driver, reported the stink which was putrid. I dropped the glove box, found the cabin air filter and the dead mice and nest on the top of the filter. So now I know the mice can make their way through the ducts and up to the intake side.

My thought if it is at all possible is to fasten 1/4 inch square chicken wire fencing over any holes where the adult mice could possibly enter from. As hard as I try I can't possibly keep mice out of the garage. I set traps and catch plenty all winter long but there is an endless supply of mice out here in the country. I expect them in the engine compartment nooks and crannies but have never heard of them entering the cabin air system and even worse, this system is designed to keep the cabin fresh but instead blows the stench of dead mouse throughout the entire cabin. Pretty sad that I as an owner must redesign the system in a premium vehicle such as a Lexus. BTW, Lexus did finally reply and simply said take it to the dealer and have them make the repairs at my expense. At around $100/ hour, No thanks. I would feel a great deal better if Lexus would simply tell me what fix a dealer would do to solve this intrusion. I bet they don't know of a cure but the dealer would be happy to turn his technician lose on my vehicle and take many hundreds of my dollars in the process. 

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When you park your warm car in a cold place or garage, warm air rises and the vent process is reversed.  Warm air rises thru the intake vent and is replaced by cold air from the rear exhaust vents. Guess where a cold rodent is going to go to get warm and set up their home? They follow the warm, not the cold. Ask your pest control guy what size hole would prevent a mouse from entry. Quarter inch may be too big.  When winter conditions becoming perfect, glue a sticky trap near the windsheild vent and see what you catch.  If you don’t have the money to accommodate Lexus dealers, it can be rough going with few other options.  My one time experience with them was that they were friendly and spent a lot of time explaining to me why I did not have a problem with seat ventalation even though I still think I do, ha ha.

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Gamalot, I live in rural, WY and have exactly the same problem you are having. And like yourself, I am looking for air intake to cabin air system to screen off! Like you, I get idiotic answers like you are getting: traps, sticky boards, etc. Like you, I want to get to the root and fix it there and cannot find any diagrams as to where the air intake(s) are. I am going to local body shop and ask them. Your idea of screening the intake will solve the problem completely, the real queztion is, where is it? If you find out, please let me know. 2015, Lexus RX-350, base owner and very frustrated!

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