Gamalot

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About Gamalot

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  • First Name
    Gary

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  • Lexus Model
    RX350
  • Lexus Year
    2015
  • Location
    New York (NY)

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I bought my 2015 RX350 as a lease return with 20K on the clock. At 22K I did the same with all OEM parts, pads and rotors because the pedal was pulsing. Now the RX has 36 K and it is just starting again to pulse. I figured it had to be the rears so I replaced them. Turns out the rears were fine but I finished the job with all new OEM parts since I was there. I will be ordering the full front set again in the near future. IMO this has something to do with the anti lock system that I know very little about. I've replaced a lot of pads and rotors over many years but these are the first for me with the anti lock and I might be missing something in the process. Is it possible there is some relief valve or other step we should be doing when we compress the calipers for the new pads and rotors? I have considered paying the outrageous price and letting the Lexus dealer do the fronts this time just to see if they last longer but at more then twice the price of DIY they still would not warranty their work if after 15-20K the brakes need replacing again. I have had a few panic brake stops with the SUV when deer or bear jumped out and again when some bimbo on her phone needed my side of the road at 60 MPH. Would love to hear from a Toyota/Lexus certified mechanic about this issue.
  5. You have about the same assessment as we do regarding the Rav4 and the RX350. Living here in the NY Catskill mountains, Snow Country, it was essential that my wife had a vehicle capable of severe winter driving because her work required her to be there no matter what. Snow country is also road salt country and the salt turns any vehicle into a bucket of rust in short order. With this in mind we leased 3 Rav 4s for her and turned them in at the lease end for a new one. Her last Rav was the LXE model and a bit nicer overall. The Rav 4s are just a basic vehicle but with good reputations and we never once had to have anything repaired on any of them. A promotion at work equated into an upgrade of her vehicle so I picked the 2015 RX 350 and she loves it. Yes to the junk tires standard equipment but I bought a complete second set of stock rims and outfitted them with Bridgestone Blizzak tires for winter treads and have never looked back. Great tires and turns the RX into a tank on snow and ice covered roads. My one and only complaint is with these damn TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems) every spring and every fall I have to get the wheels reprogrammed at a dealer or the tire place when I swap. One would think the system could be smart enough to have two sets of programmed TPMS sensors stored but it is just a PITA. I would buy the programmer myself except they are ridiculously high priced and subject to change as technology becomes obsolete. The Rav 4 rides jittery and is a sort of tin can while the RX rides very smooth and quiet. We test drove a new Highlander and she did not like it at all and we also tested a Subaru Forester that failed in every aspect. I know for sure the heated seats in the RX work great and once we get some hot weather here I will be testing the cooling function. We still had snow on April 30th so it will be a while before the AC is actively employed. Mice building nests in the vents and then finding a way inside the car is perplexing but I will correct this issue hopefully this weekend. I give Lexus a big thumbs down on this issue for sure. In 9 years with Rav 4s in the same mouse infested garage we never had this issue with them which leads me to believe there is a direct opening somewhere that should not be. Gam
  6. I want to investigate to see if the system in our 2015 RX 350 is possibly different from in your 2018. I don't know if you have the leather seat option like ours but the leather has hundreds of tiny perforations for the venting to come through. Not sure how they could do that on cloth seats. I find these forums to be very informative for the most part. Sure there are the few who don't know what they think they know but need to sound smart. How the critters get in is my focus and once I get that figured out I will report my real findings here. Comparing my 4 runner to the RX is apples to oranges. The RX is certainly the luxury between the two and a pleasure to drive and take long trip in. The 4 runner is bigger and more capable for my manly needs of towing the boats and trailers with just enough luxury to make it a great and very comfortable ride. Two completely different animals but both are nice vehicles. My wife had 3 Toyota Rav 4s which got the job done through some nasty winters here in the NY Catskills but she absolutely loves her RX. I had a Tacoma before the 4 runner and in all reality I prefer the pick up for my needs but can live with the SUV 4 runner for a while.
  7. Thanks Les, great info. I have to do some testing this weekend when the wife's car is here during the heat of the day. I do know this for sure in my 4 Runner limited with leather seats. When I have the seat cooling in max mode it works great and throughout the entire seat bottom and back. If while sitting in my seat I lean forward away from the seat back I can both feel and hear the air blowing through the back upright. After a day on the golf course and in shorts and a light shirt my seat gets noticeably cold on the ride home but I don't get to drive the Lex much as it is the wife's daily driver. Gam
  8. Thanks again Les. My nephew runs a big auto body shop in NJ and is well acquainted with this rodent issue. Not just a Lexus thing but with many makes and models and they find the critters all the time during the cold months. He is sending me the push pins needed after I yank all the plastic covers over this weekend, weather permitting. He also agrees with you that under the windshield where the wiper motors are is where the air comes in and the most likely place the critters gain access. At his shop they have seen cars burnt to a crisp and totally destroyed as a result of mice and other critters gnawing on the wire harnesses. He will send me a couple pictures of fried mice later today. Sorry I have no input regarding your seats not cooling as they should. Ours in the RX and the ones in my 2016 4Runner limited cool very nice on hot summer days. I can hold my hand on the seat bottoms and backs and feel cool air flowing. Gam Helsupron-6 NAS Norfolk
  9. I was a mechanic during Vietnam working on H-47 Helicopters but in this instance I am hoping to find the Easy Button so I need not tear the entire shroud under the hood apart to find where the critters gain access. Short of a Toyota/Lexus Tech chiming in here I could also just take it in to Lexus where I bought it and the 7 year extended platinum warranty and pitch a super BE-ich and force them to fix their defect. Gam
  10. Thanks Les. I suspect there is an intake opening under the front wheel wells toward the front. I have not had the time yet to take off all the plastic covers in and around the engine compartment so it is very hard to assess where they might get in from. I had hopes there might be a Lexus Tech viewing some of these threads who might have first hand experience with all the covers off. I do have my own thread going on this subject and only posted here to give the OP some possibilities of what might be his issue. So far with our 2015 RX 350 the cooling for the seats works fine and once I get the dead mouse stink out I should be fine for the summer. Mice tend to seek shelter in the garage and cars only during the cold months.
  11. Les, My response here is more for the OP 2011 RX owner who is getting no air flow through the seat ducts. Our 2015 RX is never left open either in or out of the garage. The mice do in fact come in through the vent ducts and this is the only way they could possibly get to the top side of the cabin air filter box. Once there I do believe they could build nests in any or all of the ducting throughout the entire car which would and could impede the air flow. Hiring a pest control company to rid my country home of field mice would be an effort in futility but certainly would make the company a major profit for their endless efforts. Mice are a way of life out here and they get in no matter what we do but they should not get into the ducts of our Lexus. A schematic of the actual duct work in my RX sure would help to guide me on where the intake is so I could fashion a screen or barrier of some sort to keep them out. Mice do build nests in my tractor, boat, shed, garage and just about anywhere else including on top of the engines. As fast as I can catch them the next generation is ready to invade. Very destructive critters BTW and capable of doing a lot of damage as they chew their way through wiring and materials while building their nests. Remember I did say they are not inside the cabin of the car but they are in the ducts and apparently only the tiny babies can wiggle their way through an opening and end up inside on the floor mat, no adult mice have ever gotten inside to the best of my knowledge and only into the upper cavity of the air box above the cabin air filter. We do agree on one thing. There should be no way for mice to get to where they are building their nests and that is a Lexus defect IMO. The stench of dead mice should not be blowing throughout the cabin of a very nice luxury vehicle the minute the fan turns on.
  12. I have no idea where the air vent intake is located but can tell you for sure the mice get in my garage and then find their way into the car from the top side of the cabin air filter box which is located on the passenger side behind the glove compartment. First we found new born blind mice on the passenger side floor mat and when I investigated and removed the cabin air filter the entire area above the filter was loaded with a mouse nest and 2 more dead baby mice. I set traps in the garage all the time and catch the mice and suspect I likely killed the parents after they had the babies up inside of the vents. I have set traps in the car cabin on the floor mat but have never caught a mouse in the car cabin which leads me to believe the full grown mice can get in the ducts from outside but only as far as the top side of the cabin air filter and only the tiny baby mice can get inside the car cabin. My thought is if they can stuff the ducts above the cabin air filter full of nesting material it may be possible they could stuff the ducts for the seat cooling so no cool air or very little can go to the seat. Directly below the cabin filter is the squirrel cage fan that pulls the outside heated or cooled air in and blows it through the car. Gary
  13. This may be related to the issue I am going through right now with mice getting inside the air ducts and building nests on top of my cabin air filter. How they can get from the ground and up in the air ducts and then inside the car only to drop out from underneath the dash is a mystery. Believe me, if they can build a nest on the top of the cabin filter then they can build nests in all the ducts and block the passageway. I have spent the past three days trying to get the mice out and in the process I have found dead baby mice in the ducts and on the passenger side floor mat. Since the temps are going up the entire inside of the car stinks of dead mouse and I have no idea where the culprits might be. Just imagine if you can having your wife driving along in her luxury Lexus and mice falling on her feet at 65 MPH.
  14. I ran our 2015 RX350 with non ethanol 91 premium for the first 5 tanks full. At the dealer while in for oil change service I mentioned it and asked if I could use regular 87. The tech said I likely would not notice any difference in performance or fuel economy. We were getting just under 18 MPGs with the premium. We drove from NY to Florida and back on the regular 87 and we still got just under 18 MPGs for the entire trip. I think if I was at the drag strip I might see some performance difference but not so much in normal driving conditions. I own a 2011 Toyota Tacoma with a V-6 engine and a 2016 Toyota 4 Runner Limited also with a V-6 engine and both run fine on 87 octane with the 10% e-fuel. Is there some major difference between these 3 Toyota V-6 engines? Gary
  15. 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