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Author Topic: mouse nest on in-cabin air filter  (Read 12089 times)
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Earl
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« on: May 28, 2012, 06:13:25 PM »

Brand new 2012 LTZ...funky smell coming from the HVAC.  Checked the main air filter, and it was fine.  Checked in the in-cabin air filter, and it looks like a nest was being built in there by something...presumably mice.  Anyone else have this issue?  I mean, I have less than 3500 miles on it, and a mouse manages to get all the way to the cabin filter?  I'm going to make an appointment with the dealer, but I certainly hope they can do something about it.... if not, I have no desire to have a vehicle that is so prone to infestation by rodents!  Good gravy.  I never had this happen with my truck...
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 10:05:02 PM »

Wow this is prob the strangest topic I have seen since joining the forum lol.
Sucks that you have a rodent problem, rare but those little suckers are smart and want to nest in a warm area and vehicles are perfect.  What part of the US are you in? Or you in Canada?
Any pics of the nest ?
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 03:59:18 AM »

There is not a car made that can not have a rodent issue.

I have pullled them out of many cars in many locations in all models of cars.

Set a trap in the garage and get over it.

Odds are you might want to set some traps in your house as if they got in to you car you may also have on in the attic too.
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 04:19:12 AM »

While many people may have rodent issues in many different cars, I haven't had any until I got this vehicle...and to have it happen in the spring, with under 3500 miles on it, seems like there is a design flaw (no covers over fresh air intakes) or something like that...  by the way, there are plenty of cats around - and, I don't see mice in or around the house at all (not that they aren't there, there just aren't so many around that it's common to see them).
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 04:29:58 AM »

I had a squirrel build a nest in the ventilation system of our 1999 Trans sport in less than two days when we were at a campground. Never had it before and never had it again. We had to take the fan out to remove all the grass and leaves.

Then I had a mouse hitch a ride on the intake manifold of my car from my buddies farm to our house and then promptly try living in the garage and then try getting into the house. It had made a small nest on the the intake manifold runners within 4 hrs. I almost couldn't believe it was possible until the evidence and facts proved it.

My point is that like hyperv6 said it can happen anywhere at any time to any car. So don't panic. Just have the nest removed and take a few precautions to try and prevent it from happening again. Rodents are opportunists and the fact that your 2012 Equinox has only 3500 miles on it is irrelevant to the rodent. It's just the wrong place at the wrong time. All cars have open intakes for cabin air before they hit the filters.
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 05:09:23 AM »

Brand new 2012 LTZ...funky smell coming from the HVAC.  Checked the main air filter, and it was fine.  Checked in the in-cabin air filter, and it looks like a nest was being built in there by something...presumably mice.  Anyone else have this issue?  I mean, I have less than 3500 miles on it, and a mouse manages to get all the way to the cabin filter?  I'm going to make an appointment with the dealer, but I certainly hope they can do something about it.... if not, I have no desire to have a vehicle that is so prone to infestation by rodents!  Good gravy.  I never had this happen with my truck...

Sounds like a Lemon Law to me !!!  LOL
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 05:37:32 AM »

I have a 2000 Saturn LS1.  Never had a problem with Rodents until this winter.  I noticed near my battery seed that must have came from my bird feeder.  Looks like a mouse was camping out there.  We also had our kitchen redone and a mouse was (Did not see it) bedding down in the insulation on top of the dishwasher.  We did trap one small mouse a couple of months ago. 

I won't lose sleep over this and could happen to any vehicle.

 
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 08:12:42 AM »

Looks like the filter did its job. Grin
They can now advertise it for more than dirt.
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 11:42:27 AM »

Lol just was playing around on google found a few things people have to do if to try and keep mice out of there rides. Geez yea I would just trap the little suckers instead, but guess sometimes you have to go to extremes to keep em out.





I had a buddy get his truck infested with scorpions out here in AZ, because he had them in the garage as well. It was a nightmare indeed. Hate those things, I'd rather have rodents any day lol
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2012, 01:12:03 PM »

Please keep me posted on your progress with the dealer. Feel free to contact me privately if you need more assistance. Thank you.

Tricia, GM Customer Service.
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2012, 02:27:02 PM »

There is no flaw here and if that was the case every car out there has the same flaw.

Many cars today are also being attacted by ground hogs and other varmits chewing wires too. My buddy had ground hogs attack his Ford truck and Grand Am.

In all the years I have worked on cars I have found mice, squirls, bee's, chipmonks, cats and many other animals not only under the hood but in the heating and cooling systems. The fact is these system have to be connected to the outside for ventilation and most rodents can queeze into spaces only 20% their size. Often they can get there looking for food or just a place to nest no matter what time of year.

Chalk it up to bad luck set some traps and learn you are not ammune to nature.

Odds are if this vehicle was in a garage connected to the house you also have them in a cawl space or attic too.

If most people knew what else shared space in their homes they would be freaked out. Depending on what part of the country it could be dangerous too.

I hear people say well I keep a clean house and that may be true but animals are always trying to get in and where they can breach a house will shock you.

Never underestimate mother nature.
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2012, 03:07:14 PM »

In Texas, snakes can be a problem. When I was a kid my sister worked at a mall....I went with my mom to pick her up and the parking lot had a couple fire trucks/ambulances, and when I asked my sister she said that "a lady got bit by a rattlesnake that traveled almost 200 miles underneath her truck from west Texas" Shocked
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 04:34:26 PM »

In Texas, snakes can be a problem. When I was a kid my sister worked at a mall....I went with my mom to pick her up and the parking lot had a couple fire trucks/ambulances, and when I asked my sister she said that "a lady got bit by a rattlesnake that traveled almost 200 miles underneath her truck from west Texas" Shocked

I have seen that on the web a few times. It does get to be a little dangerous with some of the animals.

On the farm we used to have to open the hood when it was cold to chase the cats out. If you missed it you really would have a mess under the hood.
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Earl
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 06:14:11 PM »

4 vehicles at my house....none have mice in them.  I have this vehicle for less than 2 months and there's an animal behind the glovebox?  You can say that it's unavoidable, but some designs are better than others....you can have screens that keep animals out.  If they just got under the hood, that's not that big a deal... but for a new vehicle to have one behind the glovebox, seems like the opening is way too easy access for critters.  And for all the naysayers, sure, animals can chew through screens....but, having one IS a deterrent and can go a long way towards preventing infestation.  Hopefully, the dealer can at least clean things out and check for damage or missing/defective screens and baffles... and, if it's a one time thing, no big deal.  But, if it keeps happening to the Equinox and not to any of the other vehicles, it tells me it is a design issue.  Don't need my Shainin Red-X problem solving certificate for that one.
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 04:10:01 AM »

4 vehicles at my house....none have mice in them.  I have this vehicle for less than 2 months and there's an animal behind the glovebox?  You can say that it's unavoidable, but some designs are better than others....you can have screens that keep animals out.  If they just got under the hood, that's not that big a deal... but for a new vehicle to have one behind the glovebox, seems like the opening is way too easy access for critters.  And for all the naysayers, sure, animals can chew through screens....but, having one IS a deterrent and can go a long way towards preventing infestation.  Hopefully, the dealer can at least clean things out and check for damage or missing/defective screens and baffles... and, if it's a one time thing, no big deal.  But, if it keeps happening to the Equinox and not to any of the other vehicles, it tells me it is a design issue.  Don't need my Shainin Red-X problem solving certificate for that one.

Well you just better go out and sell it as soon as you can if you are this upset. You also might want to add this to the thread here where all the people with Nox and Terrains post with rodent issues.  LOL!

You need to relax as there is not a car out there that a mouse could not get into. It is just one of those things that happen once in a great while and you card just came up. The risk of a mouse is just as great in any of the cars in your drive or garage.

I know it can be a disturbing thing here but it is just one of those things that could happen and the key is to clean it out and move on as I feel it is safe to say unless you have some odd rodent issue this will not repeat again. In all the cars I worked on and all the nest I cleaned out for people  I never had a repeat issue.

I still would set some traps around the house or buy a cat. You may have more else where you just don't see. Those are the ones I would worry about. Odds are just as great they would crawl into one of the other cars as they are no more sealed shut than the Nox.

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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2012, 04:45:37 AM »

Take it as a compliment. The mouse has good taste in vehicles. I too would rather stay in a brand new, clean and attractive hotel whenever I can! Grin

I would take having a rodent in a place like my vehicle's ventilation system any day over it being in the house. In the vehicle you can contain it and eliminate it. In the house it can and will be everywhere, and that's hard to take care of.

My trick to repel rodents is that the dog stays in the garage attached to the house during the day and there is nothing along the walls at floor level for them to hide in as they move around. Also my far back shed has all the places rodents and rabbits adore so they tend to stay there away from the house.

It seems to have helped over the years.
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2012, 05:43:33 AM »


PLASTI-DIP SHOULD SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. Paint entire front end of vehicle in this stuff and no one will want to live in it.. JMO
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2012, 06:00:26 AM »


PLASTI-DIP SHOULD SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. Paint entire front end of vehicle in this stuff and no one will want to live in it.. JMO

I would think that just putting it on the outside, anyplace, would be enough to discourage mice from wanting to live there.  Or, wait for a sunny day, and the sunlight reflected off of your chrome will blind the mice enough that they won't be able to find the car !

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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2012, 07:52:54 AM »

I would think that just putting it on the outside, anyplace, would be enough to discourage mice from wanting to live there.  Or, wait for a sunny day, and the sunlight reflected off of your chrome will blind the mice enough that they won't be able to find the car !


PROBLEM SOLVED  Guess that's why I don't have a mouse problem all that cheap aftermarket phoney chrome
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2012, 10:10:51 AM »

Attention: All GM dealers in the US, Canada, Disneyland,Disneyworld, The Moon and Kentucky:
    It has come to our attention that in the process of testing our vehicle, either an employee brought his/her pet mouse to work for show and tell, or one of our lab mice has gotten lose and hitched a ride in one of our vehicles. We believe that it is a female mouse and it may attract male mice into the vehicle. If a customer complains of mice shacking up in their cabin filter area and said dealer finds a female mouse in said area please return said mouse overnight shipping to GM Canada. No other action is required.
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2012, 08:02:45 AM »

an update - dealer removed the nest, air filter was soaked in "rodent urine"...a new air filter put in, and a "Vent service" done (which amounts to a bottle of Castle "Fresh Air" disinfectant sprayed in the duct and added to the windshield wiper fluid reservoir) and charged somewhere around $60.  Drove the vehicle home, smelling the very strong perfumy stuff mixed with nasty smell....

Next day, I decided to look around a bit - since it didn't seem any better.  I removed the in-cabin air filter and noticed it was still somewhat wet in the duct, so I got a rag and started drying the duct....I reached down toward the blower motor to dry some of the nooks and crannys and ended up pulling out a dead mouse (about the size of my thumb, so I'm thinking it was a youngster).   

Called the dealer and told them they must not have looked very hard...and, I'm sure there are more dead mice in there that I can't get to easily, because the smell is still there a few days later.  It's back in the shop today, so we'll see where it goes.

And, for all the comedians, you wouldn't be very happy driving around your brand new car that reaks like rotting rodents...and I still believe, that with 4 vehicles and 16 years in the same house, to have mice in the brand new vehicle, the probability that it was just chance is remote...this vehicle must have much easier access to the clean air intake than other vehicles.
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2012, 08:10:47 AM »

I'm still going to say that it was "the wrong place at the wrong time" & it just happened to be coincidence.

Rodents, especially mice are opportunists and your new Equinox was irresistible to this mouse. wink

Like I said in my previous post about the squirrel that made a nest in our van's vent system while we were at a campsite for only a couple of days. Why was it our van when there was other vehicles around, why was it then & why in such a short time at exactly that time. And it never happened again.
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2012, 01:17:28 PM »

an update - dealer removed the nest, air filter was soaked in "rodent urine"...a new air filter put in, and a "Vent service" done (which amounts to a bottle of Castle "Fresh Air" disinfectant sprayed in the duct and added to the windshield wiper fluid reservoir) and charged somewhere around $60.  Drove the vehicle home, smelling the very strong perfumy stuff mixed with nasty smell....

Next day, I decided to look around a bit - since it didn't seem any better.  I removed the in-cabin air filter and noticed it was still somewhat wet in the duct, so I got a rag and started drying the duct....I reached down toward the blower motor to dry some of the nooks and crannys and ended up pulling out a dead mouse (about the size of my thumb, so I'm thinking it was a youngster).   

Called the dealer and told them they must not have looked very hard...and, I'm sure there are more dead mice in there that I can't get to easily, because the smell is still there a few days later.  It's back in the shop today, so we'll see where it goes.

And, for all the comedians, you wouldn't be very happy driving around your brand new car that reaks like rotting rodents...and I still believe, that with 4 vehicles and 16 years in the same house, to have mice in the brand new vehicle, the probability that it was just chance is remote...this vehicle must have much easier access to the clean air intake than other vehicles.
....I reached down toward the blower motor to dry some of the nooks and crannys and ended up pulling out a dead mouse (about the size of my thumb, so I'm thinking it was a youngster).    You found baby Minnie

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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2012, 01:21:01 PM »

Let's hope you don't ever run into a skunk on the road, You'll be blaming GM for low road clearence. Having the dealer jack up your vehicle so it never happens again.
This stuff happens is not GM"S fault you got a mouse
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2012, 02:09:41 PM »

Hmmm I smell a rat err mouse!  ....sorry that was to easy.

All you learned is mice can get into anything and that you had a lousy tech work on your car. This was something that you should have just taken care of yourself as it was not anything beyond most people with simple mechanical skills. I would be more troubled by the missed mouse after $60 vs the smell.

Now that it is fixed the odds of it happening agin to this vehicle are slim to none.

If you have cleaned out as many  nest as I have  over the years you would realize no car new or old reguardless of make out there is imune to rodents. I am not kidding when I say I would set some traps around the garage or house as the house is much easier to get into than the Nox. Odds are if there are more they will come inside at some point and next fall may be an issue.

The smell will go and you will get back to normal soon enough. Save the grief for a real issue later on.  When I got run off the road in my 700 mile new HHR and had $7.000 of damage I was not happy but it got fixed and today you would never know there was ever an issue. I was alive the car could be fixed and getting all worked up would not have solved a thing. $hit Happens an you deal with it.
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« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2015, 02:54:03 AM »

This is strange   Shocked Shocked Shocked
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« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2015, 04:39:34 AM »

Not so strange actually.  It happened more often in older cars and trucks.

This happens more often under the hoods of cars and mice sometimes will build a nest right inside the air cleaner box for the engine.  . . or even right on top of the engine.

I bought a brand new 1985 Pontiac Fiero back in the day, only owned it a week,  and I parked it outside over night in the late Spring because I was painting window frames in the garage.  I went out to start it the next morning and it started, but ran really poorly even after the engine warmed up. I could not look at it right a way because I had to work, but I opened up the rear deck lid and inspected during my lunch time.
 There, way under the intake manifold and off to one side, was a black mass of the fiberglass material used inside the engine compartment to dampen noise. It was all loose and fluffed up. I reached in and pulled out several handfulls or the stuff. A mouse had used "harvested" the material from somewhere else in the engine bay and built a nest on top of the manifold. In the process, it also chewed right through a rather thick wire harness that supplied power to one of the six fuel injectors. So, no fuel to one of the cylinders.  A brand new car and I had a wiring repair all because a mouse liked the nice warm top of the engine.
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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2015, 05:11:30 AM »

Mice, Chipmunks and squirrels are all very common in vehicles of any age.

The issue is when it turns cold they look for any small gap they can and in the case of mice they can get through the smallest of openings and build a nest. To find a next here in the filter is not unexpected or rare as you may think. You have to have openings for the air and even the smallest opening can be exploited by a mouse.

If I had a dollar for every next I have found over the years in customers cars and the places I have found them. They never do anything easy like under the seat.

This is also why in many car storage stories they tell you the products to use to repel rodents and to plug the tail pipe with steel wool.

In this case the filter stopped them from going all the way in like in older cars.

My buddy had an issue with a Ground Hog that climbed up under the hood of his new truck. He did not know it was there till it ate through the wires on his engine. He fixed it and it did it again and only when he saw him jump out that he knew what it was till he sent him to that farm where he could play and have fun all the time.

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« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2015, 05:25:52 AM »

I can say first hand about rodents getting into cabin filters and building a nest. I when I purchased my 2011 Terrain it had a squirrel nest on top of the cabin filter. There was acorns and the front fender noise damping material. I knew from the dealer the vehicle had gone to the Pocono mountians. If it sat there for any time then of course it could happen. Was I surprised of course.. but it was quickly cleaned up and sanitized inside. I pulled the blower motor and wiped it all down inside.
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« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2015, 06:02:41 AM »

A good friend of mine is a car detailer that refreshes cars that come in on trade to be resold and he says the best thing to get rid of musty air, smoke, mildew, and stuff in the air vehicle is OZIUM.  You can get it at your local auto parts store.  I had musty air in my vette after a winter of storing and sprayed it into the cowl area with the heater and blower on high and it did the trick.  No more musty smell
http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=ipad&p=ozium+air+sanitizer&pcarrier=&pmcc=000&pmnc=00

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« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2015, 06:38:30 AM »

Had some work done on our Terrain yesterday and while they were looking around found a bunch of acorns and crap on cabin filter and beyond (into blower) . Chipmunks likely culprit sometime overe the last 4 years or so.  I relocated a bunch last year and may have to do the same this year (even though it may lead to their demise).
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« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2015, 07:05:22 AM »

We have the same issue. put some of the "sticky" pads in the glove box and caught 2. Found a nest in the cabin filter on the last service. These guys are brutal especially in the area we live in with the heat and now the dry period of our hot summers. We recommend the sticky pads. We use them in our house as well and catch mice, large spiders and believe it or not, small snakes!
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« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2015, 07:33:22 AM »

funny how this came up. but the other day i was installing the mudguards. when i got to the front driver side i had to pull the wheel well fender off a bit to install the screw clips. when i did a bunch of acorns and leaves fell out. Right away i knew it was a chipmunk because there's one living in a rock pile right by the garage. little buggers.
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« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2015, 08:31:34 AM »

stuff like this happens.  i have a 1989 Geo Tracker i use as a woods truck to get around the property.  started it up once and had accorns shoot out the tail pipe.  checked the air filter once and found more acorns.  they even made a next in the fan with the insulation i left behind the dash because i could not reach it when i replaced the carpet with truck bed liner.   its annoying but it happens.  best way to avoid it is to not leave the car sitting too long.
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« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2015, 10:33:15 AM »

I brought down and bought a live trap, so far  have caught Chip and today Dale, have to wait and see  if there are any more resuce rangers around.  The two were taken about 6 miles down the road and released in reasonable area,  maybe they will be ok or maybe not (these critters can be quite territorial and not likey to accept intruders)
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2012 AWD V6  Equinox  Merlot/Titanium SLT2
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