Q: Mice can get into the ventilation

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I drive a 2012 Toyota Highlander and it started to smell just revolting the other day when I started it up to go to work. Turns out some mice got into the ventilation system and died. Now my vehicle with 24,000 miles on it smells like dead rodents. Not ideal, to say the least. Toyota should have made the air filter harder to get to for rodents, everyone knows they love the warm engines in cold weather! Can I fix this problem myself? The filter, not the mice. Those have been taken care of.

Rodents can become a serious problem for almost any vehicle. If they don’t find their way into the HVAC system, they will often chew on wires, which can cause serious problems with vehicle operations. In this case, cutting and installing some thin wire mesh in the HVAC system air intake and tightening it down with Zip-ties or Tek screws should help eliminate the problem. I would recommend that a certified mechanic (like those with YourMechanic) perform the installation just to make sure the wire mesh doesn’t fall into the HVAC air intake or interfere with any vehicle systems.

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