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I have a 2014 Chevy Cruz LS 1.8. With the hood up and looking at the firewall, there is a HVAC duct with a flap covering it a little to the passenger side from the middle and less than a foot from the top. This duct runs at least to the cabin air filter. A mouse entered here (pieces of filter were found under the flap) and made a nest on top of the filter where it then died! I went to the dealer that we purchased the car from and their service dept. tech. manager did not know what it was or it's function. When asked if the flap could be wired shut to keep mice out, he said he saw no problem in doing so. It seems like GM needs to come up with something to prevent this problem.
 

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Not a GM problem......you are parking your car in an area that is not far from a food source.
Mice don't select a car as a home, mice select any warm, protected area near a food source as a home.

Doesn't much matter what brand of car.
However, when mice (or any other rodent) take up residence they often use any available nearby area to chew on and sharpen their teeth....think wire harness or hard plastic as found in a heater box.

Most common draw point for mice......seed kept in a garage in the off season......grass seed is their favorite.....if you can smell it, they really can smell it........doesn't have to be your garage either, a next door garage works just fine.

All cars have a drainage system in the air intake area......the Cruze has a central drain (that you describe) and at the sides of air intake box, either side of the box, hidden by the front fenders.

I have been removing rodent nests and undoing rodent damage for years.....one more unique experience that comes with auto service trade......often out of the hvac system and sometimes in semi enclosed underhood areas......in no case have I found rodents picking a particular brand or model vehicle.

I recently pulled a nest, that included live newborn squirrels from behind the drivers side headlamp area of a Hummer.
I had a Clark Griswald moment as I reached in when I saw beady eyes along with squealing........at my age, I don't need those moments.
Anyways, I don't think they chose the Hummer by brand.

Look around your current parking area.....there is a clue somewhere.

Rob
 

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Not a GM problem......you are parking your car in an area that is not far from a food source.
Mice don't select a car as a home, mice select any warm, protected area near a food source as a home.
Park within 100 feet of a bird feeder or any seed or nut bearing tree you could get rodents. With my cruze its the same problem I've had with my previous cars..... Squirrels. Pulled 5 walnuts out from various places under the hood when I changed the air filter this fall.

With both my 1991 Lesabre and 2004 Cavalier squirrels managed to place walnuts within the travel of the throttle body. Not fun when the soft green skin of the nut allows you to open up the throttle but wedges it at 1/2 throttle or greater! When it happened once I thought it was a crazy coincidence, after the second time I realized the squirrels murderous intent.....

I had a neighbor eliminate about 20 squirrels with a pellet gun and poison but more just move in since there are no real predators in town.
 

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So are we going to laugh yet ?????????????????
Get a CAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Not a darn thing I can do with the engine compartment on my motorhome, find a squirrels nest there every spring, everything else dealing with the interior, added screens. How about finding a live wasp nest in the range hood vent, they don't even think about stuff like this when they throw them together.

Installed my own high efficiency furnace using 2" high grade PVC tubing, heard about birds or mice crawling into these keeping your furnace from working. Got a couple 2-4" adapters, put them in my lathe and cut a ring. Using a 1/4" screen for an outward pointed exhaust and a fine mesh screen facing down for the inlet, after six years so far, never had this problem.

Getting back to the Cruze, part 7 is the cowl bladder for drainage, is yours there?



Just like anything else, just slips on, no clamp. Is a five buck part.
 

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I went to the dealer that we purchased the car from and their service dept. tech. manager did not know what it was or it's function. When asked if the flap could be wired shut to keep mice out, he said he saw no problem in doing so.
This is a person that should have no employ with GM or a dealership. Let alone a leadership position as manager.

This is person has no clue what the part is for. Yet he knows that it can be defeated without consequence.

Ladies and gentlemen: this is what a dumb person sounds like and how the think.

An intelligent person would have said: I don't know what that part is for. But I do know that the engineers who designed this car decided that it needed to be there. Despite the cost, weight and collision implications of its installation. And therefore, for that reason, I cannot agree to remove, alter or defeat it.

The minute a technician permanently removes a part that my vehicle left the factory with, or even suggests it, without a TSB or recall instructing to do so, is the moment that a letter is written and that technician never gets near my car again.
 

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Shoot tomko , I really do not believe any such Tech exists that knows how to keep menacing mice and squirelly squirrels along with the occassional pesky Raccon that wants to utilize yer ride for a hiding place for IT's foraged food stuffs ..
 

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Well, maybe the engineer that designed this thing wasn't so smart have all, instead of using a conventional rubber one like a balder. Using a piece of plastic with a door on it. Can see where an industry mouse could stand on that AC hose, push open that door and crawl up.

Could put a chicken wire screen around it so the door could still be opened, but sure don't want to wire it shut, all that water will end up in your interior. Or go back to the design that did work. Here's another stupid solution that may work, get a hack saw and cut off that AC line so they don't have anything to stand on.

A buddy down south opened the hood on his 37 Ford coupe to see a rattle snake coiled up on his engine, thought me to look first before reaching in. Just looking for a nice warm spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the responses. Here is the flap that covers whatever this outlet is. This is where we found shredded cabin air filter material.

100_7641 marked.jpg

Is this part of the HVAC system or just a rain water drain? We came across that diagram but the way it is drawn it unclear how and where that drain attaches. It is also unclear how the mouse could have gotten from there to the cabin air filter if this is just a rain water drain.
 

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It is one of three drainage points for water.
Debris that has been dragged into the cowl area will naturally get drawn to and accumulate to the lowest part of the cowl.
The entire cowl area is used to house and protect the windshield wiper pivots and linkages as well as provide a air pickup point for the hvac system.
This is a common construction method for all vehicles.

Using Nick's provided component breakdown, component #9 represents the end drains and is spot welded to #6........you can see that the cutout does not go all the way to the bottom of the chamber (#6)

This would be why the triangular drain that you (op) have provided a photo of, is necessary.

Although you see debris at the drain, the critter most likely is climbing up the various brackets and whatnot behind the fender and into the chamber through the large end plate hole (#9).

Regardless of entry method, you must determine what is drawing critters to the area your car is generally parked at........either at your home or where the car is during the day.......and then figure out how to avoid the situation.

Early evidence is the debris you found........over the long term the vehicle will be damaged.......wireing chewed, hvac components broken or blocked, and oder from excriment.

Just reading my newest Car and Driver......one of the editors has a Tacoma and has developed a mouse problem.......evidence has little poo balls all over his sheepskin seat covers and he has been setting traps in the car......reported has gotten two so far and hasn't figured out what is drawing them......yet.

Rob
 

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Added a list of parts to this cowl assembly. Without taking stuff apart, unclear to me if this cowl assembly is metal or plastic, seems to be plastic. I see only one drain on mine, if I took a photo, would be exactly like yours.

These critters can squeeze through the tightest spaces, for the first time I found my toilet paper all chewed up inside the rear sink cabinet, just drilled an oversized hole for the plumbing, how in the heck did whatever squeeze through that. Another hole to patch in my motorhome.

Like Robby was talking about, also experienced wire damage by these critters, but only the green wires, must have mistakened this for food.




1 95321394 COWL GRILLE, RIGHT $128.80$86.55
1 95321393 COWL GRILLE, LEFT $128.80$86.55
2 95230842 COWL GRILLE RETAINER, RIGHT $3.82$2.44
2 95230842 COWL GRILLE RETAINER, LEFT $3.82$2.44
3 22745468 PLENUM PANEL $70.63$47.47
4 93740116 PLENUM PANEL INSULATOR $34.03$22.87
5 96899408 PLENUM PANEL REINFORCEMENT $9.25$6.22
6 22756012 UPPER DASH PANEL $107.38$72.16
7 13360834 DRAIN VALVE $7.70$5.17
9 13328635 SIDE BRACE, RIGHT $15.13$10.17
9 13328636 SIDE BRACE, LEFT $15.13$10.17
10 23426232 INSULATOR INNER
$86.33$58.02
11 22829812 INSULATOR OUTER
--


 

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With the exception of #'s 1-2-7-4(plastic) and #'s 10-11 (insulation pads) all panels are steel and are spot welded together.

Difficult picture since some illustrations are as seen from front others from rear....specifically #10 insulator.....that's the pad attached to the toe panel (firewall) on the inside, under the carpeting.

Although not shown in the figure #8 (toe panel) is serviced as an assembly that would include both #9's, #6, and #3 already spot welded in position.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Robby, thank you for your response. How would you access the #9 end plate holes? Could they be made smaller? Or wire screening?

Also, thanks NickD for the parts breakdown.
 

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D-Con? Yeah, I know everyone hates poison, but the stuff does work if you apply properly and safely.
 

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Robby, thank you for your response. How would you access the #9 end plate holes? Could they be made smaller? Or wire screening?

Also, thanks NickD for the parts breakdown.
The item #9, endplates are covered by the front fenders......fender removal required to fully expose but you may have just enough room to access (no promises here) by removing the front wheel(s) and plastic inner fender liners.

Rob

Edit: a different route may be to remove the wiper arms and both halves of the cowl cover.....look/reach inside.
 

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I can't believe that the other cowl drain outlets on my Cruze are large enough to let a mouse in, but this one sure is. Do other GM lines have this "flapper valve" drain? Just changed my In Cabin Air Filter to get rid of the stench from a mouse nest on top of it. I am going to drill a vertical 3/8 hole thru the top and bottom of this culprit and wire it shut. I will remove the wire every so often (maybe twice a year) and let the crap out that has fallen down from the cowl area.
[video]https://www.facebook.com/jrsharland/videos/1080737171960596/[/video]
 

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The end cowl openings covered by the fenders are large.....like 4" by 4" large........All manufacturers btw.

Rob
 

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Remove those plastic caps from the windshield wipers, a couple of screws, off they come, rest is all push pin rivets, don't want to lose any of those, my dealer charges around four and half bucks for each of those, at that price and at the OE level, would expect to get a package of a thousand for that price. Then part #1 is in your hand.

Just don't recall seeing holes in those #9 end plates, maybe I didn't even look, but really doubt if they are there for drainage, way too high. If they are there for any reason, would let more air in in the event if that #1 vent, only on the drivers side is plugged with ice and snow.

If anything, would hot glue chicken wire to those openings to block entry. Actually found plastic at my hardware store for the intended purpose of keeping leaves out of your rain gutter. Used this on my exhaust vent for my furnace, lasting for years, galvanized wire would rust through leaving a large hole in a couple of months.

Some vehicles I had used vent holes so large on that cowl grille, leaves were dropping in plugging up the drain hole, had to add a screen to those, Cruze does not have this problem. Most ran that drain tube down to the bottom, road salt splashes up on your windshield, drain for the Cruze is way to high, that crap will end up on the engine block causing more corrosion.

Always post production work to do if you want your vehicle to last a couple of weeks longer than the warranty period.
 
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