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Nick,
The plastic screen stuff for rain gutters is, IMO, a great option.......cut to fit in the end plate holes, would not promote rust and would prevent critter intrusion......inexpensive too.

Sold in four foot lengths....should be enough for the next ten cars.

Rob
 

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Got an 8" wide 20' roll of the stuff for under three bucks from Fleet Farm, only needed 5" of the stuff, but needed it. Could donate it to the cause, but the cost of envelopes and mailing would be prohibitive.
 

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So, can anyone tell me if other GM vehicles have this exact same "flapper valve" drain on the firewall that opens up large enough to let a chipmunk in? The small Buick? The small Cadillac? The more I think about it, noting how much that flap lifts up on it's hinges, I could have had a chipmunk nesting on the In Cabin Air Filter, but there were no turds in the flutes, just urine, so I couldn't to a feces size/shape analysis for mouse vs. chipmunk.
 

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My car sits outside 100% of the time, and always find a ton of leaves on my cabin filter because of it. After the first 1.5 years of ownership, I noticed that drain on the firewall was stuck wide open with old rotting leaves and debris. My guess if rodents were getting in though that flap, it was because like mine it was jammed open in the first place.
 

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I am confident the critters are going in through the side openings.....can't imagine a mouse going through the acrobatics and effort to get in that way.

Rob
 

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I am confident the critters are going in through the side openings.....can't imagine a mouse going through the acrobatics and effort to get in that way.
That's exactly what I think as well, however if that flapper is blocked wide open something could get in that way. just take a few minutes to ensure the drain flap isn't stuck open. Much more likely they could enter that way if it is just an open hole(flap jammed open).

The OP mentions finding cabin filter pieces under this flap, since this is the drain point any pieces the mice have spread in the cowl would end up at this drain eventually.
 

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My car sits outside 100% of the time, and always find a ton of leaves on my cabin filter because of it. After the first 1.5 years of ownership, I noticed that drain on the firewall was stuck wide open with old rotting leaves and debris. My guess if rodents were getting in though that flap, it was because like mine it was jammed open in the first place.
How in the world are you getting all the leaves in there? Is somebody ironing them flat and carefully sliding them sideways through those thin slots in the cowl grille?

With that drain door wide open, can't even squeeze my baby finger up there. But that space where the that pipe comes up through the floor in my motohome was even small than this. About 3/16" width.
 

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How in the world are you getting all the leaves in there? Is somebody ironing them flat and carefully sliding them sideways through those thin slots in the cowl grille?
No idea, all tiny pieces of leaves. all the pleats of the cabin filter will be 60% ore more full every fall after the leaves stop falling. Have founds some pieces larger than a quarter laying on top the cabin filter and a few trying to make there way past the filter on the door edge(where you change the filter).

The nasty sludge I found at the firewall flap was very broken down wet leaves, probably similar size pieces as the cabin filter gets plugged up with.
 

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No idea, all tiny pieces of leaves. all the pleats of the cabin filter will be 60% ore more full every fall after the leaves stop falling. Have founds some pieces larger than a quarter laying on top the cabin filter and a few trying to make there way past the filter on the door edge(where you change the filter).

The nasty sludge I found at the firewall flap was very broken down wet leaves, probably similar size pieces as the cabin filter gets plugged up with.
Heard rumors about gremlins, but haven't seen them yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Hi guys, thanks for all the info. We had a chance this morning to remove the passenger side cowl, it was not necessary to remove wipers to get it off (3 fasteners). This is how the central outlet drain is attached.

100_7645.jpg


The large object above it is the air inlet to the area above the cabin air filter. This is where NickD's screening would go to keep a mouse away from the filter and HVAC system.

100_7651.jpg

The fender drains Robby was talking about are about 2x2 inches on our car.

100_7648.jpg

The lines nearby the flap are very easy for a mouse to stand on and get to the flap - about an inch to the braided hose to the side and about 3 inches to the big A/C hose underneath.

100_7652.jpg

Whether the mouse came in through the fender drain or the central drain, putting NickD's screening over the air inlet by the filter would keep mice and other debris out of the HVAC system.
 

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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.
The only thing I worry about is that critters might chew though plastic. Decades ago I know I saw the same thing made from aluminum. I'd think that would be more critter resistant.
 

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I actually had the same issue on my 2011 Cruze. I tried the decon and it worked, but you can imagine the smell of dead mice coming out form the vents for some time..
filter.jpg

I ended up covering the cabin intake port ( I borrowed the previous picture so other would know what "port" I was talking about.
intake.jpg

with piece 1/4 inch galvanized wire mesh I got at the local hardware store. I cut and bent the piece to fit, then fastened it with self tapping screws to the cabin intake. I don't have a picture of this finished, but it has been over a year without anymore mice. I would not try to block all the individual drains as the mice will find another way up to the big entrance....
 

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Indeed the fender drain openings are big enough to let in a small dog, but what about the actual outlet points down lower for these drains - how big are those openings? Too lazy to pull a front wheel and pour some water down the cowl to find out. Anybody know?
 

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Kinda weird......I'm bouncing between the Miata forum and this one this evening.

A guy posted, with pictures, a shot of a rat, dead in the squirrel cage of the blower with the same 'how'd he get there?' questions.
Miata's don't have cabin filters so this big boy just went up inside the fender, through the big end openings, and evidently fell down the inlet hole, right into the squirrel cage.

Car had been parked a few days.....rat evidently met his maker at some point.....when the owner drove the car and turned on the blower it vibrated......a lot.
He dropped the blower and 'surprise!'.........heh heh......I think just finding droppings and debris on the filter is OK in comparison.

Rob
 

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Nostalgia time. My first car was an '62 Impala SS. It sat outside 'cause Mom & Dad's cars were in the garage. One cold morning, I went to leave for school, cranked the engine and heard a "thump da bump de bump" from under the hood. Shut down and opened the hood to find the neighbor's long haired cat wadded up in the space between the headlight and the fender well with most of his under-hair missing. Seems he crawled up on the warm engine for the night. The only way out was to go over the generator. The belt mist have grabbed the hair and tossed him aside. He was PO'd and lept out of the engine room making a straight line back home.
 

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Ha, don't even get me started with that motorhome, MVAC was loaded with that stuff. Under that eight foot wide dash panel was a huge piece of plywood that was installed before they fastened the entire fiberglass front. Had to cut that down the middle to remove it to get to all that MVAC ducting. Was a home for these critters.
 

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I bought a cheap used 1986 Buick Lesabre once that needed some work. After a month in a friends garage when we finally went on the maiden voyage got about 10ft and entire cabin filled with smoke. Pulled the squirrel cage and found it completely packed with a mouse nest, which somehow had cough fire.
 

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I hate to revive a five month old thread, but I thought it was better than creating a new one. Add my name to the list of Cruze owners who have had a mouse infestation in their car. My culprits seem to have found the central drain (see pic below) as it was surrounded by their mess. The intake for the HVAC has to be one of the dumbest designs I've ever seen. The GM bean counter that saw fit not to cover the intake with some sort of grille or mesh should have the five dead baby mice I found in the intake and on top of my cabin air filter mailed to him. Thankfully they didn't seem to have made it beyond the cabin air filter further into the HVAC system.

Anyway a good cleaning out the with shop vac and all the mess was gone. I went and bought some wire mesh rat wire and covered the intake securing with self tapping screws and silicone. While I was in there I went ahead and covered the central drain and fender drains with rat wire mesh as well. I hope my "engineering" fixes this so that it doesn't happen again. Other than the mice mess there wasn't a bit of trash in the cowl... we don't have any trees so I don't expect any problem having the mesh over the drains.

Anyway thanks to everyone who posted in this thread. You made fixing this mess a not so pleasant breeze. (No pun intended) Hate to think what a dealer would have charged.

Anyway here's some pictures of the lovely nest I found in the car.

central drain.jpg mouse nest close.jpg mouse nest wide.jpg


Oh BTW special thanks to Reno4zr for the idea about the 1/4 inch mesh.
 
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