During the winter, mice love to get into cars and build nests in the ventilation system, usually in the blower fan. To fix this, you can either take the car to the shop and pay them a couple hundred dollars to have them remove it, and then pay this again when the mice come back, or you can do it yourself at home, and while you are at it, make sure the mice never come back.
Here is a guide for the second option. I did this on a 2002 Toyota Sienna and a 2004 Toyota Camry. The pictures above are from the Camry, but whatever your make or model, the steps will be similar.
Tools Needed: a regular screw driver, a pair of needle-nosed pliers, a socket wrench, and some wire mesh.
Time Required: about 30 minutes.
Step 1: Remove the air intake cover.
Open the hood to your car, and carefully remove the plastic air intake cover. It is below the windshield and is usually attached with some sort of plastic clips or screws. I used the screw driver and needle nosed pliers at this stage. On the Camry, I had to remove the windshield wipers, but this was not necessary on the Sienna.
Step 2: Clean out Blower fan housing.
Once the plastic cover is removed, you can see how the mice are getting into the blower fan. There is a water drain hose that goes down the side of your vehicle. They climb up that, and then down into the ventilation system through the air intake opening. If there is a nest inside, clean it out with your hand or with a vacuum if you have one available.
Look at the “Step 2” pictures above to see the opening where the mice get down into the ventilation system. I’ve already cleared out the nest that was in there, so you can see the blower fan.
NOTE: Make sure you wear gloves and a face mask, as there may be mouse droppings inside which can carry various diseases and viruses.
Step 3: Cover the blower fan intake with metal mesh.
To keep the mice from returning, put some wire mesh over the hole. The hardest part is attaching the mesh permanently. The Sienna had some screws I took out, then put back in after laying the mesh down. On the Camry, I had to drill some holes and put in some screws on the intake shaft to fasten the mesh.
Step 4: Put the plastic air intake cover back on.
Put it all back together, and you’re done! You just saved yourself about $200, plus any other damage the mice might have done to your blower fan and ventilation system.