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something died in my Niro EV
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I have a 2022 Niro EV. Unfortunately, I think something (a mouse perhaps) has climbed in and died with the ducts somewhere. Basically, the smell is worse when the AC is blowing. I haven't been able to find much on where one can access the air intake, etc. Can someone point me in the right direction? Or just take it service and hope for the best? Suggestions?
slight update - definitely found mouse evidence above the air filter (behind the glove box). Seemed to be making a little home in there somehow. But no corpse. sigh. I don't know where else might be reachable by hand.
Definitely take it in; it's possible that your mouse died while chewing on a wire. A friend of mine had a Chevy Volt. Mice chewed on the wiring, and the car had to be totaled. I don't know why rodents like to chew on wiring, but they do.
Pop out the HVAC cabin filter. Another owner discovered a mouse had crawled into the filter plenum and died there. There was some usual rodent material in addition to the mouse body. Make sure you have a filter on your face and gloves on, just in case. Hantavirus is nothing to dismiss.
i am the other owner that found the mouse in the cabin air filter area. i KNOW the smell you are talking about. i just found bedding evidence and one dead mouse. you really cant see anything beyond that area. mine is a 2023, yours may have a little more room to look. i just replaced the filter after removing the debris and dead body. it smells fine now so i guess that was everything.
maybe the IS something in there that attracts them. i have to assume that he came in through wherever the outside air intake is. it was probably a fairly long trip to end up all the way to the cabin air filter. it might be noteworthy that i have a 2023 Bolt EUV setting right next to the Niro in the garage and havent had a problem with it.
Since the early 2000s the electrical wire insulation in vehicles has been a soy-based compound. Probably due to extremely successful marketing/lobbying by the soy bean industry all manufacturers have moved away from petroleum based insulation. The upside for the manufacturers is that the soy insulated wires are less expensive than petroleum based ones. The supposed side environmental benefit is that discarded soy based wiring is better for the environment/landfill--although that does not account for miles of wiring harnesses that are discarded after being used as rodent's chew toys.
Rats love to chew on wiring--it cost us $1800 to replace a wiring harness in our Odyssey almost a couple decades ago--that predated soy wiring.
Be good to try to remove as much of the mouse/mouse byproducts as one can. Nasty things like hanta virus can be spread by aerosolizing dried mouse urine--if one doesn't live in an area where hanta virus is found shouldn't be a problem from that standpoint. I think mouse urine smells nasty with or without the addition of viral particles.
Mice, squirrels, and rats love to nest in warm, dry areas. I have read that rats can get through spaces as small as a US Quarter, clearly mice can get through much smaller gaps.
I have heard that rats especially do not like the smell of Irish Spring, so a few of us on our street place bars of Irish Spring on the top of our tires during the cooler weather months. Invariably one forgets that they are there, the first couple of times the bars just get flattened, the third time the soap gets pelletized. Now the tires have bags of crumbled Irish Spring. Not actually sure if this is a wives tale or if it brilliant marketing from the Irish spring company.
Happened to me in my old Prius, minus the dead part. During the 100K mile maintenance they found a nest in the cabin filter behind the glove box, bunch of wadding and peanut shells, also in the air intake box under the hood. Luckily they had vacated the area sometime before, were most likely rats since they could be commonly seen around the parking area, but who knows how many times they were probably in there when I was driving around. 🐀
I've heard that peppermint oil is excellent at repelling varmints. I had mice invade my apt once and my neighbor recommended it. So I found their infiltration point, stuffed steel wool laced with the oil in the hole and vioia, gone. While peppermint oil is not an unpleasant smell it is powerful. It'll irritate the eyes and maybe breathing a bit but it goes away eventually. A couple of drops on a cotton ball under the hood might do the trick; could just clear the whole garage.
I used a pick to make quarter size drain holes in the side of a 55gal drum to be used as a trashcan. Some time later I watched a plump rat, after he got done hissing at me, push his way out through one of the holes, amazing to see.
We live on a farm and have lots of experience with mice in cars. Clean out the air filter. Buy a new filter with the activated charcoal. Before you put the new one in, take your phone and photograph all arround the inside of the heater, where the lens can see and you can not. I made an attachment for my shopvac that has 2 feet of garden hose that I can poke up and down. Get all of the debris out. We also have mousetraps under both front seats (the box kind) and catch one or two each winter.