How to Clean Out a Mouse Nest in Your Car Heater

Written by brandy alexander
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How to Clean Out a Mouse Nest in Your Car Heater
They may look cute, but they can cause serious problems to your car as well. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

When it gets cold outside, animals start looking for safe and warm places to nest. Mice, in particular can be a serious problem in your car. Often, they are found in borrowed into your cars heater core, located under the dashboard, where they continue to forage and chew and collect debris, preventing the heater from operating properly. If they die while embedded in your heater, the terrible smell will let you know, but decomposing mice can also produce toxic vapours which must be taken care of.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches

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  1. 1

    Determine the location of the mouse or mouse nest. If there is a mouse alive and living in the car, a dog or cat can help to sniff it out. Mice can nest in around the heater core itself, or in the ductwork from the heater core to the vents.

  2. 2

    Purchase a shop manual for your car. Here comes the bad news: you will most likely have to remove the dashboard of your car to get access to the heater core. This is a really big job, cars were not designed to have their dashboards removed, and it will probably take you between 10 and 20 hours to remove it without breaking it. Haynes or Chilton manuals will walk you through the specifics.

  3. 3

    Clean any debris left behind from the mouse and deconstruct any nests you find. Be especially careful when working around the heater core (a small radiator looking box) as the heat transfer veins are very thin and may puncture if prodded.

  4. 4

    Follow the directions for the reassembly of the dashboard once all nest material has been removed and cleaned.

Tips and warnings

  • Place some moth balls in especially hard to get areas to deter future mice from moving back in.
  • Do this work yourself, slowly and carefully, as having a dash removed by a mechanic will cost upwards of £650.
  • If a mouse has died, wear a respirator when working on the car as toxic spores may be present.

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