Big trouble! Is mouse-proofing the Prime / Gen 4? different?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Shameless, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    I've finally joined the Mickey Mouse club. My Prime went dead while I was pumping up bike tires via a plug-in pump. A relay was clicking endlessly, and I got the "low 12V battery" message telling me to use the emergency brake.

    Maybe it's just an old battery (car is only 2.5 years old), or maybe it's that I barely drive now. But I checked under the hood, and oh joy. Mouse crap everywhere. Acorns on top of 12V battery. Disgusting and dangerous (Hello coronavirus! Meet hantavirus!). I assume I have to act fast or I'll be spending massive money I don't have on new wiring.

    I mouse-proofed my Gen 2 before the Prime, and never had a moment's issue with the buggers. But the Prime is heavily infested. I hope the electrical issues aren't from chewing, but I somehow figure they are. So far, no infestation on the inside, but I long ago used Carista to make sure the valve leading to the cabin filter stays shut when the car isn't running.

    Adding to the joy, my new house is completely un-infested except for the garage, which is a disaster zone full of mouse crap. So I've parked outside to avoid those mice, and instead, apparently just been hanging out with them before they enter the garage.

    So I have two questions. First is as-advertised -- is there a guide to the Prime and Gen 4 for mouse-proofing, or is it the same as for earlier gens?

    Second -- any input on what the hell to do now is appreciated. I need to get rid of whoever is living in the engine compartment, and prevent wire-chewing immediately. I need to make sure nobody else moves in. And I have to clear out and mouseproof a massively infested garage (working on that), so I can put the car there and hopefully avoid further problems.

    Talk about a club I never wanted to join!
     
  2. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    Very possible the low 12volt issue is due to lack of driving. Quite a few threads on that issue. Worse with COVID resulting in lower car usage. Throw a charger on it before it gets too low and battery becomes damaged from deep discharging. Not sure how much draw the air pump produced but I would think the DC to DC converter would keep up with it. You did have the car in READY Mode, right?
     
    #2 schja01, Aug 24, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  3. eatriceyo

    eatriceyo Junior Member

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    park your car in the hot sun and hopefully the heat will draw them out. comprehensive insurance covers any rodent damage if you have it.
     
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  4. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    Wow! Thank you. I hadn't thought of that at all. I did in fact spring for comprehensive for this car. First time I've ever done that. Guess that worked out!
     
  5. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    That depends -- pardon my unfamiliarity with the exact terminology here, but I had it in "ignition mode." I hit the switch twice so it wouldn't be in accessory, but I didn't hit the brake.
     
  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I have not used it myself, so I don't know how effective they are, but there are several brands of commercial rodent repellent specifically sold for automobile use. It can be chemical based or sound producing gadget. Most of chemical based one are in liquid spray form that you have to keep reapplying it every few weeks. I think it is mainly odor based repellents. Sound producing gadget supposed to work at ultrasonic sound waves which rodents dislike. Do the Google search you will find many. I just don't know how effective they are.

    Rodent proofing some potential entry points to the cabin has been discussed in other threads I have read, but I would think none of them will prevent the rodents getting into the engine compartment where the most damages can occur. Your best bet would be to do more frequent drives. Or get cats.;) Good luck.
     
  7. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    Hitting the Power switch twice without the brake puts it in Accessory Mode. You were powering the car entirely from the 12V battery--a definite no-no in both the Gen 4 Hybrid and Prime! If you need to run accessories, put the car in READY mode by pressing the Power button with the brake depressed (like you do before driving). This energizes the big battery which powers the 12V circuit keeping the 12V battery under the hood from depleting. Powering a small air compressor entirely from the 12V battery will definitely deplete it, as you observed.
     
    #7 FuelMiser, Aug 25, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  8. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    Though I'm chagrined to not know I did that, I'm relieved. That does seem to significantly lessen the chances that it's mice-chewed wiring.

    Yesterday I left the hood open in bright sunlight, then while I was inside working, I didn't notice that it clouded up. My engine got a pummeling from rain for a few minutes, and now almost all the mouse presents are gone. At least I'll get a clean slate to see if they return.

    I've looked into chemical and sound repellents, and it seems that most don't really do much, or don't work for long if at all. It's discouraging, to say the least. Maybe one of the strobe-light contraptions would help? I live in rural New England, and to live here is to constantly battle these nasty critters.
     
  9. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    Oh, and does anyone know if mouse-proofing a Prime is going to be pretty much the same as what I did with an '04?

    I'm going to give it a try. Obviously that won't keep them out of the engine, but I will lose my mind if they get inside the car!
     
  10. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    My dog would not approve! :) She's already half-crazy with all the rabbits around here!

    The chemical stuff, well, I don't suppose it can hurt to try, despite what I posted above about few of them seeming to work. Can't hurt to try when you're desperate!
     
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  11. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    Pretty sure the 12volt only gets charged in READY mode. Press brake press START button. READY will display on MID Multi Information Display. It’s the mode you are in when you actually are ready to drive the car.
     
  12. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    Thanks! Very glad to know that. It does raise the question of why they bothered with whatever that other mode is -- if it drains the battery, it seems to be the "okay, now you can actually lower the windows" super-duper accessory mode! :LOL:
     
  13. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    Get a cat.
     
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  14. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    If it were me, I wouldn't worry about rodent proofing the car. Spend a day taking everything out of the garage, find all their nests, hiding places and entry ways, hit it with a shop vac and pressure wash it, get rid of the junk, put everything useful back, and then put out a few traps and possibly poison bait. One problem with some poisons is that if your dog chews a dead rodent, it could poison the dog, also. Simple traps baited with peanut butter have worked best for me.
     
  15. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    I can thing of three reasons off the top of my head there are probably more and better ones..
    If you’re anal about the engine starting in an enclosed space?
    If you’re anal about accidentally putting the car in drive?
    If you’re anal about accidentally draining the traction battery (at the expense of draining the 12volt instead). ;)
     
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  16. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    Yeah, I think I'm going this kind of route, though I am also going to cover some car entry points up. I think I've found their main entry into my garage. The big infestation is inside the wooden steps leading from garage to house. I have to seal that up, somehow. I can't get to the part of my house beneath the back porch, though. It's utterly impossible, and a probable route in.

    There's almost nothing in the garage, thankfully. And I just got 24 snap traps.

    I don't have a lot of things I used to, unfortunately including my shop vac and pressure washer. (Moved quickly because of divorce.) But I've got a mop and bleach! I'm probably overly careful because of hantavirus, but there are ways, even without the best tools.
     
  17. powercat

    powercat New Member

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    Shameless- I am pretty sure you can mouseproof prime as far as keeping them out of interior which i have attempted (time will tell) there is a large opening under wiper cowling whick leads into ac/heating fan -needs to be screened off, also in each front wheel well behind plastic liner at top area you will see a rectangular about 2x3 opening that i think goes to same area-screen this off- in rear quarters you have to pull inner rear interior panels to get to vents for battery ventilation, these are about 5x6, and there is one small circular vent at bottom of trunk area also for battery vent- I screened all these off.Of course this does nothing for wiring protection as they can still get under hood etc but I also rustproofed car myself with Rusfre which is like thick version of fluid film and I dont think they will like that as it is petro based.Finally you could leave hood open with an led light on over engine whenever it is parked in garage as they dont like lit up areas.Good luck
     
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  18. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    One could always go low tech and scatter some of these around the interior perimeter of the garage. Bacon makes a good bait. I get a few when the wether turns colder. They see to always come in pairs. Ymmv.
     

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  19. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    Yep! Just got 24 of those traps. I had 12, and I think I've caught 5 mice with those. And I have a shovel and an N95 mask and goggles. I may look like a hazmat LARPer, but I'm gonna win this battle. :)
     
    #19 Shameless, Aug 27, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
  20. Shameless

    Shameless Member

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    Thanks! That's exactly what I was hoping to find out, and specifically if it's the same for the Prime. So far, no mice inside the car. I want to keep it that way. I did the full screen treatment on my '04. I'm ready to repeat.
     
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