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Open Steering Shaft

Discussion in 'Prius v Technical Discussion' started by rcmosher, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. rcmosher

    rcmosher New Member

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    The steering shaft in my 2013 Prius V is partially exposed where it runs through the cabin near the pedals. There is a plastic housing that comes about half way up the shaft but the rest is exposed. And the top of the housing is open, allowing things to fall into it and rub against the housing. Is it normal for the shaft to be exposed like this?

    Unfortunately, a squirrel managed to get in the cabin and drop a nut in there, causing a lot of noise when the wheel was turned (at least I assume the nut was there as the dealer won't tell me where they found the nut, or whether the shaft should be completely enclosed). As of yet I haven't found a good technique to keep the squirrels away, and would at least like to protect this part of the car from their nuts.
     
  2. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    In every vehicle I have ever seen in the price range of a Prius, it is "exposed" if you twist yourself down below and look up.

    A squirrel shouldn't be able to get in the cabin unless you left a window/door open.
     
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    And if they're getting in, there could be more problems, chewed wires for example.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you might be able to fashion some type of squirrel guard with hardware cloth or the like.
     
  5. rcmosher

    rcmosher New Member

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    Unfortunately chewed wires has been a problem on our Corolla. We've tried a number of deterrents with no success. Traps have been ordered.

    Given the dealers caginess I can't say 100% they've gotten into the cabin of the Prius. But we found a nut inside our car seat which we had been taking in whichever car my wife was in in case we had to rush to the hospital. So they've definitely been inside one of the cars. We've never left the doors open. Any ideas of points they might get in that would need repair?
     
  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Finding nuts inside is common when you get field mice living in the car. Open up your cabin air filter and you'll most likely find a nest or at least a hoard of old acorns and things.

    There is more than one animal that eats acorns... Having a squirrel inside a car is not really possible unless it is really exposed by user error. Having mice inside a car happens all the time as they only need a tiny fraction of an inch opening (of which there are many) to gain access to the cabin, chew on wires, pee on upholstery, etc. If you haven't seen this "squirrel" yet, I would assume it is field mice. This time of the year, they are seeking out warmer areas before the cold hits. Houses and vehicles are being inundated with the little buggers.

    Don't poison them, you'll kill them and all the other food chain. But a couple bags of strongly smelling herbs is usually enough to drive them away.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    search here for mice threads, there are some great write ups with pics on how to cover all the entry points. it's not a task for the feint of heart. i'm a poison guy myself, they carry too many diseases to fool around with. all the best!(y)
     
  8. rcmosher

    rcmosher New Member

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    Any herb recommendations? I've tried peppermint, moth balls, Irish Spring soap, ammonia, a minty smelly product, and ultrasonic noise, but still end up finding nuts in new places. I've heard good things about Fresh Cab, but it is sold out everywhere.
     
  9. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    You just buy the herb bags already mixed from Amazon and they work great. Punch a few holes in them when they come, and done.

    Your problem is that they've been in there before and your car smells like it. You can't just put some herbs in there and make them go away. First you have to get rid of the problem. The herbs prevent the problem, you're past that stage. You need a really good interior detail to get up all the feces and urine that is no doubt throughout the car at this point. Then you can add the herbs.
     
  10. rcmosher

    rcmosher New Member

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    So definitely mice. I heard one crawling around the hood of the Corolla, and it jumped out after a bunch of banging and shaking. Unfortunately it escaped to elsewhere in the car. There was also a significant nest in the Corolla cabin filter, and some seeds and dust in the Prius filter. I guess the squirrels just like to hang out around the cars.

    Does anyone have a link on how to keep them out of the cabin filter? I've found a few threads referencing posts, but have only found dead links. I'll need to do more searching later.

    I also found some rumors that changing the air intake to recirculate instead of bringing in fresh air closes off the outside air intake and could be a way to keep mice out. Anyone know for certain?

    Also, how would I keep mice out of the hood? I suspect keeping it open would make it more difficult for mice to get in but isn't a great long term solution?The Prius, which has insulation on the bottom of the hood, has nuts regularly stored in it. And as I mentioned above, I found a mouse in the hood of the corolla.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Not a lot of suggestions, would think screens on the engine air intake, cabin air intake (if needed, not sure, the cabin air exit flaps (under hatch floor, both sides). First and foremost: get them gone asap, they could be causing irreparable damage, chewing wiring harness for example.

    Our Shiba Inu chased off the one intruder we had. :)
     
  12. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    That makes much more sense.

    Recirculating the air puts a flap down which blocks the vent tube a bit. But there are lots of openings. Mice don't need much of a gap to get through.

    You don't keep mice out of the hood without making full enclosed boxes. There are way too many openings around the car and engine for them to get in.
     
  13. rcmosher

    rcmosher New Member

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    I've put peanut butter scented glue boards in various places around the engine and one in the glovebox. But so far haven't caught anything. Is getting an exterminator the best option?

    Found a useful thread on keeping mice out of the air intake. I've yet to digest it all yet.
    Cabin air system help please! | PriusChat
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I think the most likely egress is the cabin air intake, but not sure. Again, there's two air exit flaps, under the rear hatch floor, in the sub-floor walls, either side. There's flaps over them, so putting in a grill would be tricky. Probably trick for mice too, suspect it's the (pictured) air intake they're using. This is a screen grab from your link, screen on the cabin air intake:

    upload_2017-12-10_13-20-15.png

    See also @NutzAboutBolts video on spark plug change here:

    Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos | PriusChat

    There's a good step-by-step about removing the cowl.

    All of this is for 3rd gen, not the v, but hopefully similar enough.