Squirrels caught in the HVAC

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by ErikK, May 29, 2021.

  1. ErikK

    ErikK New Member

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    Look what I found when I removed the glovebox.
    There's a long story which I'll share if there is interest...
    The bottom line is a $2300 insurance claim and now there is wire mesh in the cabin air intake. squirrel-V-zoom.jpg

    Squirrel-V-Full.jpg
     
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  2. wafwat

    wafwat Junior Member

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  3. privilege

    privilege Active Member

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    $2300 ??? man the price of ammo had gone insane !
     
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  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Good you had a comprehensive on your car. Were you able to remove them alive?
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that has to be a first. please share...
     
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  6. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    That's not unusual. One day my wife's Camry Hybrid made a terrible racket in the dashboard when it was started. It also vibrated like a washing machine on spin cycle with a single tennis shoe in it. We did some investigating and found that a mouse/rat had eaten though the HEPA filter and curled up in the squirrel cage fan. When the car was started it ran the fan up to speed and any part of the animal that could fit between the blades was pulverized. Since it was out of balance, the car shut the fan down. The rodent was quite dead by the time we found it.

    I cleaned the fan thoroughly and sealed any holes I could find before putting it back in service.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Toyota, do this at the factory!
     
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  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Always used to think that name was, you know, metaphor.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    great picture, now let's hear the story!
     
  10. ErikK

    ErikK New Member

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    OK here is a little more of the story.
    Episode 0: Squirrels got into our RV and did a lot of damage. 3 rounds of squirrel proofing and repairs. A few years ago.
    Episode 1: Something sounded like leaves in the HVAC blower on the Prius. Changed the filter, cleared debris out of the fan, didn't think too much about it. "huh, maybe something got in here".
    Episode 2, the exciting one: We're driving down the road one sunny morning this spring, going to our first brunch out after many months of covid... the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the Prius is running great... and suddenly my sweetie SHRIEKS and says "pull over pull over pull over" and jumps out of the car maybe even before we came to a stop. I thought maybe a bee had flown in and stung her. It turns out something, some unidentified critter, had run across her sandaled feet. She was not happy. I don't recall if we finished the drive with her sitting cross legged on the seat, or if she insisted on driving and left me in the passenger seat. For sure she wasn't putting her feet down in the passenger footwell. Anyway after brunch we got back home and I took out the glovebox and took the photo above.

    Repairing all the damage ended up being an over $2000 insurance claim. We talked the dealer into installing wire mesh which we supplied, while they were doing the insurance work.

    Episodes 3,4,5 involved finding more expensive damage to the RV and the hot tub, and a serious discussion of the merits of pellet guns versus electrocution traps. And a recognition of our contribution to the local ecosystem, we have been feeding the birds which inevitably means feeding the squirrels, and we no longer have cats. We made some changes.

    Episode 6 is that the little ##@@s chewed through the wires on the upstream O2 sensor. The light came on and she took it to the dealer but they declined to replace the sensor under warranty. So I replaced the sensor but the problem has not gone away, I wonder if the chewed wires shorted out and damaged the ECU. We'll see.....
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    wow, that qualifies as an infestation...
     
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