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Old 08-20-2009, 10:21 PM   #1
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Dead animal in AC / Heating vents, HELP!

Even since I got my new truck, my Acura has only seen the road about 3 times in about 2 weeks.

I got into my car this morning and I noticed a ripe kind of smell ... I knew what was up.

Finally, I head over to a friends house and my car was in the sun for about a couple hours .. when I stepped in .. oh my god .. I nearly puked. I know for sure it's a dead animal in the heating / AC vents.

I popped the hood and smelled nothing, even with a warm engine.

One wiff of the vents and you can definitely tell something died in there ..

Now .. how the hell do I go about removing the animal? I didn't see any DIY on looking / cleaning out the AC / Heating vents ..

Any idea where it could have crawled in?

Help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:32 PM   #2
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My friend had a dead animal in his car also. He tore half the car apart and couldn't find it. After about two weeks the animal decomposed and the smell went away.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:44 PM   #3
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I would try the fresh air intake first--it is located under the black plastic cowling at the base of the windshield where the windshield wiper arms attach and is exposed to the outside of the car. Get your nose right up against it to see what you can find. If you need to remove it, there are instructions in this thread:
http://tl.acurazine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739098 Post #31

Then, I would do a sniff check of the inside vents to see if it was on the sides or the center. The center vents are pretty easy to pop out---take off the silver trim piece running up one side of the center console. Wrap a screwdriver in a towel and gently pry up on the center vent piece and it will pop upwards. Disconnect the wires to the LED display and hazard switch and you can look right down the vents.
You may also want to replace your cabin air filter---you can get some with de-odorizers added to the filter. There is a DIY for this in the 3G Garage.

Good Luck
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #4
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Pull the air filter and take a look there. I had a family of mice set up shop in my air vents. (My car sat in the garage during the week and was only driven on the weekends.) They stashed about 4 cups of cat food on top of my air cleaner, so that's where they were living.

On a side note, not to alarm you but I became ill because of this. Apparently my body had a reaction to the dander, feces, or urine that was in the air ducts. Respiratory hypersensitivity....worst I've felt in years.

You might want to consider having the ducts professionally cleaned or run a can of lysol through the air intake vents and cycle all of the output modes.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:23 PM   #5
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suks

check u system out
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:38 AM   #6
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UCM to the resuce.

I highly doubt that the vermit can enter thru the cowl itself.
Click the image to open in full size.


The vermit CAN enter thru a large crevis between where the cowl gutter and fender mate. I poured one gallon of water as fast as I could from a bucket into this area. The water gussed out as fast as I poured it in. That tells me that there is a large passageway thru the gutter, thru the fender, down the fenderwell, and to the outside. Well, Mr. Vermit followed this path going the opposite direction.
Click the image to open in full size.

Once inside the gutter area, there is ONLY one entry into the vehicle interior.
The arrows point to the HVAC Fresh Air Inlet.
Click the image to open in full size.

Once Mr. Vermit entered into the Fresh Air duct, he needs to chew the HVAC airfilter (also called pollen filter). I lack any futher knowlege. He might be stopped at that point by the "squiral cage" fan.

(sorry for spelling... close to bedtime)
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:21 AM   #7
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Just thought of something.

I bet that the animal is in this gutter area. Usually, the fresh air vent is closed when the car is off.

Try this. With your AC on and the RECIRC on, check if the smell goes away. Now, turn off the RECIRC to allow air to flow from this gutter area. When you have the fresh air on (RECIRC off), the air will be coming in from this gutter area. If the smell is much stronger, then this proves that he is in the gutter (under the plastic cowl).
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:31 AM   #8
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Thanks guys for the quick responses. Time to tackle this project tomorrow .. I sure hope I can flush this bastard out ..

I am showing my car frequently .. don't want people smelling this lol.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:38 AM   #9
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pull the cain filter and inspect/replace it- spray lysol into the vents from there as said before, inspect blower motor and wiring,,what you think is animal could be electrical
- odd for animal to not stink every second!

Make sure to dry the vent tubing after ac useage by running fan only for a few minutes before shutdown
Check the rear ac vent in center console is open- or air gets trapped in there, better to let it pass thru and out
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:40 AM   #10
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any fast food wrapper get left under the seat?
check for anything and everything inside cabin and the trunk,,, before ripping the car apart~
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:46 AM   #11
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Ouch, I'm glad I never ran into such a problem. Good info.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:46 AM   #12
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Eeeewwwwwww! Hope you find the source of the smell. Keep us updated.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:42 AM   #13
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BTW, here is a better view of the gutter (aka, Grand Canyon) that I mentioned.

Click the image to open in full size.

Below are pages from the Service Manual in case you have to "go in".

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 08-21-2009, 09:47 AM   #14
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Do you smell this with the A/C off when sitting in the car then it becomes noticable when you turn on the air cond.?
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:03 AM   #15
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I had a dead gecko in my a/c vent.. fk that smelled. I can only imagine if you have dead rat in yours..
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:04 AM   #16
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Inaccurate... did you remove your cowl to get better gas mileage?
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:18 PM   #17
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Close... To get more HP. Really? How do you get more HP from removing the cowl? See link below.

The Ultimate Cooling Mod (click here)
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:34 PM   #18
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Inaccurate hit it RIGHT on the head! I took off the passenger side cowl and sure enough, mice nest with 3 shriveled up baby mice (They're about the size of a small shrimp)

It's about a softball sized wad of shit right on top of the HVAC / Heating filter.

Upon further inspection, I did not find the mother .. it's still probably in the system ..

I filled up a bucket of water and flushed that channel and the water went straight down the passenger wheel well .. but no mouse.

Any other ideas Mr Exterminator? .
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:36 PM   #19
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Wow---I get no respect!
I'm glad you found it though.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:39 PM   #20
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Wow---I get no respect!
I'm glad you found it though.
Oh shit, sorry man .. haha .. I had intent to add you!

Thanks much man .. I don't know what I would do without this forum sometimes.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:49 PM   #21
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Here's a pic of it .. I wish I had my DSLR camera with a macro lens ..

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:57 PM   #22
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The mother may have left once you started the car. Glad you found the problem and took care of it. Time for an air freshener?
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:00 PM   #23
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I'll probably just leave the AC / Heater on for about 25 minutes with plenty of Lysol .. because the vents still reek.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:02 PM   #24
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Change out that cabin filter too!
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:42 PM   #25
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I'll probably just leave the AC / Heater on for about 25 minutes with plenty of Lysol .. because the vents still reek.
Yeah, leave your doors and windows open when you do that. If there's any chance you might have a reaction to that stuff like I did, you don't want any of it lingering in the passenger compartment.

Nice job, Inaccurate! If you weren't so anal for horsepower, we'd be SOL!!
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:24 PM   #26
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Nice job, Inaccurate! If you weren't so anal for horsepower, we'd be SOL!!
The credit should rightfully go to "dwb993". In post #3 of this thread, he recommended the same thing that I recommended.

My apologizes "dwb993". I think that we all failed (including me) to grasp what you had meant to say in your post (#3). I saw you say that you get no respect. I went back up the thread to your post (#3). Then, I realized it. Sorry for stealing your idea. I did not knowingly do it.
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:35 PM   #27
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The credit should rightfully go to "dwb993". In post #3 of this thread, he recommended the same thing that I recommended.

My apologizes "dwb993". I think that we all failed (including me) to grasp what you had meant to say in your post (#3). I saw you say that you get no respect. I went back up the thread to your post (#3). Then, I realized it. Sorry for stealing your idea. I did not knowingly do it.
No worries, bud! I was watching your UMC thread and put 2 and 2 together.

You really deserve the credit. I'm just glad we could all help out another AZiner fix what I'm sure is a nasty, potentially health damaging problem. Dead animals (rodents especially) can be a significant health issue.

TylerT, make sure you clean all of that shit out as best you can. You definitely do NOT want to be breathing that crap!
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:03 PM   #28
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TylerT, when did you car smell? all the time? when you first got in it? when you ran the A/C?
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:35 PM   #29
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wow i had no idea stuff like this could happen.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:54 PM   #30
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Here's a pic of it .. I wish I had my DSLR camera with a macro lens ..

Click the image to open in full size.
God Dam Dude!! Glad you were able to get that shit out and work on getting the smell outta there, that is a nightmare.
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #31
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TylerT, when did you car smell? all the time? when you first got in it? when you ran the A/C?
When an animal dies in your HVAC / heating vents, it smells all the time.
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:20 PM   #32
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Crazy...
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:45 PM   #33
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Oh yeah, it happens, especially if your car sets for days without being driven. I pulled about 4 cups of cat food out from on top of my filter:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:16 AM   #34
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I am soooo glad you were able to get your car straightened out!!!....but I must say this thread made me laugh... same thing happened after my Dad died and the car he had bought for my sis had sat for months without a start... it was squirrels in her car air intake... couldn't even start the car due to the nest... LOL

Also got jacked by a rat that ate all the wires on the firewall in my CLS... to the tune of about $600... I had left my car at the Bush airport for about a week while I was out of town... I heard someone say the airport here in Houston had big rats, but I didn't believe them... my bad huh?
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:00 AM   #35
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God Dam Dude!! Glad you were able to get that shit out and work on getting the smell outta there, that is a nightmare.
That is one of the nastiest things I could imagine pulling out of a car..
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:38 PM   #36
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Wow did the mice gather all that random crap into your run channel? That's pretty gross..I'd go to a doctor immediately if you start to feel ill in the next week or two.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:27 PM   #37
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Oh yeah, it happens, especially if your car sets for days without being driven. I pulled about 4 cups of cat food out from on top of my filter:

Click the image to open in full size.
At least it was on top of the filter and easy to clean. They somehow got all the way in to the squirrel cage in my MR2 when it slept in the garage one winter. Deposited what must've been a whole bag of dog food in there. Pulled it out of storage and fired up the A/C. Sounded like wood chipper. I got all the dog food out, but it permanently imbalanced the cage fan, so I'll have to rip the whole dash apart to fix it. I'll get around to it one of these days. The advantage of T-tops is that you don't really need the vent system very often
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:51 PM   #38
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Yeah, the filter kept them from getting down into the fan area, but a bunch of the cat food fell down into the squirrel cage when I pulled the filter out. It was enough to burn out the resistor/s in the fan. Cost me about $160 to have the fan fixed and the whole duct work cleaned out. I still ran 3 can of lysol through the whole system after I got the car back. I never want to be sick like that again. It was not a good time in my life.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:47 AM   #39
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Haha, Same thing happened to me while putting on my AEM intake. When I took the stock intake off the frigin thing had a dead mouse in it! Looked like it died YEARS ago. LOL. Disgusting nonetheless. :P
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:11 PM   #40
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time for a cat lol
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:11 PM
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