How to Remove a Mouse Nest From a Car's Ventilation System

Updated on January 17, 2019

Are you tired of stinking mice in your car ventilation system? Try these steps.

During the winter, mice love to get into cars and build nests in the ventilation system, usually in the blower fan. To fix this, you can either take the car to the shop and pay them a couple hundred dollars to have them remove it, and then pay this again when the mice come back, or you can do it yourself at home, and while you are at it, make sure the mice never come back.

Here is a guide for the second option. I did this on a 2002 Toyota Sienna and a 2004 Toyota Camry. The pictures below are from the Camry, but whatever your make or model, the steps will be similar.

Step 1
Step 1

Step 1: Remove the Air Intake Cover

Open the hood to your car, and carefully remove the plastic air intake cover. It is below the windshield and is usually attached with some plastic clips or screws. I used the screwdriver and needle nosed pliers at this stage. On the Camry, I had to remove the windshield wipers, but this was not necessary on the Sienna.

Step 2a
Step 2a

Step 2: Clean Out Blower Fan Housing

Once the plastic cover is removed, you can see how the mice are getting into the blower fan. There is a water drain hose that goes down the side of your vehicle. They climb up that, and then down into the ventilation system through the air intake opening. If there is a nest inside, clean it out with your hand or with a vacuum if you have one available.

NOTE: Make sure you wear gloves and a face mask, as there may be mouse droppings inside, which can carry various diseases and viruses.

Step 2b
Step 2b

Here's another picture for Step 2. This one is more of a close-up of the opening where the mice get down into the ventilation system. I've already cleared out the nest that was in there, so you can see the blower fan.

Step 3
Step 3

Step 3: Cover the Blower Fan Intake With Metal Mesh

To keep the mice from returning, put some wire mesh over the hole. The hardest part is attaching the mesh permanently. The Sienna had some screws I took out, then put back in after laying the mesh down. On the Camry, I had to drill some holes and put in some screws on the intake shaft to fasten the mesh.

Step 4: Put the Plastic Air Intake Cover Back on

Put it all back together, and you're done! You just saved yourself about $200, plus any other damage the mice might have done to your blower fan and ventilation system.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Have Further Tips? - (or Questions?)

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    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Omg!! I have a chevy 2003 suburban and the smell to the car wen i turn on the heater its unbearable i dont know how to get it out im a female i dont have the money and i need the help how could i get this rat out my car i think its under the glove compartment please help me

    • profile image

      Troy Hayes 

      5 years ago

      Nicely done. In the past I dropped my heat fan unit from inside the cabin--a real pain. Your method was easier, faster, and allowed me to put a grill of aluminum gutter guard over the opening. Rather than drilling and screwing, I used cotter pins to "paper clip" the grill onto the opening. This worked well. If your car has a cabin filter slot behind the glove box, make sure there's a filter there. In my car the mice built the nest on top of this filter, as it prevented access to the blower.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Man this was short sweet and to the point! Hope you make your living as a teacher.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Could we please have larger photos? These are so small, it's almost impossible to tell what's going on. I appreciate your making the effort to share the information, but without good pictures, it's less useful than it could be.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank You so much jeremyers1..This is such an expensive problem and in today's economy's nice to know someone shares the info like you did..Merry Christmas & a Blessed New Year..

    • jeremyers1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @anonymous: Glad I could help!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have been looking for a way to do this! Very instructional! My wallet and I thank you!!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i hate mouse specially if they are trying to make my car a house. thank you so much for this information.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I can easily imagine this happening. Thank you for the advice.


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