Mouse-Proofing a Toyota Corolla

For the past two years, I have had problems with mice getting into the heating vent of my Toyota Corolla 2010. Each time I would take the cabin air filter out, it would be filled with mice hair and nesting materials. When I took the panel out to see the opening of the air intake, I was surprised to find it a gaping hope. Clearly, the person who designed this lives in a pest-free neighborhood! I decided to fix this problem by putting a mesh filter in the outside of the intake to prevent mice from easily getting in and ruining my filter.

Supplies:

Materials:

  • Wire Fencing. I had some lying around, but this is a good choice. Whatever fencing you choose, make sure that you cannot insert your thumb in between the wires. If so, this means that mice could squeeze through.
  • Metal Screws. I would recommend the self-drilling ones, but you can use any as long as they are just long enough for what you need. I would recommend around one-inch screws.

Tools:

  • Wire snips (or something to cut the wire)
  • Drill
  • Sharpie
  • Metal drill bit (the size of your screw)
  • Measuring tape

Step 1: Open Up the Hood and Find the Plastic Rivet

Open up the hood and look in the plastic drain underneath the windshield wipers. You should see a plastic rivet holding the plastic part to the car. Push the middle of the rivet inwards to pop it off.

Step 2: Remove the Seal

Remove the rubber seal from the plastic drain by finding each plastic rivet inside the seal and pulling gently but firmly upwards until each of them come up.

Step 3: Remove the Plastic Drain

Remove the plastic drain by finding the split in the middle, then pulling up on the left side of the drain, which keeping the other side down. It should just pop out. After that, you should be able to lift up the drain quite easily. However, be cognizant that it will only come away from the windshield wipers if you move it around a little bit.

Step 4: Cut Out the Wire Mesh

Lay out the wire mesh and get your sharpie and measuring tape ready. Choose a corner of the wire mesh, and trim all pointed tabs of wire from that corner, around 12 inches on one side, and 5 inches on the other side. Next, get your sharpie and measuring tape and mark out an 11.5 by 4.5-inch rectangle. Aim to let it fall on the shorter side of 4.5 inches, and try to avoid leaving any pointed tabs of wires on the sides.

Step 5: Inserting the Wire

There is a vertical bar in front of the air filter that you have to work around. The trick is to curve the metal and move it up just enough to get past the bottom part of the bar. Then the challenge is to try to curve it as much as possible so that it fits the curve of the air intake sides. Now you should be ready for screws!

Step 6: Screwing in the Mesh

Finally, you're ready for screws. Screw one to two screws on each side. There should not be any way to get the mesh bent open more than a quarter inch. Be careful not to drill too deep into the other side. Congratulations! The rodents will have to find another source of heat in the winter.

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    2 Discussions

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    ferrotype

    25 days ago on Step 6

    Thank you!! I have a 2004 Matrix (Corolla), and have housed a mouse every Maine winter for the last 2 years. A cute little nest on the floor of the backseat driver's side. I have not been able to figure out where they get in!
    I am doing this our next sunny day!
    CHEERS!!

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    26 days ago

    Nice job on this! I hope it will keep your car mouse free :)