Paul from PA

Strangest place to find a mouse

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I purchased a 1993 Roadmaster  four years ago and the woman I bought it from said then  coolant light would come on once in a while and that it had been doing that for as long as she could remember. When it came on for me I assumed it was just part of the deal. The car never overheated or had indications of being hot. I just drive it sometimes in the summer as I have other vehicles. Last year I drove it to the Mecum auction in Harrisburg for a ride out and back. No issues out but on the way back the temp gauge was maxed. I put a little coolant in the overflow and babied her back home.  Changed the thermostat and it was fine until about a week later and it got hot again. I took it back to the shop and they found the remains of a mouse in the hose between the radiator and the overflow tank. I guess it had been in there for several years.

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I found one, along with a lot of acorn shells and seat cushion stuffing, in my flywheel cover.  I know those suckers can squeeze in just about anywhere, but for the life of me, I have no idea how one would ever get in there. 

 

I also found a 5' long snakeskin and snake skeleton under the seat.  It was a whole food chain in there at one point :)

 

 

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Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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I bought a complete 1927 motor that had been used as a stationary motor mounted on a stake truck to drive a boom lift in a forest to move trees after they had been cut down.

It had been sitting covered for a long time and once home I tried to move the clutch. No Go!

The only hole was around the grease tube for the throwout bearing.

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Once I pulled the cover off found it was FULL of nesting material! Not sure if a carcass was in there but what a mess...

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Last year I found a pack rat, dead, inside the front seat cushion of a '52 Studebaker I was restoring. Crammed in with the dead body were a couple of garbage cans full of gum wrappers, hamburger wrappers, ice cream bar wrappers, aluminum foil, cash register receipts, pieces of paper bags, pieces of plastic bags, chicken bones, seeds, you name it--if it belonged in a garbage container it was there packed among the springs inside the seat. The stench was so bad that I ended up having to totally strip out the interior, all of the seat stuffing, all of the padding, all of the upholstery, all of the carpet, the carpet pad, etc. The car had been totally restored in 1986, and then allowed to sit outside in a parking lot for 30 years, windows rolled up, but one crucial thing was missing: The cover plate for the master cylinder access hole in the floorboard. All of that stuff was brought in through that hole. Ended up costing me about $3000 for an entirely new interior and the old restored one had no wear on it, just a rotten stench.

Pete Phillips

 

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Going on 25 years ago my MIL had a Sundance that occasionally smelled when the heat was on. My SIL drove it mostly and she was a bit messy.  Several mechanics and shops couldn't figure it out.  Some said to replace the catalytic converter, or brakes,  other had no real suggestions.   I got tired of hearing ll this and decided to get to the bottom of it.  I found bird seed in the air cleaner assembly.  Then decided to take the heat vents apart.  You guessed it, dead mouse dropped out.  Problem solved.  MIL kept lots of bird seed in her garage.  Wasn't the only time seed managed to find it's way into the engine compartment.

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Some cars have a small window in the flywheel cover to check timing marks on the flywheel, it is a mouse door!

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I was getting ready to install the gas tank on my 1908 Buick when I turned the gas tank over and heard something rattling around. Turned it upside down and out fell a mouse.  Petrified and hard as a rock.  Have no idea how or when it got in the tank.

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Years ago I was restoring a '69 Riviera. The gas tank had a huge dent in it so I wandered down to my parts car to check the condition of that one.  I found someone in the past had removed the trunk inspection plate and the sender but the tank was in good condition. I dropped the tank and walked it back to the shop.  As I carried the tank I heard something metallic and heavy rolling inside the trunk.  I got out my flexible gripper and fished out the remnants of a locking gas cap someone had pried off.  I also saw a piece of what looked like yarn so I grabbed it with my gripper and surprisingly it had some heft to it.  To my surprise it was a good sized rat soaked in gasoline.  Evidently he climbed through the access hole and couldn't get out.  My buddy came out of the shop and observed the rat. He nudged it with his toe and all of a sudden the rat jumped up and ran full tilt to the end of the driveway.  We ran to it and again he nudged it with his toe but this time he had no response.  "Is he dead?" my friend asked.  "Naw" I replied, "He's just run out of gas".  Some of this is true!

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44 minutes ago, ol' yeller said:

Some of this is true!

 

 

46 minutes ago, ol' yeller said:

Years ago I was restoring a '69 Riviera.

I have a feeling that this is the part that isn't true.  After all, none of us are getting any older. 😁

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9 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

 

 

I have a feeling that this is the part that isn't true.  After all, none of us are getting any older. 😁

 Actually that part is true. It was the singularly most expensive $300 car I have ever owned. The restoration took place in 2003.

 

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Back in '82 I was restoring a Corvair and my early method of degreasing parts was a 5 gallon lacquer thinner can I had cut the top out of (with a cutting torch!, there is a method to do this safely, involves filling it with water) and then put in some SC Degreaser and kerosene. I would eat popcorn in the garage and then I started noticing mouse droppings. Then I did not notice any more droppings.  I would leave parts in the degreaser for days, the degreaser would get dirty and you could not see under the liquid.

 

Then one day I was reaching in the 5 gallon pail for parts and cleaning them, when I picked up a squishy part!😂

 

 

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On another auto forum i visit, there is a discussion about current models having mouse attractive wiring.  Seems the critters like the taste of the more "natural" insulation.  They cause no end of electrical gremlins.  Would hate to spend $$$$ on a new car and then have that happen.

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7 hours ago, riv2x4 said:

On another auto forum i visit, there is a discussion about current models having mouse attractive wiring.  Seems the critters like the taste of the more "natural" insulation.  They cause no end of electrical gremlins.  Would hate to spend $$$$ on a new car and then have that happen.

I believe the problem was corrected in NEW production.  This became apparent in the era of the early mini vans.

 

  Ben

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True Ben, I believe the wiring covering was a soy based, rather then plastic based wire covering.

 

John

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Some years ago I bought a non-running 1954 Oldsmobile as a fix-up project. A friend and I got it running out in the driveway with the radiator cap off and I was adding water a little bit at a time. For some reason I had my head under the hood looking down at the side of the engine when a soaking-wet mouse stuck its head right out of the top of the radiator! My buddy yelled "Hey look at that!" Scared the S*** out of me! It shook itself off like a dog would do, I reached for a screwdriver or something to hit it with but it fell off the radiator and got away. Darndest thing I ever saw. I set a few mousetraps outside the house and got the mouse in a day or two. I fixed the car up, had it licensed and started driving it. It would run cool at idle but when I drove it at speed it would overheat. After I removed the radiator cap there were lots of pieces of mouse nest floating around inside the radiator and it took a good cleaning from a radiator shop to solve the problem. I don't know how it ever got in there but the car had been sitting for quite a while. 

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My mouse didn't arrive nested in a car but rather inside a 1934 Atwater Kent console radio. Happily nested inside the chassis, a little mouse peeked out at me;  minutes later he was released to the wilds of New Jersey to find a new home- but not in my '37 Buick. The radio (and the Buick) continue operating well.

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The left taillamp house of a 1956 Buick Special.  We couldn't find any hole where the mouse could have gotten in, but he had.

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after my truck had a wire under the hood chewed up by a mouse I looked around for ways to keep them away from the vehicles . someone suggested mothballs . I bought two bags and placed them all around the engine bay . two days later I noticed mice had take some of the mothballs from my engine bay and transferred them to my wifes car parked next to my truck and made a cozy nest out of them . so much for moth balls I guess .

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The cowl air induction for the heating/cooling vents.  Customer complained the airflow from the dash vents was poor.   Pulled a rather large mass of mouse nest from the blower fan box.  

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On 3/4/2019 at 12:14 PM, avgwarhawk said:

The cowl air induction for the heating/cooling vents.  Customer complained the airflow from the dash vents was poor.   Pulled a rather large mass of mouse nest from the blower fan box.  

 

Now that had to smell....

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Finding so much seat stuffing inside the blower fan squirrel cage on Corvairs over the years I thought it was a GM design to muffle sound! Nice roomy 4" ducts for them to travel through.👍

 

Toyota Tercels of the early 80s also had lots of mice in the blower squirrel cage.

 

Another thread just started here suggests using your urine for mouse deterrent. Can't seem to find it right now. Did someone actually remove the posts?

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13 hours ago, dei said:

 

Now that had to smell....

That was the problem in my MIL's car, heat came on and the death smell came thru.

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Oh Ya!

My Dad had an '86 Westfallia camper and used to put it away off the road for the winter. He found an barn that had been sheep barn but the pens had been cleaned out so the guy could store cars for cash.

A mouse (or two?) had chewed through the heater / defrost tube and made it home. Like you experienced, once the heat / fan came on, boy was mom peev'd!! It seemed to take forever to get that smell gone!!!

 

Not sure whether like that old car smell one gets used to or it slowly disappeared but the guy that eventually bought it seemed to be happy.

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16 hours ago, dei said:

 

Now that had to smell....

 

Yep.  When I as a mechanic for Goodyear some of the horrors I would see/smell in customers cars.  Ugh....   

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