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Dead Animal Odor

My 993 was up on a lift for 14 months while I rebuilt the engine and tranny. Now, it's all back together, and no sooner had I taken it off the lift that I noticed the smell that has to be of some dead animal. Not sure how they may have gotten into the car, since it was stored on a lift, but apparently, one or more mice must have taken up residence somewhere in the car's heating system. The cabin of the car has remained totally closed during the 14 months.

So, I can not locate the "carcasses". What can be done to rid the car of the odor? And, can I assume that with time, decay will eliminate the remains?

A tough technical problem. Not sure how to proceed. Any help would be appreciated.
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98 993 C2S - Arena Red/Beige
76 914/6 3.2 Conversion - Estorill Blue/Coral Red
Old 01-29-2014, 06:03 PM
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A friend of mine bought a 964 that was totaled by the insurance company. Sometime when in storage, mice invaded the heater system all the way to the front climate control box system behind the fuel tank.
This cleanup, and attempts to get rid of the odor went on for awhile. The complete heat system was taken out, steam cleaned with bleach and water spray. This included the heat tubes that go through the rockers. The car was also sent to the detail shop to do the carpet etc.
The smell went away a little more with each process. What helped too, after all was done was to put pie tins full of baking soda under the seats for a few days. Works for refrigerator odor..also helped the car.

After this was all over, I happened to hear about precautions associated with mice droppings and dust from the waste. Before you go about cleaning, read up on Google about "Hantavirus"

Hopefully, your car has not been taken over by critters, but if it is mouse related, the info above may be helpful.
Old 01-29-2014, 08:04 PM
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earossi, that's gotta suck..... sorry to hear that.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:21 AM
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imo the smell is going to last for a while. after a few weeks, it will get less, but their fur will stay there forever and on humid days you will smell it. My advice would be to really try and locate these guys. Good excuse to buy one of those borescope inspection cameras!

my guess is they were living in your heater ducts and you might have trapped them when you put it back together . did you take off the heater ducts and look in there? If you are lucky they may have perished at the entrance, trying to get out.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:40 AM
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The Old Cover Up

And after cleaning out the obvious,

Drive with windows down and . . .
Old 01-30-2014, 06:50 AM
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Mouse prevention?

Hi, Anybody here of a good mouse prevention solution? I guess driving the car is the best soln. but in the northern states this winter, even this is impossible! I have heard rags soaked in peppermint oil works, have tried mothballs but they stink almost as much as mice! Any ideas - drive a 00 C4, engine compartment, underneath?
Old 01-30-2014, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grnteufl11 View Post
Hi, Anybody here of a good mouse prevention solution? I guess driving the car is the best soln. but in the northern states this winter, even this is impossible! I have heard rags soaked in peppermint oil works, have tried mothballs but they stink almost as much as mice! Any ideas - drive a 00 C4, engine compartment, underneath?

Here Kitty......Kitty......
Old 01-30-2014, 04:30 PM
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I use fabric softener dryer sheets tossed around the interior of the car and, while correlation does not prove causation, I haven't yet had mouse problems in my cars.

That is despite the minor mouse infestation I experienced last fall here at the old farm house I am renting. I fought that off with sticky traps anywhere mice might be or, in one instance, where a mouse was observed and later trapped. I recommend sticky traps because they don't splatter mouse liquids like traditional traps and they don't leave decaying mice in their hiding spots like poison. Plus, they can catch multiple mice if another one comes to check out what happened to his friend.

The green-pellet poison boxes do seem to at least attract mice to them. I had a couple of those and they quickly became empty. I eventually found where the pellets ended up when I went to use the small shop vac. The hose was full of little green poison pellets. I'll admit to not having yet opened the shop vac to see how many mice met their fate inside. There's just always been something a little bit more enjoyable to do with my time.

The local NAPA sells a mouse repellant product for vehicles which I suspect is just a dryer sheet, but have not actually tried yet. Their market is farmers who have $200,000 tractors that sit parked for the winter, near grain bins and other mouse attractants. If you have a similar store, go in and ask. (If a local FLAPS doesn't have a solution, try chains like Tractor Supply Company or the various farm and fleet stores. Their target market is a little bit more nuanced toward people who share the need to store vehicles for the winter.)

EDIT to add: My parents also live in a very rural location. They have a few cats that live outside and in the garage (courtesy of a pet door). They have mouse traps set all over their house, storage room off the garage, and outbuildings. Those traps rarely catch a mouse anymore, with the time between caught mice being directly proportional to the number of hungry cats they own.

Last edited by iamtheari; 01-30-2014 at 05:13 PM.. Reason: Meow
Old 01-30-2014, 05:12 PM
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Do your best to prevent future rodent infestations as mice and rats can do much more harm to your car than simply stinking it up. Years ago a buddy of mine asked me if I would go with him to inspect a couple of British sports cars that were for sale. The cars were being stored in someone's barn, so the cars' owner was going to meet us there at the appointed time. When the owner arrived and the barn doors were slid open, we caught sight of a very dusty Austin Healey 100-6 and an equally dusty TR-3. We were excited until we opened the driver's door on the Healey to find all the upholstery missing or destroyed among huge piles of rodent droppings. Worse yet the fresh air and defroster/heater ducts were totally eaten away and virtually all of the insulation on the wiring harness was gone. Both cars were old enough to still have fabric covered wiring, so in addition to complete new interiors, both cars were going to require complete new wiring harnesses. As I recall, the owner of the two cars nearly became physically ill after discovering what had happened to his cars that he had put into storage.
Old 01-30-2014, 09:16 PM
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Ozone air purifier, they work great for getting smoke smells out of cars. A dealer might have one to rent. mark
Old 01-31-2014, 03:57 AM
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+1 for the ozone device suggestion. It may be the only permanent solution.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:52 AM
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That's the main reason I store mine for the winter months in a Car Capsule.
Old 01-31-2014, 06:08 PM
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Hi,

It may not be furry friends causing the problem, it could be something nastier, but easier to fix, bacteria in the A/C system. It smells like a dead rat!

I had a similar experience with my car and fixed it with air conditioner cleaner, obtainable from Ebay for between 3.95 - 9.95.

It's worth a shot before you start driving yourself crazy ripping the dash to bits.

Good luck,
Paul
Old 02-08-2014, 01:24 PM
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I put two tins of mothballs under the car(so the car itself doesn't smell) one in the front, one in the back. I also have wire mesh installed over the intake horn.
Old 02-09-2014, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul284pt View Post
Hi,

It may not be furry friends causing the problem, it could be something nastier, but easier to fix, bacteria in the A/C system. It smells like a dead rat!

I had a similar experience with my car and fixed it with air conditioner cleaner, obtainable from Ebay for between 3.95 - 9.95.

It's worth a shot before you start driving yourself crazy ripping the dash to bits.

Good luck,
Paul

Yeah, I've had to deal with mold before, but it is distinctly different smell. And, oddly enough, the strongest odor is coming from the engine compartment. Since the car spent 12 months up in the air on a lift fully locked up, I'm not certain how any animals could have gotten up there. But, I'm going to begin a thorough look today.
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98 993 C2S - Arena Red/Beige
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:45 AM
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I have a car in storage and rodents are my biggest concern. I've got every single opening and crack-like entrance of the unit stuffed with steel wool. They hate that stuff and usually won't try to chew their way through it.

I've also got a bunch of unscented glue traps (about 5"x8" in size) spread throughout the storage unit and under the car. Unscented so as to not attract the little bastards. In the last couple of years I have not trapped any rodents and I know they are in the area.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:53 AM
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I have a car in storage and rodents are my biggest concern. I've got every single opening and crack-like entrance of the unit stuffed with steel wool. They hate that stuff and usually won't try to chew their way through it.

I've also got a bunch of unscented glue traps (about 5"x8" in size) spread throughout the storage unit and under the car. Unscented so as to not attract the little bastards. In the last couple of years I have not trapped any rodents and I know they are in the area.

Funny, but I never thought about rodents when I was working on my car. I have a four post lift in the garage, and the car was always stored 6 feet in the air while I had the power train out for rebuilding. The car was locked up, and the only openings available to them are the two heatder ducts located in the engine compartment. Unfortunately, the car was stored like that for 14 months. In the 8 years I've lived here, I have only seen one instance of a chipmunk wandering into the garage when the door was left open. He quickly left town when I walked in on him. Other than that, Ive seen no evidence of rodents. No foot prints, no droppings, and no odors until I fired up my car.

The only thing that I can think of was that the engine electric fan was stored on a shelf in the garage during this time, since it was the first thing removed from the engine when I pulled her. That shelf could have been easily scaled by a rat, mouse, or chipmunk. And, I would guess that the large housing that encases the squirrel cage blower might have been a good place to build a next. I'm going to pull that blower off the motor in search of remains. I know that when I took the motor off the shelf to install it, I did not give it a second glance. I just plopped it onto the engine.
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98 993 C2S - Arena Red/Beige
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:17 PM
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Ozone is really bad for asthma sufferer. I suggest use a strong HEPA + Charcoal filter air purifier for dead animal odors.
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:57 PM
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If the smell is coming more from the engine compartment, might want to try the following. Do this on a completely cold engine. Get some generic antibacterial airfreshner spray.Remove the air temp sensor in the rear heating fan duct. Set the heating om max heat max fan in and with all vents open. Start the engine and quickly spray airfreshner into the heating duct through the sensor hole for about 20 seconds. Turn of the engine,replace sensor and let it sit for a couple of hours, then take it for a driver. Worked for me when water ingress had caused mildew and bacteria to grow in the system.
Old 08-28-2018, 04:35 AM
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I used an ozone generator to get rid of the smell of animal carcass when I bought a lifted Land cruiser I briefly owned. The previous owner was a hunter. I had to use it repeatedly over the course of several weeks but it eventually worked.

I used this exact unit. It has great reviews and is not to expensive. It has a timer on it so will endanger health by continuing to rub if you forget it.

Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator 6,000mg Industrial O3 Air Purifier Deodorizer Sterilizer (6,000mg - Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JAP7388
Old 10-01-2018, 10:31 AM
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