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Old 01-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
morphiusrt
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Default Urine smell coming from vents and stuck on reciculating 99 OBS

Got 2 problems I'm hoping someone could lend some knowledge on.

About the car

1999 Impreza Outback has been sitting for 3 years untouched and uncleaned in probably 5 years.

1. I have a pretty potent urine smell coming from my vents, I'm am thinking mouse urine. I took the blower motor out and it was filled with crap from leaves to dust. The crap I pulled out smelled of urine as well. I have read a few things about mice getting in the vents and causing this issue. After the cleaning of the blower it is not as bad but gets much worse the colder I put the air. Any ideas on how to go about getting rid of this smell? Is there a condensation drain somewhere I couldn't find one?

2. Well doing this I realized my vent is stuck on recirculating. I tried moving it with a screwdriver and won't budge even a little bit. Where would I start to get this thing off recirculate?

I have been using black ice air freshners to mask odor, but if you open one of those all the way it is "quite pungent....... it's a formidable scent, stings the nostrils.... in a good way."
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
SHOfast
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Sounds like a cat may have made a home close to a meal source, mice dont make that stink. They sell products for cat urine - but dont kid yourself, nothing takes it out all the way. THey also sell deoderizor to spray into the blower while it is on. That will also help a little.

Shampoo the interior as best you can.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
morphiusrt
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That was my next step. The carpets don't smell at all though. It's just the vents. Right when I pulled the blower motor off I could smell it.

This spray you speak of where would I spray it. Only open spot is where the blower comes out so I wouldn't be able to turn it on really.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:41 PM   #4
flycaster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHOfast View Post
...mice dont make that stink...
It's not mice, not a cat, it's a pack-rat. They piss their nests, mice and cats don't. Urine smell and the nest material are a dead giveaway. First step, buy some rat traps and kill that ****er.

Make sure you get ALL the nest material out. Remove the cabin air filter, spray the intake vents with Lysol, and let it circulate fresh air with the windows open (cycle the heater and A/C units) until the Lysol smell dissapates. Repeat. Repeat again. Then spray in some Febreeze, let it dissapate. Reinstall a new cabin air filter, and you should be good to go.

Last, check your wiring and rubber fittings/caps in the engine compartment - they love to chew on this stuff. I've seen pack-rats totally disable cars.

Kill it.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #5
geronimo81
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Pack rats are the worst! I had one in my garage once and it kept hoarding the rat poison I was putting out but never died. I finally put a huge rat trap under the water pipe where I knew it was entering the wall. Came out the next day and it was laying in a huge pool of blood next to the trap which had tripped and smacked it in the face hard enough to kill it.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
flycaster
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Put a small slug of peanut butter on the trip, then smear the front of the trap in front of the trip with more peanut butter, then arm the trap. Be careful, these things break fingers - hold it by the sides of the trap whem you arm it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:52 AM   #7
morphiusrt
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Theres definitely nothing alive inside the car. It was probably in there awhile ago. But it was in the vents and it's just odd that it only smells when its not on the hottest setting or off. If I put it on 1 and all the way red doesn't smell much.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #8
taco15
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I hate to say it but you may have to take the vent tubes off to see if they made a nest in there too.

usually, cleaning out the blower motor and cabin air filter it does the trick.... if it's been sitting for that long then I have a suspicous feeling there is more piss somewhere in the vent tubes.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:13 PM   #9
morphiusrt
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I'm not 100% sure but I don't think there is a cabin air filter. I searched and searched the forum and couldn't find anything only info I found was on the 2002+. I pulled the blower motor off and I could reach all the way up to the firewall when I lay on the floor and stick my arm up.

Dash doesn't look horribly hard to pull apart might get working on it this weekend.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:35 PM   #10
flycaster
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You should have a cabin air filter (some older models had 2), and they're usually behind the glove box or high up in the passenger footwell - call your local dealer and I'll bet they come up with a part number. FWIW, you should change these every year regardless.

Don't tear your dash apart yet - try the other stuff first, and with the filter out you will blow all the loose stuff out the vents anyway.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:21 PM   #11
morphiusrt
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I will check again but I was skimming through it quite thoroughly and could not find one behind there. I took the whole glove box out.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:47 AM   #12
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Amigo, I've found several references for 1999 Impreza Outback cabin air filters on line at parts companies, but I don't necessarily trust websites. Stop wrenching until you call your dealer.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:09 AM   #13
projectsubaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flycaster View Post
You should have a cabin air filter (some older models had 2), and they're usually behind the glove box or high up in the passenger footwell - call your local dealer and I'll bet they come up with a part number. FWIW, you should change these every year regardless.

Don't tear your dash apart yet - try the other stuff first, and with the filter out you will blow all the loose stuff out the vents anyway.
bringing the dead back to life, I believe that the year obs in question does have two, at least based off the part supplied to me, you have any idea where they would be? i dropped the glove box and couldnt see anywhere that they would go
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:58 AM   #14
Tooled
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It's either rodent piss or a leaky heater core.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:06 AM   #15
Frankh21
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I've never used the stuff but I hear it works: http://www.autogeek.net/1z-einszett-...FYYZQgod-DsJMQ

What I usually do as preventative maintenance is spray some mildew killing lysol down the exterior vents while running the fan on high and hot. In addition, if I've used the A/C, I'll run the fan on highest speed setting and hot to dry out the system to help prevent mildew/mold smells.

Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:41 AM   #16
bluesubie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectsubaru

bringing the dead back to life, I believe that the year obs in question does have two, at least based off the part supplied to me, you have any idea where they would be? i dropped the glove box and couldnt see anywhere that they would go
I don't believe there is one.

http://www.cars101.com/subaru/airfiltration.html

http://www.cars101.com/impreza_archive97_98.html

What part do you have?

-Dennis
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:33 PM   #17
Elbert Bass
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If you indeed do have a cabin filter here's where to look. Bottom of the HVAC unit just left of the blower motor. A narrow trap door with a single screw. Take down the door and slide the filter out.

Subaru makes a 2 part AC refresh kit that I have had great luck using to get rid of urine and decaying animal smell when creatures can't outrun the blower fan blades. One part is a foaming cleaner you spray up the evaporator drain, second is a spray deodorizer to use after the evap cleaner has drained.

Had a car two weeks ago you couldn't stand to sit in - oozing mouse carcass was in the blower. Cleaned up and smelled like a new car in about an hour. Took me 3 days to get the smell out of my sinuses...
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:07 AM   #18
Jeff St John
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Default Mice

I'm having repeated mice in my 2002 Imprezza

Can't figure out how they get in
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:08 AM   #19
Jeff St John
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Default Mice

How doo they get in?
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:46 PM   #20
Peter Schmidt
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Default Help! Mice in fresh air system.

OK, I keep cleaning out the nests, installing fresh filters, cleaning and disinfecting the ducts and trapping the little bastards but how are they getting in? I tried blowing air with my shop vac up through the filter area to locate the actual intake areas so I can seal them with some hardware cloth. I could not find the intake opening. I found a little air movement at the window intake vent drivers side but they cannot be getting through there.
So, does anyone know the area or areas in a 06 Impreza wagon where the cabin intake openings that feed into the filter and blower actually are? They seem rather well hidden but the mice seem to know.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:42 PM   #21
recce02
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I know you are looking for a way the mice/rats are getting in. What ive heard from my friends that live a bit out of town from me where mice/rats can be a problem is to stick dryer sheets in different parts of the engine bay. For some reason they dont like that smell and will keep away. Obviously try and clean up all of their nests and mess first.
As far as where the blower gets its air, pull the glove box. At the top of the blower housing is where it gets its air. Outside of the car you have to pull both wiper arms and the black garnish plastic piece on the cowling to get to the top.
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