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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad bought a newer Toyota Rav4 but still hung on to his beloved Chevy HHR for another year or so, letting it sit under a carport next to a field until the battery was dead, the mice had taken it over, and the tires were flat.

He finally asked me if I wanted it and said I could use a little run around car since my 2019 4Runner got such bad gas mileage.

So, he signed the title over for $10. So not free, but...

2007 Chevy HHR LT with 209k miles. Everything actually works and it runs good and doesn't burn oil. I am amazed.

However, he used this car to haul his bird dogs to field trials all over the West, which resulted in spilled food and water, which attracted mice, which totally infested the vehicle. I've got about 6 hours of scrubbing into it and only got the front dash and seats clean. Still has a mouse stink to it. I bought some odor eliminator stuff and will spend some more time tomorrow trying to finish cleaning it.

It was pretty bad...

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Got tired of scrubbing the inside and today decided to rotate the tires. Couldn't believe how bad of shape the factory aluminum rims were in. So, I just sanded them down, and sprayed them satin black. Did the grille to match and now the car looks sort of cool. Surprised at how much better it looks cleaned up and blacked out.

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So far, I'm averaging just over 30 mpg, which is almost twice as good as the 4Runner. It's actually a fun little car, but at 6'2" and nearly 300 lbs, I barely fit in it.
 

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Great little vehicle for you. Looks like your work is paying off! One note of concern - Hope you are wearing a good quality mask around the mouse crap while cleaning up. Hantavirus is a legit virus and can make you very very sick - even take your life. I know of folks who have become ill with it. Long recovery! Take Care
 

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Good cars. I had a 2010 HHR panel. It was a great car. Hated to get rid of it but I bought a truck and couldn't afford two payments at the time. Sucks about the mice, I hate those things.
 

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...Hope you are wearing a good quality mask around the mouse crap while cleaning up. Hantavirus is a legit virus and can make you very very sick - even take your life. I know of folks who have become ill with it. Long recovery! Take Care
I fully agree_ btw, similar problem with pigeons, here.
pigeon droppings attract insects quite pleasing to mice, and pigeon-borne diseases alone are no less dangerous_
 

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200k miles out of a CHEVY??? Gotta' be some kinda' record!!! :LOL:
 

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200k miles out of a CHEVY??? Gotta' be some kinda' record!!! :LOL:

Former brother-in-law was mail man up in North Dakota, had over a half million miles on his S-10 Pickup before retiring it from the route. Didn't get rid of it, kept it to beat around in, take out to the lake, hunt out of. And, save wear and tear on his newer truck.
 

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I've been kicking around the idea of getting an HHR, but will have to sell the 1989 Ranger first. Yours has the 4 cylinder and manual shift? 30 mpg is nothing to sneeze at!
 

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I've read many tales of rodent infestation in cars. Rodent stench is almost impossible to get rid off. Depending on how infested the car was, nothing short of a complete strip down to the bare body and stem cleaning gets rid of it. What was stripped out of the interior is either washed or thrown away or burned.

Hopefully, they didn't nest in your HVAC system.

I've gotten musty smells out of cars that have been sitting with a portable ozone generator, but it takes a while.
 

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Looks good. At least the mice didn't eat the wiring. You could always rip out the carpet and replace it.
Yep - it's the carpet and underlayment that holds teh stink.
Just get rid of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Worked on it some more today before my shift. Blacked out the rear emblem/hatch handle and got the new plates on it. Tried to pull out the receiver hitch and it was rusted solid. Amazing. Soaked it with PB Blaster, then hit it repeatedly with a 5 lb sledge. Wouldn't budge. Ended up just wire brushing it and painting it black, then tied a piece of trail marking tape to it so I don't hit my shin.

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