Can a mouse get sucked in the air intake?

I have a 2001 Toyota 4Runner that suddenly started making a clicking sound from the engine and idling very roughly. Towed it to the shop, they confirmed the problem. After a short while the clicking stopped and the idle smoothed out. They found a small mouse nest next to the air filter. They said a small part of the nest or an acorn or the mouse itself may have been sucked into the air intake. Could a small mouse actually get sucked into the engine? If so, could any damage result from it?

Yes, a mouse can get sucked into the air filter housing. But, the filter should prevent it from moving through the MAF sensor and getting into the intake. But, if the filter is not there, or if it is old, brittle and damaged, the mouse can do serious damage if it gets past the filter. Check to see if the filter is intact. If so, no worries.

A mouse can also chew threw the filter. And they and other rhodents have been known to crawl into the intake snorkles of rarely used vehicles and nest in the air filter cannisters.

Mice can do a lot of damage. Their teeth continue to grow throughout their lives and they chew almost constantly to prevent the teeth from overgrowing. Most if not all rhodents do this. Rats will even chew on bricks. Mice can chew up wiring and just about anything nonmetallic.

Could a small mouse actually get sucked into the engine? If so, could any damage result from it?

Yes and the mouse certainly could suffer serious damage.

Filter was in good shape(only 5k miles, few months old) but coverd with bits of grass and fiberglass insulation used in the small nest. Cleaned out the nest and intalled new filter and duct taped down a mouse trap in engine compartment. Check it every morning. Nothing yet, but I hope to catch one soon.

Yes and the mouse certainly could suffer serious damage.

Pretty good! Guess that’s one way to get rid of that pest problem!

I had the same problem some years back. I got some of the soft aluminum gutter guard from Home Depot and cut a piece to fit over the air intake and secured it with a cable tie. The holes are big enough to not restrict the air flow too much and small enough to keep out mice. I put a piece on my daughter’s 2002 Civic and it’s still going today. In case you’re wondering, gas mileage was not affected.

Isn’t this why they put Cat(alytic) converters on cars–if the mouse gets through the engine, the Cat cremates the remains.

Unless you have one of the PETA approved Cats. then a proper burial is provided.

I was thinking of doing that. Thanks, I will give it a try. You’d think car manufacturers would rodent-proof their vehicles better since this seems to be a widespread problem.

No engine damage will occur but I would think if a mouse was inhaled into the engine it might possibly run a little rough when the mouse wedges against an intake valve seat/valve. I just don’t see any of this as being engine damaging and you can look at it this way; the mouse is biodegradeable.

Someone had their near new SAAB (only 7k miles on it) towed in one time with the right front brake locked up. The pads and rotor were thoroughly trashed and the left front was as new.
When I removed the caliper I started seeing a lot of fuzzy material and was a bit puzzled as I had never seen pad material do that before.
Finishing the diassembly I found part of a leg here, a foot there, and the remainder of a tail. Apparently a rat had gotten up on the caliper and remained there while the owner drove off. The first stop appeared to have caught the rat and drug him into the brake assembly, which then froze up due to the shredded carcass.