Some years ago shortly after purchasing the ’41 Buick Roadmaster I noticed that it had a rather unpleasant odor. It was something different from the typical ‘old car’ fragrance. My temporary response was to stick an air freshener to the dash.
Then I decided to root out the cause. Some determined sniffing soon lead to the front and back seats. Upon removal I found that they were infested with mice nests. The chewed up newspaper, cloth, and mice fur filled many of the spring cavities. Each spring is wrapped in burlap. It was easy to spot the sections that had been chewed through to expose the springs. The final clue that pointed at mice was the trail of small black feces that they leave everywhere. What a mess.
Recently I had reason to remove the back seat so as to access the well that is used for storage of the jack. Guess what I found. The mice were back. They not only open up individual coil covers but they then tunnel from one to the next in a lateral direction so that coils that appear unmolested (should that be unmouselested?) from the outside are actually filled with nests.
So it was time to get out the shop vacuum and suck them out again. Some day I may bring them to an upholsterer and have it done right by getting the seats stripped right down to the frame and having every soft part replaced. For now it is just mouse-intervention.
I wish I could keep those pests out permanently. The car is stored in the garage at all times but that does not seem to keep them out. I even have mouse traps here and there. I think I will begin putting those traps under the seat frames from now on. I am sure more invaders will arrive.
Regarding the capabilities of a shop vacuum, there are limits. I had to use a regular vacuum to get into smaller areas. It’s good that I did because at one point it became stopped up – with a mouse. Yup, an entire mouse. He was in great condition as in deceased only moments before. Oh well, the battle goes on.