Learn from My Experience: How to Avoid Blower Motor & Filter Issues with an FSD LR MY Vehicle
We recently purchased a FSD LR MY and have been very happy with it so far. We’ve put over 18k miles on it without any issues, until one day in June of ‘22 when the HVAC blower motor went out while we were 600 miles away from home in 90+ degree heat. Fortunately, a service center was nearby and they were able to squeeze us in on a standby basis. Upon inspection, they found a dead mouse and its nest in the blower housing! Thankfully, our insurance covered the cost of the repair, so we didn't have to pay anything out of pocket.
Unfortunately, either due to failure of the new blower motor or improper installation due to the hurry-up job, we had to have another one installed a few weeks later. Again, this was covered by warranty so there was no additional cost to us; however, it was still inconvenient since the nearest service center was over 100 miles away. After some research, I discovered that the mouse got into the blower housing through a drain hole in the air intake below the windshield. To prevent this from happening again, I made a screen to cover each side of the drain hole and put rodent repellent in the Frunk. So far, this has worked well and we haven’t had any further issues.
I thought I had solved the problem until I realized that small winged seeds from poplar trees could also get into the air intake and be caught by my screens. Therefore, I need to periodically check for clogs caused by larger leaves etc. Additionally, I learned that all the air going into the cabin passes through a filter first - so how did the mouse even get past that? It turns out that it must have eaten a hole through it!
To avoid future issues like these, both screens and filters should be checked regularly. Screens can help keep debris from getting under the hood from the windshield side and filters will stop rodents from entering your vehicle. If you are dealing with similar problems as I did, then these simple steps may save you time and money down the road.
What happened to our FSD LR MY since 12/23/21?
We have put over 18k miles on it and had no problems except that the HVAC blower motor went out while we were on a trip 600 miles from home in 90+ degree heat.
How did we solve the problem?
Fortunately, a service center was only about 40 miles away and on the way home. They squeezed us in on a standby basis and found a dead mouse and its nest in the blower housing! Warranty did not cover mouse damage, but our insurance did, so no cost to us.
What did we do to prevent similar issues in the future?
We made a screen to cover the drain hole on each side, put rodent repellent in the Frunk, and applied perforated aluminum to cover the holes. We also parked the car in an area where there are lots of poplar trees to avoid small winged seeds from entering the air intake.
Is this enough to stop debris from getting under the hood from the windshield side?
Yes. This will keep debris from getting under the hood, but a determined mouse could still find its way down into the HVAC system by other routes such as through the “gutter” that runs just under the wipers or past the filter.
What should be done periodically to ensure no more problems occur?
It is recommended to check for larger leaves etc that can clog the drain holes periodically, as well as check for any debris that may have been caught by the screen.