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Rodents Chewing On Your Car Wires? How To Stop The Damage

By Kimberlea Buczeke, November 20, 2017

When thinking about car maintenance and repair, we don't often think of preventative maintenance as "time to check and see if the rats have been chewing my wires!" Surprisingly, however, it might be something you should start thinking about.

Rodent damage is a bigger problem than you may think. People all over the country are seeing the damage caused by squirrels, rats, and chipmunks when it comes to their rides. This can not only be costly, but extremely frustrating for a car owner who wished someone would've have warned him or her sooner.

rodent damage

Out Of All The Cars, Why Are Rodents Targeting Mine?

The problem is twofold. First, rodents have continuously growing teeth. For their forever teething stage, this causes them to constantly be on the search for something to gnaw on.

But why are these critters going for the wires in your car? After all, there are plenty of tasty treats just lying around waiting to be eaten! Turns out there may be a tasty treat under your hood as well. A recent lawsuit against Honda claims that the soy-based covering on the wires in its vehicles causes the cars to be tempting targets for small animals.

What Signs Should I Watch For?

If your check engine light comes on with seemingly no warning, or if your car doesn't start period, there is a chance rodents could be the culprit.

If you live in an area with a dense population of woodland creatures, you should consider doing regular checks under the hood. Check for signs of chewing or rodent droppings. If you see affected wires or signs, such as droppings or nests, you need to take your car to the shop immediately.

How Do I Stop Animals From Getting Inside And Chewing The Electrical?

This is probably priority number one for someone dealing with a miniature vehicle infestation. We recommend checking out options such as sprays or coverings. When I had an influx of ants in my apartment after a big storm, I made sure to not only get rid of the ones crawling around, but prevent future ants from finding my apartment a great place to hang out. Apparently, ants hate peppermint. This meant my entire apartment was covered in peppermint oil for a couple weeks.

In conclusion, you want to make the environment as inhospitable as possible. Researching things that the suspected vermin isn't particularly fond of should be your first step.

You can currently find a specially made tape that isn't attractive to small creatures. The tape contains capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers. It should help deter the animals from your wires. There are also many DIY options for repelling mice and rats, such as concocting spicy sprays and other alternatives.

It's Too Late – They Got Me! Is It Covered?

The bad news is that cars damaged by rodents are not covered under your car's warranty. The good news is that your auto insurance might cover it.

If you have comprehensive insurance, there is a good chance that you can have the repairs paid for. Be sure to check with your insurance agent before you go to get any repairs done. And if rodents are a big problem in your neighborhood, you may want to call up and make sure you add the coverage before you get hit.

Regardless of who's paying for it, if you suspect rodent damage to your car, you need to get it checked out as soon as possible. Those little teeth can cause a lot of damage and even make your car unsafe to drive.

1 User Comment

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By , December 19, 2017
Mice hate strong smells, try placing dryer sheets and/or mothballs in and around the vehicle. A drip pan with used crankcase oil placed under the engine keeps them from getting under the hood.