Rodent Damage in Your Car

“When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

While we weather the pandemic and find ourselves settling into routines that are contrary to the “normal,” we see new trends in all aspects of our lives. When your car sits, unintended consequences can occur. Problems may include dead batteries, warning lights, rusty brakes, or oil leaks. One of the most common issues we see related to not using your car, especially in this area, is rodent damage. Mice, rats, or squirrels can wreak havoc in your car. They build nests, chew wires, and can even make their way into the blower motor, packing in debris and causing damage and eventual failure of the blower motor.  Typically, this happens during the winter time after you drive your car and it is warm. The heat attracts mice and other critters which creates a warm, safe place for them to stay. Unfortunately, they will not contribute with rent payments nor clean up after themselves. Quite the opposite.

Most recently, we’ve seen this trend extend into the nice weather as most cars are not being driven nearly as often as they normally would. Aside from the weekly or bi-weekly trip to the supermarket and other essential errands, cars are sitting. Your car is now another quiet, safe space for critters to inhabit. Whether it is in the cabin or under the hood, you do not want these rodent residents in your car. Chewed wires can cause costly damages. If these animals happen to expire while in the vehicle, they can also cause foul odors that take a very long time to remediate.

There are different ways of preventing this. Traditional traps may be set around the garage or around the outside of the car to prevent critters from making it to the car. This is the easiest and most effective option. Another option is to set out Tupperware containers or empty, perforated water bottles with mint leaves packed in and to set them around or in your vehicle. Most rodents do not care for the mint and will steer clear. This is not the most effective measure as mint leaves will eventually lose their potency and effectiveness, but it’s a bit more humane. 

Most dealerships offer expensive repair options, especially for wiring damage, where they are replacing entire wire harnesses. As an independent repair shop, we can be a bit more creative and save a lot by doing specialized wiring repairs that is more sustainable and a lot less costly. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Written by Union Line Garage

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