Protecting Your Car and Truck from Rodents in Colorado Springs
What a surprise our technician Joe found last week! When he popped the hood on a customer’s car, a porcupine climbed out from between the fan and the radiator. The customer was bringing in his truck for routine maintenance but noticed that his air conditioning was not working that morning – no wonder!
It sounds funny but finding animals in vehicles is anything but. Rodents can make a mess and create havoc with a vehicle’s electrical system.
Another customer recently woke up to his car horn blowing. Mice had taken up residence in an area where wires from one of the electronic modules crossed with another. Replacement of the Electronic Brake Module cost nearly $800 in parts alone, in addition to the time involved in replacing the unit and associated damage. Another car that we worked on was actually “totaled” by the insurance company, because of extensive damage to the electrical system caused by mice.
A porcupine is an unusual find, but many small rodents (mice, squirrels, or rats) are attracted to vehicle engine compartments. Whether it is the warmth, darkness, or something that smells “tasty” in the wiring insulation, your car can be an inviting place to set up a nest.
How to Protect Your Car or Truck from Rodents
Cars that are not driven frequently can be a particular target, but even cars that are drivers can have problems. In particular, food or crumbs in the passenger will attract mice. Be proactive… throw away trash and vacuum up crumbs in your car. Also, be sure your dog or cat food and bird seed is kept in closed containers in your garage, so that you are not inviting rodents to come inside.
Symptoms of mice infestation can vary from finding droppings in and around your vehicle to having a “check engine light” on, lights blinking, erratic running, misfires, blower motor noises, and/or lingering odors. If caught early, damage may be minimal. However, if rodents are not found early, severe damage can occur.
What else can you do to avert danger from rodents? Prevent access to the garage by sealing gaps in doors, and/or reduce the rodent population by setting traps in the garage or around the car. Keep your engine clean from antifreeze, which has a sweet smell that can and will attract rodents.
To deter rodents, you can also wedge moth balls or dryer softener sheets around the engine compartment. Or you could use one of the small ultrasonic devices that are available for keeping rodents at bay. One more option is a product called “Rodent Tape” that can be placed around various electrical harnesses in your engine bay and will repel the varmints with it’s ”peppery“ taste.