Rodents ate my car!

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Topic Author
Church Lady
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by Church Lady » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:47 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:57 pm
The class action lawsuit was dismissed:

https://www.autoblog.com/2018/07/05/toy ... dismissed/

I get why they might want to use soy-based looms and hoses. But there are all sorts of foul-tasting deterrents that can be applied to stuff to make them unappetizing. If you have a Nintendo Switch, go ahead and lick a game cartridge. No reason they couldn't treat the wiring/hoses.
Thanks for the update. It's a bummer for Toyota owners. And I don't get why they couldn't mix in something bad tasting into the plastic they use now.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

mouses
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by mouses » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:18 pm

mouses wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:38 pm
LadyGeek wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:52 pm
The mouse nest was also filled with cloth from various rags left in the garage.
They really are kind of inventive with nest material. A lot of work goes into building one of those nests.
I forgot, they nibbled off a finger from a pair of mittens I had left in the car :-)

Topic Author
Church Lady
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by Church Lady » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:56 pm

Here is an update ....

I asked my insurance company if they would cover the damage. Technically they do, but they paid nothing.

- Instead of a replacement fuel tank and evap line, they reimburse for a salvage fuel tank and line
- They reimburse at 1/3 the dealer labor rate, or about 1/2 an independent shop rate

They said the +1000 job was therefore a 200 job. Two hundred is below my deductible, so they paid nothing.

Some posts here indicate satisfaction with their insurance coverage vis a vis rodent damage. Did they treat you in similar fashion, or is my insurance company a ripoff? I'm wondering if I should switch insurance companies.

Thanks for reading!
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

njuser
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by njuser » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:47 pm

Had the same problem with a Toyota that had been sitting in my driveway for a few weeks. Turned on the AC and lint came flying out: mice had been making a nest out of the under-carpet material. Replaced the air filter (where the nest was) and a few days later, more evidence of chewing in the new filter.

Got some mousetraps. Put one inside the hood and one outside behind a tire. Caught a mouse in the engine compartment the first night. Reset the trap, and caught a second mouse the next night. Didn't catch any more mice and haven't had the problem since, but now we regularly drive the car.

This happened a couple of years ago and the Toyota mechanic said it was a known problem with the soy based wiring.

badProgrammer
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by badProgrammer » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:14 pm

CaliJim wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:19 pm
Google "Rolling Log Mouse Trap".

Maybe better than a cat?

https://www.amazon.com/Original-Rolling ... B071ZF2VZJ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SIlYiiCGLI (squeamish warning - images of dead mice)
This is just a clever monetization of the classic "Redneck Mouse Trap" (http://www.instructables.com/id/Redneck-Mouse-Trap/) which requires only a bucket, wire hanger, aluminum can, a "ramp" for the rodents to climb, and some bait (peanut butter).

In my mouse-trapping life, the bucket trap is vastly superior to snap or glue traps that can catch only one - the bucket trap catches MANY.

Pro tip: if you do this in the winter (e.g., in a freezing garage), use antifreeze, not water, with the usual caveats about making sure no pets can get to the antifreeze.

StrangePenguin
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by StrangePenguin » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:47 pm

When I lived in France (near Geneva, Switzerland) I had the coolant hoses on my Toyota Yaris chewed twice by an animal that is called a stone marten in English (fouine in French). This is a common problem there. I didn't have an option to park inside (although after the 2nd repair I spent a few weeks parking in a public lot a few blocks from my house each night, on the theory that the problem animal was nesting quite locally to my house). My wife found a chemical spray at the store in Switzerland marketed for this purpose. We applied it to the engine compartment and did not have the problem again (although I think we moved away within a year of the last incident, and I heard that fouine problems were often seasonal). Oddly, we heard that the chemical is illegal in France (environmental reasons?), so it was lucky that we were able to buy it at all.

Miriam2
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by Miriam2 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:54 pm

StrangePenguin wrote: When I lived in France (near Geneva, Switzerland) I had the coolant hoses on my Toyota Yaris chewed twice by an animal that is called a stone marten in English (fouine in French).
^^^ "Fouine" = as in "our cars have been fouined three times in the last ten years"

https://www.fourmilab.ch/images/animal_ ... ouine.html
Fouine are cat-sized weasels ubiquitous in Central Europe. They thrive in rural and suburban areas as well as the wild, much like raccoons in the Western Hemisphere. They eat anything that moves, including other fouine who try to horn into their territory. Fouine are notorious for eating the insulation off ignition wires in automobiles: our cars have been “fouined” three times in the last ten years, despite regular spraying with fouine repellent. They are well-equipped in the tooth and claw department and extremely aggressive; they're related to North American wolverines; you do not want to get onto the wrong side of one of these fellows.
https://www.lost-in-france.com/blog/stone-martens
Apart from invading your loft the Stone Martens have a habit of crawling inside the warm engine housing of motor cars and are occasionally responsible for chewing through ignition cables and coolant hoses. . . .

There are many methods you can employ to remove unwanted Stone Martens but the kindest and simplest way to deter or evict these beautiful creatures is to spread a liberal quantity of good old fashioned mothballs in the area that they have inhabited, the poor old Fouine can't stand the smell and will often move out straight away.
Image

22twain
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by 22twain » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:50 am

My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:39 am

These work great for me. Keep one baited (dog food pellets are best) and turned on in the garage at all times and check the light each morning. If it's blinking dump the animal in the garbage, replace bait and turn it back on. Easy and effective.

http://www.victorpest.com/rat-zapper-ul ... p-bbrzu001
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

Plymouth56
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by Plymouth56 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:03 pm

Obviously not as expensive as newer cars , but the 1978 Chrysler New Yorker I own had been parked next to a corn field by its previous owner. Mice built a nest under its back seat and were hoarding food in the cars heater box under the dash.
Though the car was cleaned up, the smell of mouse urine that remains is second probably only to skunk spray as far as nasty odors.

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jhfenton
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by jhfenton » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:08 pm

22twain wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:50 am
You all are in good company:

Paul Ryan says a family of woodchucks ate his car
I saw this today, and I was coming to post the same thing. It's funny when it's not your car. :wink:

bubbadog
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by bubbadog » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:43 pm

surgdoc wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:55 am
I had rodent problems with two of my cars. I live next to Potomac river and rodents are big problem.

Two winters ago, I did not drive my Boxster for couple of weeks and kept it covered with a cover in a car port. On a sunny weekend, I decided to take the car for a drive and started my Boxster. A message appeared indicating that oil pressure was low. I checked oil level and it was good. I called dealer and he asked me to drive the vehicle to dealership without stressing the engine. I drove not exceeding 4th gear to dealership. It felt odd driving Boxster at no more than 40 miles per hour on a highway. I got a a call couple of hours later stating that they found a nest and wires leading to oil pump were chewed away. They either can repair for $1700 or replace the harness for $3000. I chose to have it repaired. The car has been working fine for the last 18 months. I believe a rodent felt very secure next to warm engine in winter with darkness provided by car cover. The car was not driven for two weeks and the rodent never felt obliged to leave even though the engine became cold.

Three months later: my Mazda 3 started vibrating while driving. I could feel the engine was not balanced. I took it to the dealer and I was told wires leading to one of the cylinders were chewed away. Only three cylinders were firing causing imbalance and vibration. The bill came to $1500 with new harness and engine cover.

I researched the topic on the web and came up with the following useful tips:
1. Do not leave your car undriven for extended period of time. It only increases chances of a squater to settle in.
2. Do not park it next to woods, if you can avoid.
3. I read that anti-rust spray is NOT tasty for rodents. I sprayed it on the wiring of one of my cars. (Boxster is a mid engine car and wiring is not accesable for spray or taping)
3. Anti rodent tape is sold under Honda brand name. It is expensive and I am not sure if it is worth the cost. It is basically chilli powder infused duct tape.
4. Rodent control. I used rat traps.
5. Some amount of luck they do not decide to make my car their home, instead go to my neighbor"s :)
Another easy suggestion that is used by some of us "car guys".

Apparently rodents hate the smell of Bounce fabric dryer sheets.

When I put my fun cars up for winter, I put them in the interior, trunk, and engine bay. Knock on wood, I have never had a problem since.

I did have mice chew through a wiring harness prior to using dryer sheets. I used mothballs prior and they smell horrible.

A bonus, your car interior smells "spring shower fresh" or whatever they call it, when you get in!

HIinvestor
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:57 pm

Boy, this sure is making it harder to buy a new vehicle. I have a 2000 Toyota van that (knock wood) has never had a problem with rodents, even though I drive it a few times/month. I have been thinking about buying a new vehicle but the fear of the rodents wanting to consume the soy and plant based parts of the car are making me more reluctant.

Any additional thoughts about particular vehicle brands which have conquered this rodent problem? I'd sure love to read about it. Thanks!

brennok
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by brennok » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:38 pm

My VW suffered a similar fate. I went to leave work and a squirrel had chewed through my wiring harness. My insurance covered the damage up to my deductible.

3504PIR
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by 3504PIR » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:33 am

In Germany, this is very common and after a quick web search there were $65,000,000 in claims from it last year. The culprit there is the marder, a ferret looking rodent. Common reasoning in Germany is the “sweet” crude taste coming from oil leaks and components that get oil on them from a spill or leak. I never had an issue, and never had oil dripping on any of my wiring or brake lines.

jlawrence01
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by jlawrence01 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:18 am

Hockey10 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:14 pm
Trade the Toyota in for a Honda

Honda has had the same problem. In fact, they sell a capsaicin coated tape that is to be used on wiring where there has been evidence of rodent attacks.

The best way to avoid mice in cars is to make sure that you have NO FOOD in the car. That includes candy and condiment packages.

jlawrence01
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Location: Southern AZ

Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by jlawrence01 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:20 am

Plymouth56 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:03 pm
Obviously not as expensive as newer cars , but the 1978 Chrysler New Yorker I own had been parked next to a corn field by its previous owner. Mice built a nest under its back seat and were hoarding food in the cars heater box under the dash.
Though the car was cleaned up, the smell of mouse urine that remains is second probably only to skunk spray as far as nasty odors.
When I sold my house, I parked my car for three weeks in a rural church parking lot. You are right, the smell of mice infestation is one of thej worst smells around. Fortunately, there was little damage.

Teague
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by Teague » Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:26 pm

Ground squirrels and mice cause this problem in my area, even with no food in the car.

We learned to prop our hoods open a few inches with a stick when parking for more than a day or two. This seems to make the engine compartment less cozy and secure for the critters. It has worked very well here.
Semper Augustus

4ransom
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by 4ransom » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:29 pm

We bought a new Toyota Prious that started smelling kinda strange. took it to the dealer and they could not find anything wrong. Went on a cross country trip and nothing changed so we kept hounding the dealer, they finally found small community of mice living throughout the AC-heater vents. Cost around 3K to repair. Toyota would not pay for the repairs, said to try my home owners insurance, I was amazed that they paid for the repairs.

AlphaLess
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by AlphaLess » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:54 pm

Church Lady wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:47 am
A little internet searching showed that rodent damage to recent model Toyotas is quite common. Apparently Toyota has switched to soy based plastic, a sort of rodent delicacy.
I guess the hipsters in Brooklyn are not the only demographics who love their soy-based products.
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word." George Washington

captpete
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by captpete » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:56 pm

About 5 years ago I came home to find a puddle of gas under my 2005 Toyota Corolla. A squirrel had chewed a hole in the gas line coming out of the bottom of the fuel tank. I took the fuel line out, pretty easy, I love how easy Toyota makes things, and took it to a local dealer, $74, I could have purchased it much cheaper on line i am sure but did not want to wait. $1000 dollars seems really high to replace a line and valve.
I now put all my vehicles in doors when not in use, also we no longer own any Toyota's.
Apparently this is a common issue.

Regards

HIinvestor
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by HIinvestor » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:07 pm

Just spoke with my mechanic who says the rodemes wete more of a problem in the 1980s and that he doesn’t see it much these days in Honolulu. I was surprised—maybe we’ve become so urban?

Dontwasteit
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by Dontwasteit » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:02 pm

Years ago a squirrel did quite a job on my dad's car (It was a Toyota).

HIinvestor
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by HIinvestor » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:20 am

Well, we did it! We are in contract for a new Prius Prime and pretty happy so far. Will pick it up in about 2 weeks.

bowtie
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by bowtie » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:22 am

There was an article from 2017, I think, stating that class action lawsuits against Honda and Toyota were deemed to be without merit......
I've driven cars for years and parked them for years outside in parking lots, (not a garage) and never had this problem until just now.

It sounds like dryer sheets might be a possible deterrent - I also took a look at the amazon product (forgot exact name of it) that comes in the small pouches. My problem was some mouse (probably) in the engine and chewed some wires .... it's all been repaired now and covered under auto comprehensive claim but .... this is a car that is driven daily ...the previous car also had soy based wiring but that one never had a problem either.

I always find answers and info on bogleheads no matter the subject ... if anyone has any further suggestions (other then traps and the treated tape) let me know.

SGM
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by SGM » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:59 am

I had a second rodent attack on my fuel system within a year. I will try the dryer sheets.

Grasshopper
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by Grasshopper » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:16 pm

Teague wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:26 pm
Ground squirrels and mice cause this problem in my area, even with no food in the car.

We learned to prop our hoods open a few inches with a stick when parking for more than a day or two. This seems to make the engine compartment less cozy and secure for the critters. It has worked very well here.
+1

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BarbaricYawp
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by BarbaricYawp » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:31 pm

StrangePenguin wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:47 pm
When I lived in France (near Geneva, Switzerland) I had the coolant hoses on my Toyota Yaris chewed twice by an animal that is called a stone marten in English (fouine in French).
Family friends in Michigan had to build a garage at their summer cottage to store the beater cars they left up there. Apparently porcupines are fond of hoses, especially if the vehicle had been driven in the winter at all because all the rubber bits were lightly coated in salt...
"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." --Dorothy Parker

bowtie
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by bowtie » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:22 pm

I drive my car every day .... it's not as if it had been sitting unmoved or not having been driven at the time this happened.
Anyway .... a friend reported mice damage to engine wires parking in a garage at home... traps were set but nothing was ever caught.
As for our parking lot, I never noticed how many small and medium sized shrubs and bushes and hedges of all kinds are all over the place not far from where all the cars are parked in the parking areas...... at least I can hope it picks a different vehicle......
If you want to protect the fuel system and the engine etc. where exactly would you place dryer sheets??

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rh00p
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by rh00p » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:39 pm

Or you can try this.

https://youtu.be/93nj6CeJ0s4
Preparing for the worst. Hoping for the best.

bowtie
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Re: Rodents ate my car!

Post by bowtie » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:34 pm

Someone suggested that - an ultrasonic device to repel them b/c they don't like the sound waves - but when I phoned Home Depot to ask for one and mentioned what it was for, the guy said "But you can't put that in your car engine" .... it's about 69.00 there. Also, the guy who suggested it to me uses it in his yard to keep rodents like mice away from his house.

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