Rodents ate my car!

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Church Lady
Posts: 484
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:49 pm

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: ... 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

Posts: 3808
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

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 :-)

Church Lady
Posts: 484
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:49 pm

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

Posts: 160
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 11:10 am

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.

Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:14 am

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? ... B071ZF2VZJ (squeamish warning - images of dead mice)
This is just a clever monetization of the classic "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.

Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:35 am

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.

Posts: 2320
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:51 am

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" ... 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.
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.

Posts: 1551
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Re: Rodents ate my car!

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

My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

User avatar
Posts: 4897
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

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. ... p-bbrzu001
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:44 pm

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.

User avatar
Posts: 3327
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:17 am
Location: Ohio

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:

Posts: 657
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:17 pm

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!

Post Reply