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How to Protect Your Car from Rodents?

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1.    Choose your parking place

2.    Close the garage

3.    Get rid of any attractive material

4.    Choose a different trash cans storage

5.    Remove food leftovers from the car

6.    Drive more

When it gets cold, many creatures like rodents, mice, or probably squirrels look for warm places to hide to stay alive during these cold days. It's not rare to deal with rodents get into your vehicle's engine and stay there for extended times. Unfortunately, when rodents get inside the car, they hide and chew up many critical components and cause significant damages to the wiring.

No matter how reliable and good your vehicle is, dealing with rodent damage is extremely critical. It might result in significant issues that cause thousands of dollars to get resolved. Therefore, it is a must for any driver to familiarize himself with protecting the vehicle from rodents.

This article provides you with some expert recommendations on practices to implement so you can keep rodents and other creatures away from your car. It also provides you with some solutions and expert opinions about how to get rid of rodent damage in your vehicle.

Why do rodents damage your vehicle's wiring by chewing it?

You've probably heard about rodents chewing cars wiring, but have you ever asked yourself why do they do so? Unfortunately, there are very common misconceptions about the main and true reason why rodents chew your vehicle's wiring.

One very common myth is that the wiring is coated with a certain material that rodents like to chew up and eat. However, that's not true. Another common myth is that your vehicle emits certain electromagnetic waves that track rodents and make them eat the wiring. However, that's also not true.

If you are familiar with the rodent’s biology, you'll get a clear answer about why they would chew your vehicle's wiring. First, rodents choose to live in your engine compartment because it's the safe, warm, and perfect place for them to nest without being feared by predators. Second, once they settle in your vehicle’s engine compartments, they need to chew upon something all the time to prevent their teeth from growing up nonstopping.

Yes! Roll density grew continuously without stopping, and if they don't chew up on something, they cannot control it, and the teeth get to a size where it's not comfortable to live with. That's why rodents need to find something to sharpen their teeth and keep them with the optimum size.

Since the wiring is the software component in your vehicle’s engine compartments, it makes sense for rodents to chew them first thing rather than knocking and chewing up the metal component. In addition, experts mentioned that the vehicle's wiring also mimics the plants and stems, making rodents chew them first thing before any other component.

Why did rodent infestation increase during the pandemic?

Automotive experts noticed a clear trend in rodent infestation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the different reasons for this trend, here's what consumerreports.org indicated:

1.    Pandemic related less driving

Experts notice that people are staying home more, which means that their vehicles are expected to sit for extended times and more than before. Therefore, different rodents started targeting these vehicles and chewing up the internal wiring.

“There is a myriad of reasons why we’ve seen an increase in rodent sightings throughout the pandemic,” he tells CR. “First and foremost, people have spent more time at home over the last year than probably ever before. When we’re home, we notice more.”

2.    Pandemic related restaurant closures

Another important possible reason for increased reported rodent infestation in vehicles during the pandemic is restaurant closures. With fewer or starting activities, rodents seem to have fewer resources and fewer warm places to hide in.

“Pandemic-driven restaurant closures forced rodents to find new food sources,” Ramsey explains. “Without restaurant waste to dine on, rodents started scavenging new areas, often into residential communities that were still producing food waste.”

How can rodent infestation damage your vehicle?

Rodent infestation can impact your car in many ways, and the impact can range from simple issues to significantly severe problems. Let's take a closer look at how rodent infestation can damage your car:

1.    Chewed wiring

As we indicated before, rodents' first and most common impact damages to the wiring connection. Obviously, when the wiring connection is damaged, all your electric components will get severely impacted, and, in some scenarios, they might not work properly unless you replace the entire network.

2.    Clogging filters

Rodents won't only chew up the wiring but also start forming some nesting around important components like the filters. As a result, fluids won't flow properly, which impacts your vehicle. Depending on the fuel type, complications can range from moderate to significant, especially those related to a clogged oil filter.

How to protect your car from rodents?

After understanding the complications that rodent infestation can cause your vehicle, you must prepare some recommendations on how to protect your car from rodents. Let's look at what automotive experts recommend:

1.    Choose your parking place

Some parking locations are associated with more rodent exposure. For example, parking lots around food sources or garbage cans are ideal areas for rodents to live. Therefore, you must stay away from these locations as much as possible to prevent rodent damages to your vehicle.

2.    Close the garage

If you're lucky enough and have a sealed garage, you must keep the doors closed and close any holes that might allow rodents to get inside your garage. In addition, you might want to check the windows and close the gaps that allow these rodents to sneak inside.

3.    Get rid of any attractive material

You must get rid of any material that attracts rodents to come live inside in your parking location. For example, if you have rugs, patio furniture, cardboards, newspapers, try to get rid of all of these or at least sort them in an area away from your vehicle. Of course, you don't want to leave any food sources on the road, and so they don't get attracted in the first place.

4.    Choose a different trash cans storage

If you're used to storing your empty trash cans inside your garage, try to change the strategy, especially when noticing rodent’s movement around your house. The more you keep these trash cans away, the harder it is for your rodents to get attracted to your vehicle and live inside.

5.    Remove food leftovers from the car

It would help if you didn't leave any food leftovers inside the car. Otherwise, rodents will smell the food and come directly to the vehicle. But, of course, if you drive children, it can get easier for children to sneak and hide food between furniture and under the seats. Therefore, you must perform a thorough inspection of any food leftovers from your vehicle's interior every night.

6.    Drive more

Yes, we might be sitting homes during the pandemic, but it doesn't mean that you can't move your vehicle between now and then. Driving your car discourages world ends from living because it gives them a sign that the vehicle is not a safe place to stay in, especially with hearing the motor running and the other loud noises that could happen when you start the car.

How to get rid of rodent infestation in your car?

If you got into your vehicle after leaving it sitting for a couple of days and noticed some weird noises, it might indicate that rodents already made their way to your car. Therefore, there are some courses of action that you must implement to reduce the severity of the problem as much as possible:

1.    Consult your mechanic and evaluate the damage

Rodents already caused the damages, and the next step is for your mechanic to perform a thorough inspection to determine what was damaged exactly. Before you do so, it is recommended that you don't drive the car in cases of severe issues that might get more complicated as you drive the vehicle.

Once your mechanic takes a closer look, he will provide you with recommendations about what needs to be done. Obviously, if the damages were not severe, you are lucky enough, and you can go ahead and fix the problems. However, if the damages were significant, you might want to evaluate whether it's worth fixing the vehicle or not.

2.    Evaluate whether it's fixing the car or not

Once you know how much money fixing the vehicle needs, you can compare your vehicle's value to the required repair costs. If you notice that repair costs are approaching 75 or more from your vehicle's value, it is not worth the repairs, and you'd better choose to buy a better vehicle.

3.    Change your parking location

After learning the hard way, it is now the right time to choose a better parking location if you can hear it. For example, if you used to park your car outside of your garage, consider parking inside. Also, consider investing in purchasing some traps whenever you notice any rodent’s movement around your vehicle.

What are the different types of rodents that might chew your vehicle's wiring?

There are different types of rodents that might be common in your area, and each type has its own risk and might get to certain components in your car than others.

1.    Mice

Since mice are the smallest rodents that could chew your vehicle's wiring, the risk of dealing with my says that they can get into small, tiny holes and make their way to your vehicle’s engine. However, they are not expected to do significant damages to your vehicle's wiring compared to other larger rodents.

2.    Rats

Unfortunately, rats or almost the most dangerous type of rodents can get to your vehicle. This is because they're not very big, but they can do significant damages in no time. In most scenarios, any wiring chewing happens due to rats chewing that any other creature mentioned in this list.

3.    Squirrels

It might be a little surprising to know that Squirrels can make their way to your vehicle's interior even though there are no big holes out there. This is because most of the squirrel’s bodies are filled with fur, which means that they don't need a big hole to get into your vehicle’s engine. Therefore, squirrels are still common culprits for wiring damages inside your car.

4.    Chipmunks

If you know that there are many chipmunks around your area, you might want to watch out for your car and implement the recommendations we will mention in this article to prevent them from getting inside your engine and damaging the wiring.

5.    Other bigger animals

Not only will mice, rats, squirrels, and chipmunks get into your car, but many other animals could cause some damage. For example, some customers reported dealing with issues related to groundhogs, opossums, and other woodchucks.

How to Protect Your Car from Rodents: Conclusion

Rodent infestation is a common problem that many people suffer from, especially as the cold season approaches. With the COVID-19 pandemic, rodent problems became more common as people stayed home and vehicles were not driven frequently.

Learning about protecting your car from rodents is critical to save your vehicle and prevent dealing with significant damages that could cost you thousands of dollars. This article highlighted old tips and tricks that you can implement to select the right parking place and discourage rodents from getting inside your vehicle.

If rodents made their way to your car and caused significant problems, your vehicle might not be worth the repairs, especially if these problems require high repair costs. If that happens, you always recommend selling your vehicle and using its money towards a better car that doesn't have major problems.

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