Things to Know About Rodents Chewing on Vehicle Wires - Capitol Subaru of Salem Service Information

What do you see under the hood of your car? Probably you notice an engine, some fluid reservoirs and all sorts of belts, wires and tubes. But what mice and rats see is a smorgasbord. Rodents have been known to chew on wires, insulation and other soft materials under the hood of cars. If they sever a key wire with their chewing, it can even immobilize your car completely! Find out why rodents are attracted to your car's wiring and how you can keep them out on this page. If a pesky pest has already done some damage on your car, head to the Capitol Subaru service center. Our experienced technicians have seen this problem before, more often than you might think, so we can locate the damage and replace any components that have teeth marks on them.

Wire With Rodent Damage

5. Prevent Garage Access

Not everyone can store their vehicle in a garage overnight, but if you can, it can give you an advantage when it comes to keeping pests out. Remember, mice can squeeze in through cracks no wider than a human finger, so search out access points in your garage and block them. Inside your garage is also a great place to deploy traps. Finally, if you've got a pet, you might let them run around the garage occasionally. Dogs and cats are considered predators by mice and rats, and their smell and fur will deter the pests from entering your garage in the first place.

Dog In Car

4. Leave The Hood Open

Your car's engine compartment makes for a fantastic shelter for rodents. Think about it: they prefer warm, dry, enclosed spaces. The residual heat from the engine may attract the local rodent population after you park your vehicle and head inside. The engine compartment has all sorts of nooks and crannies where they can get comfortable and even begin nest building.

When you open the hood, you'll take away that shelter, and mice and rats may move on to a more desirable location. While you might be concerned that opening the hood will only make it easier for the pests to get inside, they usually get in through the bottom of the vehicle anyway, and opening the hood helps to let in light and allow the heat from the engine to dissipate faster.

3. Cover Entrances With Copper Mesh

Humanity has been warring with these pests for centuries, and we know a lot about what they do and don't like. One thing mice and rats simply refuse to chew on? Copper. Since these animals tend to get inside your car through small openings like air intakes and the evaporator drain tube, you could have a technician cover these entrances with a copper mesh. The mesh will continue to allow air to flow into the intake and condensation to drip down the drain tubes, but won't allow rats to get inside. There are lots of places where a mouse or rat might gain access, but taking away the most obvious entrances may encourage them to try to find shelter elsewhere.

Wiring Harness

2. Deploy Peppermint Oil

The market offers a wide variety of products to deter pests, including mothballs, commercial chemicals and even powdered urine from a predator like a fox -- but since these can have an unpleasant odor at best and could actually be harmful to your health at worst, we don't prefer these methods. However, essential peppermint oil has been known to deter pests, with no ill side effects for us humans. Rats and mice hate the stuff, with its powerful, minty scent, and spraying peppermint oil on the ground around your car, under the hood and even in the interior will encourage rodents to move on to a better, less odorous shelter.

1. Remove Trash And Debris

Remember, rodents often enter your engine compartment and do damage looking for nesting materials or just something to chew on. But they're often lured there in the first place by something else. Food wrappers and fast food cups left in your car can have a tempting odor to a rat or mouse. If you store trash cans, pet food and other sources of food smells in your garage, these can also attract rats. Make sure your parking area is clean, and any food or trash are safely stored in sealed containers. Doing so might prevent a pest from taking interest in your car in the first place.