The story of rodents eating car wires starts with Springtime, the time of year when birds start making their nests and some other critters like to find a nice place to set up house. Unfortunately, if it’s a squirrel, mouse, or chipmunk and they’re trying to set up house under the hood of your car–or even worse the ducting for your climate control–things can go rotten pretty quick! In the auto industry, we’ve been trying to deal with this problem for years, and only recently I’ve seen some really good ideas. First let me show you two pictures of a typical damage scenario caused by rodents eating car wires:
My first experience with this type of damage from rodents eating car wires occurred in the late 80s. A mouse was attracted to the garage of a man’s house by the dog food he kept there. It then decided that the warm engine that showed up every night with the guys 1990 Acura Legend was a nice place to move his family into. As a late-night snack, they decided that an antilock brake system wiring harness was just the thing for curing the munchies. Antilock brake systems, unfortunately, are required to be replaced as an entire unit because of safety concerns.
This got to be quite expensive! I didn’t have the information than that I have now, and I suggested that he get a cat, set traps, and other common sense methods to perhaps rid himself of these expensive wire-eating rodents. He soon after moved out of Athens, so I don’t know the level of success which was achieved.
Then, just yesterday, I was on a website where I spend a good bit of time, known as International Automotive Technicians Network, or IATN.net. It seems that a friend of mine who owns a shop very much like mine in Gainesville, Florida is having very similar problems. The difference this time is that he got some very good advice on how to deal with rodents eating car wires, and shared with me the below link:
The irony of this link is that it’s a professional Honda address. It seems that Honda is still building some very tasty (at least to mice) wiring harnesses. I love the idea of a hot pepper tape! Another idea which was given to me was to use the urine of a coyote or any other type of mouse predator. This makes sense from a layman’s point of view as well is scientifically. My only concern would be the effectiveness/lifespan of these deterrents. The way my luck would have it the day the deterrent would need to be reapplied would be the day that a family of mice would decide to move in to my car with electrical wiring on their menu. But anyway, I’m happy to last have some real solutions for this continuing problem that most people never even think about or consider until it happens to them and their car.
Here are some more pictures of the damage that comes from rodents eating car wires!