We may know rats as just the furry little rodent-cousins to mice, but technicians actually use “rats” as a collective term for any and all critters living in the area (rats, squirrels, etc.) that sometimes hunker down in your engine compartment. These critters have been known to steal underhood insulation to build their nests, or often they’ll bring their own building materials and, discontent with the berries and other foods they’ve already stocked, choose to forage on nearby engine wiring and/or hoses. (Just as with our midnight snacks we’re more apt to reach for the bowl of cereal than that banana sitting on the counter.)
The good news is this issue is usually easily repaired; the bad news is there’s no guarantee the little buggers won’t return. But here at Canyon Automotive Repair & Service, we’ll take as many preventative measures as possible to deter the critters. Our technicians will solder new wires into the harness, using shrink tubing to seal the joint, and apply a tape that appears to discourage further taste testing. In some extreme cases with multiple repairs, our Lead Tech Denny has even created wire cages to protect the wiring harness, placing in less accessible areas such as under intake manifolds and brake component wiring.
What Doesn’t Work
- Irish Spring soap. While thought often by customers as a popular rat deterrent, we’ve seen obvious teeth marks on bars of soap where rats have chewed.
- Moth balls. Although an effective deterrent of the past, the moth balls of today no longer have the chemical used to deter critters.
- Rat poison. If nothing else, you would think at least rat poison would get rid of the rats, right? Wrong! In actuality, rat poison only works after the rats have already gone.
- Lift your vehicle’s hood up and leave it raised. If you’re experiencing rat problems with your vehicle, this is the most effective way to discourage critter condos in your engine. Raising the hood removes the shelter from the elements that the critters are seeking.
- Remove any engine cover. If your vehicle’s engine compartment is wearing one of those cute engine covers made by the manufacturer, removing the cover is just as important as raising the hood to eliminate any shelter possibilities for critters.
- Be proactive. If you park your vehicle in a driveway or carport, peek under the hood once in a while to check for little footprints, piles of juniper berries, or any other signs of subdividing. If you’re noticing signs of rat habitation, plan on leaving the hood open overnight.