Rats, Squirrels, Mice! You can buy the most reliable car on Earth and still find convoluted electrical gremlins, fluid leaks, and even outright failure when rodents take up residence and begin chewing
on wiring, hoses, plastic, and other critical car parts. But we’ve found a deterrent for these four-legged destroyers.
Rodent-inflicted damage is an age-old problem that some observers say is increasing as automakers use more plant-based biodegradable materials to reduce waste. It turns out that rodents sharpening their teeth and feasting on cars are more prevalent than you might think.
We uncovered various technical service bulletins from Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, and Subaru instructing their technicians how to remedy chewed wiring harnesses. So many people have been looking for solutions that the topic has trended on Reddit.
Readers posted several solutions, from covering the wires with a metal mesh to painting them with hot sauce. Some Consumer Reports staffers also have stories of small furry creatures chewing through power steering lines, filling engine intakes with acorns, and plugging up air-conditioning ducts with their nests.
We bought a roll of rodent-deterrent tape to check out. Beyond the cute rodent graphics and gray color, it deceptively seems like regular electrical tape to us humans. There is no tear-inducing odor, but it does carry a label that warns against prolonged exposure to skin. Despite dares and double dares, we did not taste it and will trust that it is potent enough to deter even the most ravenous varmint.
Other suggestions for dealing with rodents under your hood include installing a metal mesh around wiring harnesses and rubber hoses and across any openings where rodents could crawl into your ventilation or intake systems. Or you could put mouse poison mixed with peanut butter around your garage for a more severe solution.
Even if these measures don’t work, you can take heart: “A mouse ate my wiring harness” excuse at least sounds more creative than “The dog ate my homework.”
Thanks to Consumer Reports for the info. https://www.consumerreports.org/car-maintenance/how-to-protect-your-car-from-rodents/