With cooler temperatures and wet weather right around the corner small critters are looking for warm places to sleep at night. One favorite is under the hood of your car. Yup in your engine compartment it can stay warm for several hours. I’m sure some of you may have heard of cats sleeping under the hood to keep warm or about mice making their nests next to your vehicle’s engine. Well we see quite a bit of this and it seems to be getting worse. Keeping our cars away from rodents is not always so easy considering where some of us live.  Next to open fields, wooded areas, green belts here in Orangevale can make it difficult to control rodents getting into our cars; even cars parked in a garage are suspect to those small pesky critters.

Here is just some basic damage to the vehicle speed sensors, this is a costly repair and will cause your “Check Engine” light to illuminate but won’t cause an accident.

basic damage to the vehicle speed sensors

basic damage to the vehicle speed sensors - image #2

This is the wiring harness for his trailer, these wires connect the lights and brake signals from the towing vehicle to the trailer, this loss of connection can cause the brake/turning/parking lights to fail, the brakes on the trailer to fail and/or touching frayed wires can caused mixed signals to the trailer lights. This can be dangerous especially when towing at night or a heavy load.

wiring problemswiring problems - image #2

These are metal brake lines, not all vehicles have metal brake lines. If these would have been a thinner material, plastic or rubber this damage would have cause brake failure to the vehicle. This is a huge hazard and if the driver didn’t know the brakes weren’t working until up to a higher speed this would have caused an accident.

metal brake lines

These little guys can create havoc on your car’s hoses, vacuum lines, electrical wiring and more causing hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage. You may get a warning that something is going wrong if your check engine light comes on but not always. Some insurance companies cover this kind of damage however other insurance companies have exceptions for rodent damage. If you live in an area where this can happen you may want to see if you have the type of coverage that would take care of such a loss.

There are some ways to control these little characters’s access to your car, but you have to do it safely. Using poison or traps are a couple of ways to deter these guys but be careful if you have pets or small children. Calling an exterminator may be your best option.

Periodically check in an around where you park your car especially when parking in a barn, garage or on a surface other then cement. Look for remnants of rodent damage, little bits of wire, hose, and pieces of plastic and let’s not forget rodent droppings. On occasion lift the hood of your car and check for evidence of something sharing your vehicles under-hood warmth. Glance for chewed up parts, a nest or droppings and if you ever think that something is damaged or consider it may be unsafe have your vehicle towed for your safety and the safety of others.

Written By: "The Car Guy"