In the past several months we have seen several instances of rat and mice damage, and the havoc they play on our customers’ vehicles. The two most common ways the little critters can ruin your day are by simply making their way inside your car where they make a nest and sometimes die! Or, what turns out to be the most expensive, they find their way into your engine compartment and attack the wiring.
Apparently, automotive wiring is a tasty delicacy they just love to eat and with the multitude of complex systems and the miles of wiring our vehicles are fitted with today, one little mouse can cause thousands of dollars in damage. So, if you start your car some morning and notice it’s not running the same as when you parked it or your Check Engine light is on, there’s a good chance something has been snacking on the wiring of your car.
And when they simply make their way inside? Well, these little buggers can really ruin your day when they crawl into the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system (HVAC) of your car. We see evidence all the time of mice and rats simply spending time or are actually deceased atop your Cabin Air Filters. I don’t need to say much except, all the “fresh” air you receive through the vehicle HVAC system, passes through your cabin air filter and so anything that sits on top of the filter and can get through it, will be hitting you in the face!
Evidence of rodents nesting was in this filter
Often times insurance will cover damage caused by rodents, but no one wants to deal with chewed wires or an unpleasant smell!
A couple of clues that you’ve had visitors are:
- upon opening your hood you see vegetation in areas that you shouldn’t. Rodents like to bring their food to the engine compartment where it’s warm a cozy.
- Nesting material throughout the engine compartment
- A not so great odor on the inside of the car that gets worse when you turn your AC fan on.
- Diminished air volume from the HVAC vents.
Remember, your cabin filter should be inspected regularly, we inspect our customer’s Cabin filters during most services. If you or someone in your family is susceptible to allergies, I would consider having yours changed at least annually and with an upgraded product that is better equipped to fight allergens
And the last thing, you may wonder what happens when a critter isn’t able to escape before you drive off. Here’s a very short video of one of our customer’s cars that had just gotten off the freeway while driving from Mission Viejo (Mouse Ride). The part against the mouse’s back is an axle that spins at several thousand RPM!