Q: A friend thought you could help me. A rodent caused a $3,400 repair to my car when the engine wiring harness and insulation needed to be replaced after rodent damage. I’ve read of many possible deterrents being discounted by some other sites. can you help me find the truth
I rent and don’t have a garage. There is no food or seeds in the car. We have rat traps outside. I will not use poisons. What deterrent works to protect cars?
A: Today we’re taking a spin through the Bay Area, where rodents can wreak havoc with car wiring. Here’s what readers have recommended in the past…
Q: Irish Spring Soap puts them off. I put a latch in my jaguar’s engine and another in the trunk. Rats nibbled a bit but never stayed.
A: Good to know.
Q: My neighbors have three cats to keep the rodent population down, but their cats use my yard as their toilet. They also scared away my bird and squirrel friends and ate most of my bug eating lizards.
Stacy Frawley, Walnut Creek
Q: Goodnature A24 automatic rat and mouse trap is toxin-free, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally exposing pets or children.
A: Reassuring to know.
Q: Our 1998 Dodge Durango has those tasty cables that rats love. We swapped our wiring harness twice. I finally found a device that has kept them away ever since, the P3 International Under Hood Animal Repeller.
I tie it to something around the battery and it doesn’t move or rattle. Works great. The beeping is definitely audible but not very annoying unless you’re a rat.
Q: Try dryer sheets. Tie them around various wires under the hood. Everyone in my rural neighborhood uses them.
Ellen Shehadeh, Inverness
A: Another simple solution.
Q: I haven’t had any problems with rodents in the engine bay since I started using RidARat LED lights under my hood.
Q: Mice are repelled by the smell of peppermint oil. Put some peppermint oil/extract in a spray bottle and spritz down your wiring. It works out.
A: Good to know.
Q: My Volvo mechanic recommended spraying Febreze under the hood. I had to replace a wiring harness at significant expense. No more rat damage after trying Febreze.
A: And now for today’s final word…
Q: After chewing through the wires under the hood of my car and completely disabling my vehicle, my maintenance staff suggested installing Mouse Blocker Pro. Works great!
A: Any other tips? Cold weather drives rats to seek out warm places, often car engines.
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