I am not a vegetarian, but would be if I had to kill what I ate. I even brake for skunks. But after having two of my car’s electrical systems chewed up my mice, I am more than happy to kill the little rodents.
The second time was in September when the dreaded Check Engine Light came on my 2010 Honda Pilot. No big deal, I thought, since it was still under warranty.
Took the car to Hoffman Honda in Avon, where I discovered it was not a minor matter. Mechanic Steve Moreau checked his diagnostic tool and found that one of the sensors – a crucial one impacting the catalytic converter – was shot.
He popped the hood and to my surprise found a nice mice nest on top of the manifold and the remains of a chewed wire dangling off the sensor. It would have been a minor problem, were it not for the fact that the wire went under the manifold, requiring several hours of work as the top of the engine had to be removed.
My car is just one of hundreds of thousands of vehicles that are damaged by rodents every year. The cost of repair can run anywhere from $50 to thousands of dollars.
Rocky Subramani, my service advisor at Hoffman Honda, told me that more than 100 cars were brought to his dealership in the past year because of rodent damage to electrical systems.
“We had three cars just this week,” he told me Wednesday. The most expensive job was $1,000, but he has had electrical damage that exceeded $3,000 in one vehicle where the rodents chewed up the body harness.
So what makes our vehicles attractive to mice and other rodents? Heat and smell.
Subramani warns customers to clean all food – including sealed bags – out of cars, especially nuts and dog food. Also, anything that smells sweet like vanilla air fresheners.
There are all kinds of tools available on the Internet to try to keep the little varmints out of your car – anything from $20 magnetic mothball holders to thousand dollar metal barriers around your parked vehicle.
He said mothballs in the engine compartment helps keep rodents out. Some have used dryer sheets, liquid peppermint or coyote urine on cotton balls.
Subramani said the first thing people should do is regularly pop the hood and look for signs of a nest or droppings. Considering that this is the second time in three years I have had this problem – the first involved my Mini Cooper – I have scheduled that monthly check now on my outlook for both vehicles.
And both vehicles are loaded with mothballs under the hood.
Editor’s note: DrivenCt.com is a consumer auto guide which CtWatchdog Editor & Publisher George Gombossy helped create, provides editorial guidance and advertising in return for a marketing fee. The columns that published from DrivenCt.com are not only edited by George, they are sometimes, suggested by him. In full disclosure, George’s son Ethan Gombossy is the Porsche service representative for Hoffman. And of course from time to time Hoffman dealerships pay for advertising on CtWatchdog.com. George also purchased his company vehicle at Hoffman prior to entering into the marketing agreement. Obviously George has a huge conflict of interest and therefor cannot publish any positive or negative comments from readers about Hoffman Auto Group. As he has in the past, he forwards any complaints he recieves to co-owner Brad Hoffman.
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