Preventing Rodents from Damaging Your Vehicle

A woodchuck peeking out from underneath a car in a parking lotNo matter the model, rodents can always find a way into your car. When pests take up residence in your automobile, it can lead to expensive and sometimes dangerous electrical or engine failures. The risk of auto damage caused by rodents is even higher now that a large percentage of the population is still quarantining and working from home. To avoid harm to your wallet and yourself, it’s beneficial to learn these tips on preventing rodents from damaging your vehicle.

How Can Rodents Damage Your Vehicle?

Many are aware of the harm wildlife can cause to homes, but far less consider the dangerous driving conditions that can result from rodent damage. These damages can manifest in several ways:

  • Chewing Wires: Rodents chew wires due to the soy-based insulation that surrounds them, using the material as a food or nesting source. This leads to short circuits, resulting in costly damage to your engine and dangerous driving situations.
  • Nesting in the Engine or Interior: It’s not only unsightly, but nesting can also lead to unsafe driving conditions. The food and debris stored in their nests can catch fire when the engine heats up, inhibit fuel and air from entering the engine, or interfere with your pedal mechanisms.
  • Ruining the Air Quality: If rodents nest in your air filter, particles of their droppings and dander can fill your cabin. This can cause respiratory problems and spread viruses and bacteria.

The damage caused by these critters can cost thousands of dollars depending on the extent, and oftentimes the damages will go unnoticed until an issue or accident arises while driving the car.

How Can You Prevent Rodents from Damaging Your Vehicle?

Cars have become increasingly more attractive to rodents due to switching to plant-based alternatives for insulation. Fortunately, there are many ways you can deter pest from entering your car:

  • Mothballs: You can scatter mothballs around your car and under the engine bay, as the smell repels pests and rodents.
  • Soundwaves: Products exist that emit ultrasonic sounds that deter rodents, some of which are designed to mount to your engine bay.
  • Wire Mesh: If you’re experiencing a severe rodent problem, consult your mechanic about installing wire mesh around your wiring.
  • Eliminate Food Sources: Don’t leave any food items in your car, as rodents will see it as an invitation. Also, ensure your car is not parked close to a waste bin.
  • Move Your Car Often: If your car suffers from nonuse – especially during quarantine – rodents will find it an ideal place to nest. Starting and moving your car frequently will deter rodents and scare off any that are beginning to nest.

You should inspect your car every once in a while – such described in our blog, 4 Tips for Summer Car Care – as some of the damages can be uncovered before it’s too late. If you notice missing strips of insulation, you should wrap the wires in rodent-resistant tape and implement these measures.

Does Auto Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?

Whether rodent damage is covered by your auto insurance depends on the specific terms of your policy. Oftentimes, traditional policies don’t cover these types of damages, as its difficult to uncover when the damage occurred. However, comprehensive auto insurance will cover the damages, usually only requiring the owner to pay a small deductible. That’s because comprehensive policies will cover most of the damages to your car while it’s not being driven, such as acts of nature.

Preventing rodents from damaging your vehicle is relatively easy and will potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs. Otherwise, if you’re not sure whether you have comprehensive insurance or if your policy covers rodent damage, reach out to your independent insurance agent. At TJ Woods Insurance, we have decades of experience finding the right auto insurance for our clients. If you would like to inquire more about protecting yourself from rodent damages or protecting your other assets, contact us today.