How do you prevent rodents from hibernating in your engine?

Whether you live in an urban or rural area, the problem is the same. As soon as it starts to get cold, rodents of all kinds seek shelter. And what could be warmer and more comfortable than an engine… Whether you are the proud owner of a luxury sedan, an old clunker or a collector’s car, they are nothing to look at. And even if your car sleeps in a closed garage, they still find a way through. Sometimes all it takes is a small space of less than 6cm to allow them access to your vehicle. Their installation would not be a problem if they did not corrode the electrical cables, ignition wires, hoses and even the insulating padding, to the point of infiltrating the muffler, sometimes causing several thousand euros worth of damage in less than 24 hours.

Why are engines so attractive to rodents?

This phenomenon has always existed, but it has become more pronounced due to the ecological transition. Rodents are actually very fond of cable components and mechanical elements made of biomaterials. From tires to interior elements, cars with more and more materials of this type, rodents can even consider breeding there, especially if your vehicle remains idle for long periods.

Aerosol rodent repellants should be applied as a spray every eight days or so. Very effective, they prevent attacks throughout the winter period.

How to avoid installation?

Several precautions must be taken to prevent rodents from settling permanently:

  • Avoid leaving leftover sandwiches, crumbs and candy packets, the smell of which will attract them, in the cabin.
  • Similarly, do not store food near your vehicle. It is better to ban dog food bags from the garage. They love it too!
  • Do not leave your vehicle stationary for several days in a row. Change it regularly if you park it outside.
  • If your car sleeps in the garage, leave the hood open so they don’t feel too comfortable in the dark.
  • If you have a cat, allow it access to the garage at will. Very often its smell will deter attackers.
  • Place traps for rats and mice under or near the vehicle.
  • Use odor repellants found at auto centers to spray the engine bay and cabin. In aerosols, these products provide good protection for about a week, without leaving an unwanted odor in the cabin or staining the treated surfaces. A protection that must of course be renewed after a few days.
  • Finally, you can place an ultrasonic suppression box in the engine bay when your vehicle is parked. You will find some from €25. Some models are more specifically suitable for martens, weasels or rodents in general. They can run on batteries, the mains or be connected to the car battery. Some models are even equipped with high-voltage washers, which send a shock to the unwanted animal. These ultrasonic boxes emit a noise that is inaudible to the human ear, but completely unbearable for rodents. Be careful though, choose a device that allows you to vary the frequencies of the ultrasounds. Otherwise, the animals will end up getting used to it and your box will no longer be of any use to you. Of course, don’t forget to remove it before you take your car out of the garage!
This ultrasonic anti-mouse ultrasonic device is hard-wired and powered by your vehicle's battery.
This ultrasonic anti-mouse ultrasonic device is hard-wired and powered by your vehicle’s battery.

Can we make a claim on our insurance in case of damage?

If you benefit from a “mechanical breakdown” warranty as part of your car insurance, your insurance company can guarantee you financial support for the repairs. Mechanical breakdown cover allows the insurance company to cover repair costs associated with repairing the vehicle in the event of a breakdown or accidental immobilisation. But it is better to check that rodent damage is part of it. That said, your annual premium may suffer. To save money, it is best to avoid the intrusion of unwanted.

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