Photo Video
File photo Creative Commons
Hide Caption

Rodents find new car wiring tasty

Don't Waste Your Money

a a a a
Share this story

Has the push to go green gone too far?

That may be the case when it comes to the wiring in our cars, trucks, and SUV's.  It turns out a new type of environmentally friendly wiring may be too friendly to animals.

No Start, Wiring on Driveway

Woody and Mary Herald couldn't figure out why their Buick Lucerne suddenly wouldn't run.

"I got in it," she said, "and it would just click click and would not start!"

So her husband popped the hood, looked around, and on the ground underneath spotted a chewed off wiring harness.

"On the ground is this connector with 6 inches of wire on either end of it," Herald said,"that the varmints had chewed in 2 completely."

New Wiring Tasty to Rodents

It turns out a number of car brands have wiring that is tasty to rodents, according to Connecticut Watchdog, CarTalk, and a number of automotive blogs.

Mechanic Marc Dueubber of Duebber's Automotive in Cincinnati's Delhi Township says many automakers have moved to biodegradable, soy based wiring insulation in the past 10 years. It won't last forever in landfills, like older plastic wiring.

It's great for the environment, but even better for hungry mice and squirrels.

"They are drawn to it, therefore they are chewing and eating it," Duebber said. "And we are finding nests created in the upper plenums (fresh air intakes). "

He showed an air filter that mice recently turned into a nest, using bits of wiring insulation.

What You Can Do

Some automakers are responding.  Honda dealers now sell rolls of anti rodent tape for wires, that can be used on any car, not just Hondas.

"There are some products you can put there as a rodent deterrent," Duebber said.

Mary and Woody Herald bought a product called Rodent Repellent, for use under the hood.  They have also put bits of mothballs around the wiring, just to be sure.

They say they simply wish they had been warned, before their $400 repair.

"They want to go green but they should warn the public," Mary Herald said.

If you suspect a critter has gotten under the hood of your car, you need to take action immediately, because he will be back. And he may bring his friends and family next time.

As always, don't waste your money.
    
_____________________

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

"Like" John Matarese on Facebook

Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More DWYM
Need MRI or CT scan? How to save hundreds
Need MRI or CT scan? How to save hundreds

John Matarese shows a great alternative to expensive hospital scans

Apps that can be dangerous for children
Apps that can be dangerous for children

Is it really a friend or is it a predator? Unless you are actively monitoring your child's smartphone and tablet apps, you are not…

Free Shred Day this Saturday
Free Shred Day this Saturday

John Matarese has details on a  major free shredding event

How to get rid of old electronics for cash
How to get rid of old electronics for cash

Do you have an old computer or an ancient cellphone sitting around your house? With Earth Day upon us, it’s the perfect time to do away…

Popular app turned out to be a fake
Popular app turned out to be a fake

John Matarese warns why trusting apps just because they are popular is not a great idea

Swifty gas station closings mean end of an era
Swifty gas station closings mean end of an era

John Matarese reports on the end of full-service gasoline.

App of the Week
App of the Week

Check out John Matarese's latest money saving smartphone apps.

The olive oil you buy may be a ripoff
The olive oil you buy may be a ripoff

John Matarese has a caution about some supermarket olive oil

Magazines now ask you to renew constantly
Magazines now ask you to renew constantly

John Matarese has a caution for magazine subscribers

Best places to find free public Wi-Fi
Best places to find free public Wi-Fi

John Matarese lists the best places for finding free public Wi-Fi and a caution before you use the service.