I just paid $3,500 for the replacement of the engine wiring harness (and associated hardware) due to rodent(s) feasting on my 2013 ES300h. The car was parked in the front yard in the same location used for 8 years by my previous 2005 ES330 which never had any rodent problems. Since this is the biggest repair bill I have had in 60 years of driving experience it really got my attention. A quick search on the internet suggests that the trend toward "green" cars has resulted in the use of edible insulation which is attractive to rodents. I am also being told that once rodents learn how tasty my new car is they are likely to return (while ignoring the three older cars parked in the same general location). I don't believe there is anything unusual about our local rodent population so I would think this would be a common problem with the new Lexus models but a search of the forum shows only a smattering of comparable events with no indication that we are at the beginning of an epidemic of eaten "green" cars. My question is: Does Lexus see this as a major issue and do they (or anyone else) have a solution?
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I don't have any knowledge about whether Lexus, in its efforts to be more green, is using materials that are more attractive to rodents, but I do have a question and a suggestion.
Have you checked with your insurance company to see if the damage might be included as a peril covered by your comprehensive coverage? Perhaps, there is some fine print exclusion, but the rodent damage strikes me as something that should be included in the comprehensive coverage.
I would suggest that you find a couple of spots in the engine compartment that are not near direct sources of heat and that you place a couple of fabric softener sheets in those spots. I've had good success in the past using fabric softener sheets to discourage mice from inhabiting the garage, from doing damage to boats being stored for the winter, from doing damage to vehicles being stored for the winter, etc. Perhaps, doing so will reduce the chances of repeat damage.
When mice "eat" things like the insulation on wiring, it is often not because they think of the insulation as a source of food. Instead, it is often that the offending mouse is a pregnant female, and she is gnawing the insulation to enlarge an opening that will give her access to a spot where she wants to nest. And, yes, once she gets a particular location in her brain as to where she wants that nest, she is likely to keep returning to that spot. But there are a couple of other things, besides using the fabric softener sheets that I mentioned in my previous post, that you can do to discourage her. First, you should, at least temporarily, park the car in a different location that is as far from where you have been parking it as possible. By doing so, you will make the same car, a "different" location for her. Also, each night, you can soak rags in the strongest strength of ammonia that you can find and put those rags in the engine compartment (and, of course, remove them the next morning before driving the vehicle). If you do this, the mouse is likely to keep coming back, but, when she smells the ammonia, she will leave for, at least, that night. Eventually, when it gets close to the time when she will be giving birth, she will likely, out of necessity, have to pick a new spot for her nest.
Thank you for your responses. I should have mentioned that rodent damage is currently covered by insurance (subject to the deductible). However, that may change as more "green" cars are manufactured with edible (soy based?) insulation driving insurance costs.
Luckily, I don't have this problem. But the easiest solution that comes to mind, for me, is to get a dog (or a cat).
I had a problem with stray cats sleeping on top of my vehicles at night, leaving mud/dirt on hood, windshield, and roof. To combat this, I just let my dog loose at night (I have a fenced-in yard), and this problem stopped immediately.
Just make sure your dog pretty tame and not too wild, and will not chew your bumpers or mudguards (or even try to climb onto your car).