If your car won't start and you look under the hood and find what looks like nests and food scraps, you may have a rodent problem. The worst part is, rodents chewing up wiring underneath the hood can prevent your vehicle from starting at all. We know that this can be stressful, but luckily, your Serene, Green Auto Repair Team - ASE Certified Technicians here at Water Star Motors in Santa Cruz are the rodent damage repair experts. As soon as you suspect rodent damage, bring your car to our shop, and we will help you take care of the issue.
Rodent vehicle damage can include chewing up air filters, wiring harnesses, hoses, and more. Living in the Santa Cruz mountains makes you more at risk for rodent damage in your car. At Water Star Motors, your local Santa Cruz rodent damage repair shop, we've seen hundreds of these cases and understand the process in which to not only repair your vehicle, but to correctly remove nests, droppings, and food stored by the critters. We also understand how to properly sanitize your car to remove traces of rat bacteria, urine, dander, and more.
Why do rodents choose your vehicle as a place to nest? Rodents typically look for warm or dark places that protect them from predators. Your car is the perfect place for a rodent to feel safe and to be able to store food. Rodents can also find pet food or garbage in garages, attracting even more of these pests.
These critters also tend to chew and gnaw on things to keep their growing teeth at a manageable length, which is terrible news for the internal parts of your vehicle. The chewing on essential wiring, building nests, and hiding food under your hood can cause plenty of damage that has to be removed, fixed, and cleaned up. The chewed wires can sometimes be challenging to find since there are many hidden in hard-to-see or reach spaces among your engine or dash components.
Rodents love heater boxes - they are very cozy. If your heater starts being noisy, smells funny, or quits working, this could be an indicator of rats, mice, or other critters in your car. Sometimes they get into the blower fan for the heater and fill it with nesting material. This causes an odd vibrating noise with the fan turned on.
The diseases and bacteria that rodents can carry are also a huge problem when it comes to rodent vehicle damage. If you have rodents in your cabin air filter, every time you turn on your heater, you could be inhaling particles from rat droppings and dander, which can be dangerous to your health.
Here are some signs that can indicate you have a vehicle rodent problem:
- Damage to your vehicle's wiring, tubing, and hoses
- Engine runs quietly or is more insulated
- Loss of power due to an air cleaner housing full of a rodents nest.
- You notice food or scrap items under the hood
- Unpleasant smells such as rodent feces or urine inside your car (or dead critter smell)
- Nests made of chewed-up insulation, twigs, scraps, etc.
- Chewed edges on under-hood insulation and or the fire wall cover
- Rat droppings in or around where your vehicle is stored
- Scraps of chewed paper under the hood
- A UV light shows the presence of rodent urine
- You already have a persistent problem with rodents around your home
Here are some ways that you can combat further rodent damage from occurring:
- Leave your car's hood up if you park in a garage
- Have Water Star Motors install a rodent screen over the air intake to the heater. This prevents them from getting to the cabin filter.
- Try to drive your vehicle regularly; stored and unused vehicles are usually affected the most
- Try to avoid parking in forested areas or high-grass areas
- Use screening or sheet metal to seal up small holes in the garage
- Secure pet food and birdseed
- Avoid leaving garbage around where your vehicle is stored, or at least adequately safe from rodents and critters
- Peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, or Pine-Sol-soaked cotton balls around tires
Your insurance may cover some rodent damage repairs. Our staff has years of experience dealing with insurance companies to get your vehicle repaired properly. If you do find yourself with signs of rodents please take pictures of any damage you can see. Remember there could still be a mouse inside your car. It's a not-so-nice surprise to have one run across your foot while driving. Then contact us to get your car in and inspected for any minor or serious damage. If necessary we will have you contact your insurance company and start a claim. After that, our staff of professional negotiators will be your advocate and deal with the insurance adjusters for you. We can then get the ball rolling and make sure any and all damage caused by these critters is handled properly. This includes cleaning and sanitizing the entire vehicle so it is safe for you to drive again.
If you notice any symptoms indicating you have Santa Cruz rodent vehicle damage, don't hesitate to give us a call at Water Star Motors or bring your vehicle into our shop today!