In an article published earlier this month, the Free Press talked to Janice Perzigian, whose 2017 Ford Mustang refused to start one day. The cause? A hungry rat had chewed through wiring insulated with a soy-based material in place of the plastic more commonly used for that purpose.
Perzigian isn’t alone.
In fact, the issue of animals feasting underhood has been in the news since at least 2010, when it came to light that rabbits were destroying the wiring in cars parked in the long-term lots at Denver International Airport.
And Honda and Toyota have been targeted in class-action suits claiming their cars’ eco-friendly wiring looms are irresistible to a variety of critters.
As a car owner, such animal incursions can cost anywhere from a few hundred bucks to fix a few wires or thousands of dollars to cover the cost of tracing the resulting electrical faults and replacing more significant amounts of wiring.
It all calls to mind a phenomenon we covered earlier this year when drivers in Michigan and the UK discovered squirrels had been using their cars as depositories for the nuts they’d been collecting.
According to the Free Press, automakers won’t admit the materials they use are the cause of the trouble, and not all insurance companies will cover rodent-related damage.
So how is a car owner to avoid such trouble? Detroit’s Janice Perzigian’s encounter has prompted her to instigate a routine of using a combination of pine-based cleaning spray, dryer sheets and peppermint essential oil in hopes of avoiding future trouble.
“I’m going to do everything possible to eliminate this,” said Perzigian, “and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”