Got hungry squirrels? Although squirrels and other rodents may not be the first thing you think about when you think of animals that can damage your car, they are the prime suspect. They’re known for chewing on car wires, causing electrical problems.
One reason behind this is due to the increasing amounts of automakers who are using more plant-based biodegradable materials to reduce waste when making cars. They’re also using soy-based electrical insulation. This type of coating on your cars electrical wiring is like candy to rodents looking to feast on your car.
During the winter time, this issue gets even worse. Squirrels and other rodents find the heat of your engine very attractive and seek refuge there during the cold. This can cause hundreds and even thousands of dollars in repairs if this happens frequently.
You may be thinking, is this covered by my insurance? Well, it depends on what type of coverage you have of course!
A key step in making sure you’re protected from these damages is to make sure you have comprehensive coverage. This coverage covers you for any damage that’s not done by collision such as damage from animals, theft, fire, and more. Comprehensive coverage is optional most of the time. This may not be optional if you’re still paying towards your car loan or if you’re leasing your car though, since some companies will require you to have comprehensive coverage if this is the case.
The next question in your mind may be, how can I prevent this from happening to my car? We thought you’d never ask!
Remove and seal off rat hiding places
Any Shrubbery or vines near your vehicle are ideal hiding places for rodents. Remove these to create an open space to discourage from coming near your car. Also, if you’re parked inside of a garage, make sure to block any rat sized entrances and spray around it with substances that these rodents hate.
Block off the engine compartment
Rodents climb up your wheels to get under your hood and into the engine. It is ideal to place traps around your car or on top of the wheels to stop these pests from setting up shop. Some individuals even use wire screens to block off their engines.
Make your engine and its entrances smell bad (to rats at least)
Many individuals have had success using pine-sol, peppermint oil, Irish Spring soap, laundry dryer sheets, red pepper, powdered fox urine, dog hair, cat hair, cat litter and more. Each situation is unique and some of these may not work for everyone. Be sure to check superstores such as Walmart since there are solutions you can use to spray on the wires of your car to deter rodents as well.
Leave the hood up
Rodents prefer a dark place to seek refuge. Leaving your hood up when parked can discourage them due to them being exposed to the light. However, this may not be the best solution in all situations. It’s best to use not just one, but a combination of these techniques at a time.
Again, some solutions may not work for everyone. However, it’s best to try and see which ones work for you to avoid paying out of pocket for expenses caused by these rodents.
Whether or not you want to protect your car against animal damage or not, it’s always good to be covered and armed with knowledge on these topics. If you’re unsure as to if you have comprehensive coverage or not, be sure to call your agent and review your policy. You can always give us a call at 217-345-7063 and we will be glad to give you an auto insurance quote with comprehensive coverage included to give you the best price for proper protection.