Rodents and wiring, tow vehicles

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by kitphantom, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    We had heard about issues with rodents chewing wiring, especially the newer, soy-based and eco-friendly coated wires. A couple of AZ campgrounds friends have use recommend keeping the hood up to prevent packrats from building nests. There are some trailheads in CO where the marmots have a reputation for chewing wires. Not a nice surprise, to get back from a hike and not be able to start the vehicle.
    We have now experienced this - at home. I started to drive my truck the other day and lights came on, indicating some sort of issue. Not even 11 months old, we were a little miffed to think it had issues. My service writer didn't even want me to drive it in, so it was flat-bedded to the shop. He sent me pics yesterday of the problem.
    We've had ground squirrels hide peanuts in other vehicles, and mice in the inside of a couple at home and away. Have never had chewed wires - maybe they weren't the type that were appealing to rodents.
    The service writer suggested mothballs in stocking fastened in the engine compartment. Not wanting to go that route, since we don't want to chance them coming loose. More importantly, asthma makes it inadvisable to have moth balls anywhere near either of us. (Mine is worse, but neither of us want it angered.)
    I've ordered a spray to try - downside is we'll have to remember to reapply every week or so. However, given where we camp and explore, we need something for the vehicle itself. (I cope with the ground squirrel at home every now and again.) Any tried and true products to suggest? (No poison, thanks.)
     

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  2. davekkk

    davekkk Active Member

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    Dang, I have read the class action lawsuits with Subaru and Toyota regarding this. Huge fear of mine.

    Did they replace the entire wire harness and charge $$$$?
     
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    They are ordering the necessary wiring, so don't know the ultimate cost. Also, if we're going to be on the hook for the flatbed towing, or if that is covered under our however-long warranty. The service writer figured it might be around $400, we'll find out tomorrow or the next day.
    The good news is that we still have a week and a half before our next trip. (The 4Runner can tow the Retro, but it stresses it at times - at almost 189,000 miles, we don't want to push it, we plan to keep it for some time yet.)
     
  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    CabFresh under the hood in a dry place. One thing about moth balls ..... if you can smell them you are using too many. This applies to a lot of things .... like chlorine in swimming pool, etc. More is sometimes not better.

    Another idea ...... how about spraying under the hood parts with simple green?????
     
  5. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Mice?.... I use poison bait stations. I have 7 vehicles and three trailers. Some sit idle for weeks or months at a time. I am not taking any chances with using a deterrent. If they come on my property looking for a quick meal, they will find their last supper.
     
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  6. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    You do not want to leave Simple Green on aluminum parts. It causes corrosion.
     
  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I don't want to use poison, for a number of reasons. For one thing, I worry that they'll snack on the wires before the poison can take effect. I also want to know where they die - we've had a couple mice die in the garage out of easy reach (dragging some not-so-great snap traps) and that is just not what I want to deal with. Plus, we have hawks and kestrels that regularly hunt in our yard, so I don't want to indirectly poison them.
    Cab Fresh did not work in the garage, but it may have been too much open space for it - though I placed it right where (I think) the mice access the garage. I had tried it in the 4Runner the last time we had a mouse inside, but it was too strong in that space for my asthma. I'm hoping anything I use in the engine won't get into the cab.
    Now that I know our wires are appealing to rodents, a repellent is what we need to do, since we camp and park at trail heads where critters have been know to attack wiring.
    One of the Retro owners is battling pack rats (at his home), and is thinking of trying the ultrasonic/strobe light that can be wired in. I suspect the strobe light is the major deterrent. I'll have to check with the dealer to see if wiring it in would void our warranty, though.
     
  8. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    I’ve read about a tape to wrap the wires with that they won’t touch. Google it
     
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    Yes, I found it on Amazon. Capsaicin infused. It's in my wish list - we want to see how difficult it will be to actually wrap our wires with it before ordering it.
    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01FUVTZKY/?coliid=I18WQB35O2YEXN&colid=3N3M4U90Y31D0&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it


    Here's the link for the electron repellent, also in my wish list: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07DVZ8...olid=3N3M4U90Y31D0&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
     
  10. Rockies Bill

    Rockies Bill Runnin' with the pack!

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    I use Vensmile under hood rodent repeller for car found on Amazon. Don’t know if it’s working or not, but no mice—knock on wood.
     
  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I checked under the 4Runner's hood today, and found peanut shells in the usual place. However, the firewall insulation is ruffled too. It's difficult to tell if the squirrel pulled it away from the wall or it just came unglued, since the '05 4Runner is showing its age in places. I left the hood up. The spray is arriving tomorrow. I hope it works, since parking the vehicles with open hoods just doesn't seem practical in the long run.
    The 4Runner is often parked for most of the week, since Courtenay rides his bike to work as much as he can. It also sits while we're away.
     
  12. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I had a nest under the intake manifold. Only found it after my knock sensor starting having issues. After about 3 hours taking apart the top side on the engin, I got to the knock sensors between the top of the block and the intake manifold. There I found a large nest, nuts and chewed on wires running to the knock sensors.

    One of our camping trips the blower started sounding bad when running AC. After taking apart the dash, which took 1-2 hours. I finally got to the blower, only to find on the hamster blower wheel a dead mouse. I figured it keep up with the hamster wheel for the first 1/2 mile and then gave up. May it RIP.

    One of my lawn mowers, would stop after about 45 minutes. After cooling down it would start and run for awhile. After tearing into it. I found a mouse made a nest all round the air cooled cylinder. Cleaned it out. There were no wires near the nest. Had the same issue every year after winter. One spring, I took the lawn mower in my van for the first use to cut another person's lawn. As I put the lawn mower in the van, I spotted a mouse running off the mower and running around the van. I put 4 mouse bait stations in the van. Never saw any signs of the mouse again.

    Did I mention I lived in the woods. Why would I not expect wildlife?
     
  13. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    We have three cats that keep the mice and other vermin away from anything on the farm, even the moles, however they will kill the black moles and leave them after the first time, as it makes them really sick.
     

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