If you are one of the many who think that the only damage that wildlife can do to your car is when they become road kill, then you would be wrong. The most damage that wildlife, and in particularly rodents, can do to your car is when they actually get inside it and wreak havoc. Now we are not talking about if you leave doors and windows open, rodents don't need such invitations. They will get in above the wheels or straight into the engine compartment and, within minutes, will be sharpening their teeth on your wiring.
Strange Electrical Problems
If a light keeps coming on that shouldn't or the engine won't start, the first thing you should do is to open the bonnet. See if a rodent has left a calling card; chewed wires are the obvious one, as are droppings. You may not necessarily find the latter in the engine itself, but in the passenger area of the car. The edge of a seat that looks as if its been chewed, or crisps and nuts on the seats that have been foraged from down the backs are other tell tale signs.
Are You Insured Against Rodent Damage?
In order to be covered on your insurance for any damage caused by an animal or rodent then you must have comprehensive cover. Third party fire and theft won't cut it. If a rat gets in and does his damage, or even if one dies in the engine and has to be dug out by a mechanic, it will cost you a considerable amount to get it sorted. The latter is particularly unpleasant. Whenever you turn on the heater or the blower the passenger compartment of the car will be filled with a terrible smell.
If You Suspect Rodent Damage Call a Mechanic
If the damage is more than you can safely repair yourself, the first job is to call a garage and tell them you suspect rat attack. They will be well aware of the damage they can cause and if the car is undriveable due to the damage they will arrange for it to be picked up. Make sure to include this collection in your insurance claim.
The next step is to try and make sure it doesn't happen again. Ask the mechanic for advice, contact a pest controller if you suspect there is a nest near your home or if the car was attacked while in the garage. Give it a good clear out to make sure they aren't living there and plug any holes that they are coming and going through. Despite all this effort, rats are intelligent and great at bypassing all your preventative measures.
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