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Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs Tips for maintaining your car, boat, and all things mechanical.

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Old 03-03-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Soy plastic = Rodent Buffet

For the last year I've had a perplexing problem. Mice and rats have decided that the wiring in my car is a free food treat. What a expensive PAIN!! After doing some research something interesting has cropped up. Automotive wiring manufacturers have gone "green" and started using soy based plastics as wiring insulation.....rodents LOVE IT! In the past I've had trouble off and on with squirrels stashing their horde in the engine compartment but never had any trouble with wire chewing until now. It was a real head scratcher figuring out why they would eat all of the wire including the metal. Then this info cropped up.

http://www.ihatethemedia.com/rodents...-car-materials

http://www.acura-cl.com/forums/showt...=554357&page=3

http://tasty.typepad.com/
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:14 PM   #2
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Now that you mention this problem, I'd be very interested in knowing how to "cure" the rodent problem myself.

I have a nice size mouse hole in the headliner of my car, smack over the console between the two front seats. And I'm sure not happy about it.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:11 PM   #3
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We've been trying mothballs as a deterent and it seems to be helping. I found this site:

http://sagebug.com/tips/rat.html

We have outside cats so I'm hesitant to use poison. I suppose I could bait some rat traps with engine wire

If we can find where they are living, that would help. Problem is we live in the woods and these are Woodrats. They could be living anywhere. We've never had trouble with them until the last couple of years.

One of the sites Max found suggested that if they have pee'd in an area the pee serves as an attractant for other rats.

This whole thing is a big expensive PITA. Last year they got into 3 vehicles to the tune of around $2000 to replace wiring harnesses. The auto companies official stand is: "Rodents aren't our problem" and they continue to put rat magnet wiring in our cars. There are wire wraps that can be used and we're looking into that option. So far we don't see "soy free" on any of the wire labeling....go figure...
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:34 PM   #4
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Arrow

The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!
It seems that soy based plastics have become cheaper to use than petroleum based plastics. When in doubt, follow the money.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:14 AM   #6
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Just what eveyone saying happend to my wife's toyota tacoma!
Dealer told us it would be a mouse and not under warrenty 2800.00
Bull STUFF, I wanted to see this myself so I DID the repair the wire cost 28.00
But I seen the wire was not the same as all other wires.
The wire insulation was gray and others where black?
and it pluged in to the wire harness where the black ones just came out of the harness no plug?
SOY BASE wire insulation! look on the web and i find this is vary common.
I STARTED a CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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This same thing just happened to my Tacoma p/u. Tell me more about your class action law suit.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:18 PM   #8
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This happened with our Honda CRV. I thought it was a scam. So, I asked an auto shop owner that is a family friend and he said in fact it is quite common and definitely not a scam. I was pretty shocked. Not $2000, though. It was $100 or $200 I think, which was reasonable considering how much needed to be replaced.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:00 PM   #9
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About mice: Many of us have had mice nest in the heaters of cars that were sitting for a while. REALLY hate that stink when you fire it up!

I have been told that a couple of "Bounce" dryer sheets will repel the mice.

Anyone have experience with this?
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:08 PM   #10
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I wonder if the dryer sheets would repel weasels too? They get in under our cars and chew anything with plastic or rubber insulation.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:37 AM   #11
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Like Blue Gecko, I'm dealing with Wood Rats. After spending a few hundred bucks having the entire wiring harness removed from my truck for inspection and repair, I'm NOT looking for a repeat performance! Leaving the hood propped open a bit seems to work well, so far. I'm thinking that removing a bit of the privacy factor might help. Also considering anchoring a few glue boards, and maybe the mothball trick too...
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:23 AM   #12
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We ended up using a product called "One Bite" that we got from Tractor Supply. It didn't take long and the rats were gone. We're not big on poisons because we have cats and dogs but something had to be done. One Bite worked quickly and we haven't had a problem since.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:36 PM   #13
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I looked it up and the antidote for "One Bite" and most rodenticides nowadays is Vitamin K...

During WWII at the siege of Stalingrad many German Tanks were disabled
due to rats chewing on the wiring, and oh yeah there were a hell of a lot of rats,. And wasn't that before God even made Soy Beans?

I think Rats and mice just like to chew.

Last edited by Sonny; 04-30-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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