Theo gives his thoughts on the subject….
Lately we have had customers coming in with electrical faults and we have discovered that the engine bay harness has been eaten by rats. When we questioned where they are living, two out of three are living in riverside apartments.
The rats living around the river edge are looking for a lovely warm environment which is your nice cosy engine bay.
We have advised our customers, after we have repaired the wiring, to go to Bunnings or your local hardware and buy some rat bait. Just one or two baits would be sufficient and place them around your engine bay. That will stop them from continuing into the next area of your car which is probably the cabin and you don’t want them in there because they can do some very expensive and destructive damage in that area.
When questioned whether customer’s have claimed this damage on insurance, Theo has said that at this stage the extent of damage hasn’t been expensive enough to worry about insurance. Some of the electrical repairs have been caught early enough, so that we can repair them at a reasonable cost. Some of the costs, to date have been around the $700 or $800 mark.
Luckily, the complaints from the customers have come in early enough where they have brought on engine lights and irregular running of the engine ect. and we discovered the problem straight away.
The second customer with the similar complaint was a lot easier because it was around two weeks later and we said it was probably just another rat attack, as a joke, and sure enough, it was. This one was not as severe .
We asked Theo what to do to avoid this sort of rodent feast altogether, before it happens and he suggests that if you are living in that type of environment, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be near a river, is to check your engine bay and the first telltale sign is the pungent urine odour, and the beginning of leaves and twigs being visible which the rats use to construct their nests.
Buy your rat baits and put them in your engine bay if you have a suspicion that your car is parked in a vulnerable area.
This is the first time that we have seen this sort of damage, in the last few months, in a long time. A few years ago, we had a real bad case where it was an insurance claim and it was thousands of dollars to repair. This one was on the other side of the coin, with these customers living on an acreage property and they would have been the field rats and not the inner city water rats that we are seeing from the river.
Any size rat will do the damage, for whatever reason, they are attracted to whatever is in the wiring looms of cars, not just Mercedes Benz. They eat through the wiring and into the insulation and so on.
Please check with your insurance company if you would like any further information or to see if you are covered for this sort of rodent damage, especially if you are living in those riverside suburbs.