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Topic # 146564 21-May-2014 23:30
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No, this is not a new B movie coming straight to DVD at a shop near you soon.

I had a Christmas tree of brake warnings come on the other day (ABS, BAS, EBD, VSC etc) and a significant loss in pedal feel and available braking performance. I promptly took the car to the Toyota dealer to find out what was wrong, presuming something like a fuse, a failed ABS pump, a computer failure etc.

After spending a day looking at the car, they called me. The problem?

Rats ate the wiring loom!

The mechanic pointed at another car in the yard and said "See that one? From the same village as you and has the same problem!"

Apparently rats are known for this (who knew - not me!) and like the warmth and shelter so climb up under the bonnet. For some reason they regard wire as a food source (which bearing in mind that our place grows apples, pears, quince, medlar, plums, cherries, macadamias, almonds, pecans, persimmons, feijoas, walnuts, hazelnuts, loquats and olives amongst others, makes me think rats have very odd food skills!).

I'd guess the bill for this will be somewhere in the vicinity of $1500 by the time the vehicle is repaired (I have filed a claim on the insurance who are sending an assessor) but I thought I would mention it in case anyone else has the problem.

The mechanic recommended attaching solid rat bait blocks to various areas within the engine bay that do not get too hot as that will give the rats a more obvious food choice and kill them to boot.

I've baited the area this afternoon too.

So, this is a public service announcement to watch out for rats eating your car!!





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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 1050777 21-May-2014 23:40
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I've moved this to the new forum.

Many years ago (and by that I mean 1990 - 1992) I used to have a husky. I also used to have a Honda motorbike and used to fly every Monday morning out of town and back on Friday evening for work... One of those days I climbed the bike and tried to start it. Nothing... After inspection I found out my dog had eaten every single cable around. 

Different, but similar predicament...






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  Reply # 1050781 21-May-2014 23:50
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Rats and other rodents have teeth that continue growing, They gnaw at things just to stop their teeth getting too long.

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  Reply # 1050788 22-May-2014 00:12
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Many many years ago I left my German Shepherd in my Chrysler Ranger while I was doing something else, got back to find the windows were a bit steamed up because he had climbed into the front seat (bench seats) dug a whole through the vinyl into the foam and crapped in it, then returned to the back seat. Karma for leaving a dog in a car which I do not do anymore.

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  Reply # 1050820 22-May-2014 07:28
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kiwitrc: Many many years ago I left my German Shepherd in my Chrysler Ranger while I was doing something else, got back to find the windows were a bit steamed up because he had climbed into the front seat (bench seats) dug a whole through the vinyl into the foam and crapped in it, then returned to the back seat. Karma for leaving a dog in a car which I do not do anymore.


I think we have a winner...!




Cheers,
Mike

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  Reply # 1050821 22-May-2014 07:29
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Been there, done that....

Some info on rats.....

They hate light and open areas - so keep areas clean/clear around your car if possible.
They love fruit.
They rarely travel more than 150m from their nest.
They only need a gap the size of their head to squeeze thru - if the head fits, the body will follow.

We havent had any under our house since I cleared out the front garden and got rid of all the rubbish under the house.... also all the mesh I put everywhere to under the house probably helped too. :)





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  Reply # 1050849 22-May-2014 08:33
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kiwitrc: Many many years ago I left my German Shepherd in my Chrysler Ranger while I was doing something else, got back to find the windows were a bit steamed up because he had climbed into the front seat (bench seats) dug a whole through the vinyl into the foam and crapped in it, then returned to the back seat. Karma for leaving a dog in a car which I do not do anymore.


That is classic

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  Reply # 1050853 22-May-2014 08:52
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Yep, it happens quite a bit.

My mother had rats eat the aircon filter.
A friend of the family had a car stored for a while. He opened the bonnet one day and found that rats had chewed every wire in the engine bay and there wasn't any hoses left at all.

It's more likely to happen in a carport than out in the open.
The best way to get rats is to use an old Gin trap baited with vegimite/marmite or peanut butter. Regular rat traps often aren't big enough, and poisoned rats often smell REALLY bad after they die. You don't need that in your walls or ceiling.

If you use hard baits, they need to be held down well or the rats will just take them away.




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  Reply # 1050854 22-May-2014 08:55
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cockroaches... electronics.... do not mix either. 

Opened up our auto-gate opener controller box the other week and it was crawling with the little buggers.  

apparently they also like the internal vac housing. 




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  Reply # 1050876 22-May-2014 09:47
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Our local Council gives rat poison to ratepayers (take that how you will:)
You might want to check if that's the case for you.

We've made bait stations out of perforated plastic drainage pipe.
Positioned under buildings, pump sheds and patches of bush, rats can get in, birds and larger animals can't. Open the hatch to check and rebait. From a Kg a week we've dropped to less than a Kg of bait per month.

Back in the 90's (before ebay wrecked our business model) we bought collectible cars in the US for export. In our spare time we'd drive back roads and alleys in whatever city we were in looking for bargains.

One afternoon in a 'white flight' inner city 'burb we found a huge old 60's Chrysler Imperial sitting in a yard.
The guy agreed to sell and, while we turned the truck around, he started it and reversed into the alley. We tilted the deck and my buddy jumped out to drive it on.

But the car was full of smoke - it was pouring out of the dash vents, and blobs of burning plastic were falling onto the carpet.
He reached in and turned off the ignition - but the car kept running - now with the dash fully on fire. Our extinguisher didn't make a dent in it.
We could hear sirens and cleared our truck out of the alley but it was rush hour, gridlocked streets.
When the first fire engine arrived the car was fully engulfed, flames and black smoke, glass exploding out – still burbling away – and the fire had spread to a fence, a garage and a large pine tree.

3 appliances put it all out. The fire investigator found the remains of a large mouse nest inside the air cleaner, and said mice nesting in the wiring was likely the cause.
Good news - for us – was we'd not signed any sale documents so weren't liable for the extensive fire damages – and, even better - the fire didn't happen in our yard full of vehicles..

BTR

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  Reply # 1050912 22-May-2014 10:43
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kiwitrc: Many many years ago I left my German Shepherd in my Chrysler Ranger while I was doing something else, got back to find the windows were a bit steamed up because he had climbed into the front seat (bench seats) dug a whole through the vinyl into the foam and crapped in it, then returned to the back seat. Karma for leaving a dog in a car which I do not do anymore.



What I am curious to know is how did you fix said problem? Push the car into a river and say it got stolen?



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  Reply # 1051560 23-May-2014 09:33
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I have an insurance claim in to cover the repair cost. Will let you know what the Loss Adjuster says!





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