Beware: Colder weather could lead to car damage caused by rodent - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Beware: Colder weather could lead to car damage caused by rodents

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

A drop in temperature could mean that more people are visiting their mechanics because of car problems caused by rats.

Josh Cejka is a shop foreman at Freddie's Complete Car Care Center in Waco, and he said rodents want to get out of the cold just like we do, which could lead to major car problems for many people. 

"A lot of the small animals are trying to find places to keep warm and the engine compartment is a very easy place for them to get into," Cejka said. "They can find a spot to build a nest very easily."

Cejka said that costly repairs could follow once rats find their way under the hood of a car.

"Sometimes they damage inexpensive parts, but usually they do a lot of damage," he said. "There are very expensive wiring harnesses that are in the engine compartment... it can be very expensive if they damage certain parts."

Celeste Willis said she knows all about paying for repairs after a rat chewed up wires under her hood.

"They found that this one wiring harness had been chewed all the way through except for one little wire inside," Willis said. "It was not cheap -- probably $300, or $400, or $500." 

Cejka said there are several things people can look for if they think a rodent got under their hood.

"If you see leaves, twigs, debris, or foam insulation from the engine compartment pulled up in the corner -- that's a good indication that there's a rodent," he said. "Sometimes you can start your vehicle up and there's multiple warning lights on on the dash or you feel the engine running bad or you see fluid leaks on the ground."

But the mechanic also said that keeping critters out of a car can be as simple as keeping them out of a house.

"A lot of times you can prevent it by using rat bait," he said.

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