Rats are chewing up drivers’ eco-friendly wires in cars and leaving massive bills

Click to play video: 'Rodents eating eco-friendly car wiring'
Rodents eating eco-friendly car wiring
WATCH: Mechanics are noticing an increase in incidents of rodents chewing on eco-friendly car wiring and as Paul Haysom reports, it’s a gnawing problem that’s costing drivers – Apr 5, 2017

Paul Sharma says his vehicles are under attack.

Each of his two family cars have been hit, each time in his own driveway.

The culprits: rats.

“They say it’s the cold weather, they’re trying to look for a warm space, somewhere to hide in the night,” he said. “When they get hungry, they start chewing on the wires.”

Rodents hiding out in vehicle engines is nothing new, but most new cars have a built-in buffet thanks to eco-friendly car wires.

“A lot of them are actually soy-based,” Mike Londry of Westside Pest Control said.

John Sinkie with Budget Brake & Muffler said one in five vehicles he sees now has some sign of a rodent under the intake manifold.

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“It can cause a lot of damage for a small little guy to get under your hood,” he said.

Small wire fixes can cost in the neighbourhood of $400 to $500. One rat’s nest led to a $7,000 bill, according to one mechanic.

ICBC will cover the repair without penalty in most cases.

So what can be done to avoid rodent infestations?

Mechanics recommend parking your car inside and wrapping wires in rat-proof tape. Dryer sheets can be an effective deterrent thanks to their strong scent.

If you’re looking for something more potent, predator urine can also work wonders.

Many hardware stores sell coyote urine, an option Sharma politely declined.

Instead, he may just get a cat.

– With files from Paul Haysom

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