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2016 Nissan Rogue - Rodent damage

Twice within several weeks some sort of rodents were attracted to my harness which I understand is required by law to contain soy-based wiring - dinner for rodents. After the first time (I park on the street or a small driveway and have for the 34 years I’ve lived in my house), I began putting rat traps on my front wheels every night which was never tripped. After I’d driven the car for 19 days I noticed the AC wasn’t cooling though it would run; I took the car in fully expecting it was some coolant issue to find out rodents had chewed wires in my car to the tune of $2,700 in repairs. Insurance covered it minus the $1,000 deductible. Drove car for 16 days and started sputtering. Checking under the hood and again wires were chewed. Had it towed back to dealer and now it’s $7,000 of damage including replacing the engine. Car had overheated though warning light did not come on - chewed wires prevented it from activating warning light! I could have been killed in an accident. Again my insurance co. (Farmers who I recommend) is paying for the repair minus the deducible. That is $2,000 we are out on this car which I’ve driven for 35 days. I am asking the dealer to buy the car back and find me an older car that does not have soy-based wiring but not holding my breath and expecting push-back. I don’t know what else to do - I am afraid to drive the car home after this and do not want to live with a car that I’d have to put a security camera, lights, traps, spray the engine with wasp spray or put Irish Spring soap all over the engine every night - all suggestions found online or from concerned friends. No one should have to live like this over a car! Anyone else have this problem (I’m in Austin, TX, and there are trees and roof rats, opossums, raccoons, everywhere).
By the way, our house is under a pest control contract and no rats were found.

Where did you hear this? If it were required by law, there wouldn’t be so many class action lawsuits against car manufacturers over their use of bio-plastics. I’ve been looking into this for a couple years and have yet to see any law enacted mandating their use. If you can cite one, I’d love to see it.

The motivation is at least in part due to the relatively lower expense to produce bioplastic parts and insulation than their traditional materials like PVC. Plus they tout their parts are bio-degradeable versus difficulty in recycling or clogging landfills.

There has been various attempts to make the formulation less appealing to animals. As noted, some cars seem to be more of a target than others.

I doubt the car dealer is going to do much especially since your used vehicle has been compromised more than once. They didn’t make the vehicle, they are only re-sellers. They may opt to do something out of goodwill but they aren’t compelled to do anything. I’ve lived with mouse issues for decades. They come out of the surrounding woods looking for nice nesting opportunities. The best solution I have found is thinning of the herd- i.e. trapping. Once virtually eliminated, it takes a while for them to re-populate the area. By then, it is much easier to control as you only catch the odd mouse looking to move into “your” territory. In the beginning, you have to be very vigilant at maintaining the traps…

Contact home improvement centers and ask if they sell a product like this.

We use this in a pole barn where classic cars and hot rods are stored over the winter. And we have yet to see any evidence of rodents entering the building.


Hi, just saw your reply. We don’t’ know if it is rats (roof rats is what we have in Texas) or squirrels or opossum or raccoon. In 2008 domestic and foreign car makers began using soy-based wiring instead of oil based because it’s cheaper and they say better for the environment. So maybe it’s not a “law” but I read it was required as the environmental thing to do for disposing of old cars when they age out and are taken apart and gotten rid of. Thanks for writing back.

TwinTurbo via Car Talk Community

Also, have any of the lawsuits been won? I left a message with a firm in Massachusetts today. My first injured car was a 2008 Rav4 which had been parked outside my house at the same spot for six years with no problem (where I parked every night). What I don’t understand is our winter is not cold here and has not been that cold this year. We get a few snow flakes every few years but really mild winters rarely below freezing.

I can’t see it being worthwhile to pursue. Unless you like crusades that are long and drawn out. This is not clearcut and likely to be a long slog through courts. Only you can say if that’s worthwhile use of your time and money. Personally, I’d get it fixed as best can and get rid of it. I have a game camera. It’s amazing what you see running around during the day and night on your property. I also have several sizes of traps (Hav-a-heart type) to trap and relocate larger animals that are being pests. Rats I would use snap traps on. Maybe those sprays work. I tried granular pepper concoctions sold as pest barriers. Wasn’t effective for my circumstances…

I found that a domestic cat going outdoors and patrolling territory around house also works quite well :slight_smile:

Yeah, the only issue there is finding nothing undesirable to eliminate, they turn to the birds by our feeder…

Been there…
Now my feeder is hung on a tree branch the way cat can only watch them, not close enough to catch any.
Makes me to get a 2-step ladder every time I need to refill.
Cat chases squirrels too, but they are too big, so she’s afraid to actually catch the squirrel, although she seem to like it for the fun of it.
One way or another, no more mice around.

So what is a Game Camera?

A small video camera that is weatherproof. A surveillance camera, if you will. Some people monitor animal trails, bird feeders, etc.

My daughter had this problem with pack rats eating on things under the hood. Peppermint oil mixed with water in a spray bottle. Spray all over in the engine compartment or wherever. Have not had a problem since

Thank you – am going to get some along with Irish Spring Soap and Honda Rodent Wiring. This means war! Plus I’m going to file a claim against Nissan to get my insurance deductible back.