2023 Toyota RAV4 - Rats eat my wires

My 2018 Rav 4 with 30,000 miles has been eaten by rats no matter what we try to do to protect it. It is in the shop now for the 3rd time in a year. Insurance has paid for over the original price of the car new ($32K) in rodent repairs and it has cost me $1500 (3-$500 deductible). This last go round the service person openly admitted that it is the wiring that attracts them. We have 4 other cars on our property 2 of which are Toyota 2002, 1998 and none of them get attacked by rats. Do not get a car like this unless you live in an area with rodents.

Do not get a car like this if you live in an area with rodents . ( I think that is what you meant )

Rodents are everywhere .

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Rodents Can’t Get Enough of Toyota’s Soy Wire Coating (toyotaproblems.com)

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Here’s the other side of the coin if interested. Insert into your browser “Mice chewed wiresXXXX” and put any model or brand you like in place of the XXXX. Car Talk Helps Bust the Myth That Soy Is Why Rodents Are Eating Your Car’s Wires | Torque News


We use this product to repel rodents.

Works excellent.



Could experiment w/various concoctions to decide which works best. Apply to one wire segment only, see if that gets chewed or not. I’ve never had this problem myself, but if I did I’d try pepper spray as one of the tests. Might want to ask your shop first b/c they may refuse to work on car that’s had wires sprayed w/pepper spray.

I’ve never really had a big problem but I use that stuff once a month around the garage doors. I had some gnawing one year on the bottom of the side rubber strip so know something is around. It’s like a peppermint spray. The only negative I have is that the sprayer tends to not work for the whole bottle so I just use a separate spray bottle. About $10 at Menards.

Rats got into my car’s engine compartment, but I think cayenne pepper stopped them from chewing.


What if the rodents are from south of the border?



I live in southern AZ, and packrats are a huge problem here. It is correct that they do more damage in newer cars, though I am not sure exactly when this “eco-friendly” insulation was first used. I don’t plan on ever buying anything newer than the mid-2000’s anyways, as today’s new vehicles contain a lot of features which I find unacceptable.

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According to this Japanese car blogger, almost every manufacturer adopted soy wiring insulation by 2000, so it looks like you are currently limited to cars manufactured more than 20 years ago, and your “supply” is going to become severely limited as the years go on.

Like @Tester idea. We use bounce at the cabins and it is very effective at keeping mice away from cupboards etc. They do make a spray, maybe that would work.