Dead Rat in Brakes

I took my car to get the tires rotated last week and they found a dead rat in my brakes. They told me I needed to take it to a mechanic to get my brakes “cleaned out.” Long story short, I’ve tried taking it to 3 places and they all gave me the run around so I figured I’d just google it and do it myself. How bad can it be?

But then I couldn’t really find much information at all. I just don’t see how a soft little rat body could be that big of a deal. So my question is can I just take the tire off and hit the brakes with the pressure washer? Am I being crazy? Do I really have to keep driving all over town trying to get somebody to look at it?

Thanks for any and all information!

most pet stores will have live rats you can replace it with. No need to be specific, any rat will do… :upside_down_face: :upside_down_face:

are these shops giving you a reason why they won’t clean out the dead rat? What is the “run round” they are giving you? I can’t see why this would be difficult. Possibly gross, but not difficult.


I really don’t understand how that is possible at all.
But having said that, assuming disc brakes, sure a pressure washer would work. Maybe just a regular garden hose nozzle might do the trick.


Pictures, or it didn’t happen. :nauseated_face:


High pressure under carriage car wash might work

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I’m trying to imagine how a rat could possibly affect car brakes…let alone what the circumstances are that would enable a rat to sit there long enough to die?

With disc brakes, I would assume you could remove the wheel and just hose out the area. There must be more to this story if it’s scaring away multiple shops.


With the heat generated by brakes, it should be fully cooked by now.


A rat would be too big to get stuck around a front brake. But I have seen dead mice in that place.

I’m trying to figure out why the place that rotated the tires didn’t just put it in the garbage?

Haven’t pulled the tire off myself yet, but I’ll take a picture when I do (if there’s anything to see!) Y’all have definitely made me feel like I can take care of it myself.

As far as how it died up there, who knows. But, I DO live in New Orleans and supposedly they’ve been going wild with all the restaurants closed down and nowhere to eat/hangout! :laughing:

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Yeah I think we’re finally to the real point. Where the rat came from and how many more are there, not the one in the brakes. Watch your step at night but thanks for something to think about during lunch.

Does it smell? If not, what’s the problem leaving it there? If you have a garage, leave the car out until the rat is gone. It will decay ad fall off over time. I like the idea of a high pressure undercarriage spray. Maybe a car wash near you has one as part of a wash package.

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I had a squirrel tail stuck on the antenna of my 72 ford pickup truck after squirrel hunting with a bud. We soaked the squirrel in salt water for a day to take out the gaminess but think it was about 3 years until all the fur went away and I cut the tail off the antenna. Y’all thought I was joking when I call myself a redneck hillbilly car repair guy.

Yes a rat can destroy the brakes. If the pad thickness is good and the brake rotor is not scored then it should be a matter of cleaning it out and making sure the caliper is not stuck on the sliders.

When I worked for SAAB a guy brought his car in for a 5k miles inspection. Everything was as new. At around 8k miles it got towed in because of a horrible grinding on the right front. The pads, rotor, and caliper were all chewed to nothing because of a dead rat getting caught in there.

My first thought with wheel removed is that i had never seen pad material go frizzy like that. Closer inspection found a couple of feet and part of a tail; the only recognizable parts of the rodent still left.
The car owner was a bit upset over the fact that warranty would not pay for the repair.


Speaking from sad experience of a dead mouse inside a hubcap, as it decays it gets horribly smelly (how I discovered said dead rodent) and lots of nasty worms dining on the carcass. You want to get the rat removed before your whole car stinks and garage too if you garage your car.

Make sure to thoroughly check everywhere on and in your car a rodent could get. They love to chew wiring so look all through the engine bay, etc. I recently had to evict a mouse that built a nest under the engine cowling of my car and set traps in the garage for the little bugger. Damned rodents are persistent and amazingly adept at infiltration.

Oh the humanity of it all. When will it all end? The last thing I would want pulling the wheel off though is a live rat. I’m putting myself in the place of the rat wondering what in the world he/she/it/them was thinking when all their body parts were being ground up.

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you guys might like this (Russian language only, no translation, but it’s self-explanatory):

the cat traveled for 70 kilometers stuck in the rear suspension coil-spring, then removed alive and unharmed… why and how he’s got there - that’s a mystery

I don’t understand why no shops wanted to get paid to fix the problem . . .

A few days ago, one of our vehicle operators was complaining the blower motor was making a weird sound

I took out the blower motor to check things out . . . there was a dead rat stuck in there

I put on my rubber gloves, threw the rat in the trash, then cleaned out the rat nest

I put the blower motor . . . minus the rat . . . back and it worked fine on all speeds

Problem solved . . .

Didn’t take but a few minutes


So in a winter snow storm making tracks down an unplowed gravel road knowing the road well enough to not drive into the ditch in my 72 f150 maybe a mile out giant clunk from the engine compartment, Trans what and here in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard, yikes! Pulled to a stop and saw a grey fuzzball behind me in the road. It was a siamese cat I later named Chani, ala dune series books, had a pretty good gash on her head, not life threatening, Must have been sleeping enjoying a little engine warmth and shelter from the storm and got hit by the fan, my guess. I was on my way to work, vet stitched her up and all was good. Thanks for listening. So if pressed I will go into buds car we fixed after a woodchuck chewed through the wiring harness, he opened up the hood, the critter ran out, scared the heck out of them both I think, but left behind a terrible stench in addition.


So you had gloves on and a heavy coat when you handled it? My experience with siamese cats is they don’t like non-family and scratch, claw, and hiss a lot.

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Years ago a customer’s car came in with a small mouse in the heater blower motor wheel, when the vehicle owner operated the blower, the fluid from the dead mouse splattered around the inside of the blower housing, this left a really bad odor. I had to remove the blower housing and thoroughly clean it and the blower wheel to rid of the odor. This was just a 4 ounce ground squirrel, I don’t think a city “rat” would fit in a blower wheel.