Rodents chew wiring

Twice in the past year and a half I’ve had to have wiring replaced in my 2005 Camry because–the shop tells me–rodents have chewed the wiring, turning on the “check engine” warning light. This is an expensive repair: $400 the first time, $500 the second. Are those charges reasonable? And what can I do to prevent rodent damage in the future?

I own a repair shop in Sa Rafael Ca. One of my customers went to India for four months. When she returned her car started right up, and the check engine light went on. She came to me and there were so many trouble codes in her car. I lifted the hood and rodents had been living in there, storing food there, nibbling on the wiring, and pooping on the car’s computer. I had the brainstorm to call it vandalism and her insurance paid for it! ( about $4000.) I have seen minor signs of it a few more times and no other mechanic I know had a solution for it. I looked around in hardware and gardening stores and found a rodent repellent that I spray under the hood of vehicles that I suspect have that problem…EZ

Rat poison bait will eliminate the cause, painting your wiring with Tobasco Sauce, placing mothballs under the hood have both been effective…

Thanks. I’ll try tabasco and mothballs. Rat poison, I think, might endanger neighbors’ pets.

Never heard of rodent repellent, but I’ll try to find it in a hardware store or garden shop. Wish me luck.

Not as long as your neighbors keep their pets out from under your hood…

Aha, so the rat poison goes under the hood, not on the ground under the car. Makes sense. I’ll give it a try.

Has anyone noticed how many Camry vs. Rodent issues there seem to be on the Car Talk site alone? What makes the Camry so inviting to mice, rats, and squirrels?