When a car becomes a home: Rodents know a safe warm place when they see one

When a car becomes a home: Rodents know a safe warm place when they see one



Hello Loyal Beaverton Readers!

In recent years, readers seem quite interested in the stories about rodents damaging vehicles that are parked outside and not in a garage. Since it’s been about a year since I wrote about one case, I’ll tell another story that happened just a few weeks ago. I also took a great photo to drive home the point.

The story begins when I received a call from a neighbor of mine that I had assisted before and she asked if I would help her again with her car that would not that would not start. I had some spare time so I went over and after a quick look at the exterior (which all looked fine), I asked for the keys. The car didn’t start of course so the next step is to pop the hood. To my neighbor’s surprise (but not to mine since I’ve seen this all too often in the metro area), a beautifully constructed nest sat on top of the engine!

If it was just a nest, that wouldn’t be bad at all. The problem is the high likelihood that the little guy built his nest using parts of the car. Sure enough, upon further inspection, I found 3 major wiring harnesses all chewed up with remnants of the wires, along with other items, partially used to make the nest.

Since wiring harnesses are a dealer-only item, I decided to investigate the extent of the damage. I was able to discover the main power from the battery to the engine, as well as the wiring to the main computer, had been completely chewed through. I removed all the debris, and while doing so, she told me that she had not driven the car for just a few weeks. After confirming that the damage was mostly the wiring harness, I gathered the VIN# and production date in order to assist her with calling the local Beaverton dealership.

We unfortunately were told that the wiring harnesses could not be repaired since it would require approximately 57 wires ro be spliced and due to the sensitive technology in cars these days, the computer would not function properly with reduced current supplied to them from spliced wiring. With no other option, we got AAA to tow the car from our neighborhood in Greenway to the dealership on Canyon Rd. We drove in my car to the dealership to await the assessment, fingers crossed.

In less than an hour, the service manager came out to the customer lounge to inform us that the repairs would be approximately $6,000! Even though this was nearly half of what the car is worth if it had not been damaged, it’s work that had to be done. Time to call the insurance company.


Moral of the story

The service manager told us that rodent damage is usually expensive and not uncommon in the Portland metro area. If you have the ability to park your vehicle in your garage, it would be a great idea, and could certainly save you a lot of money! In most cases, your auto insurance will cover the repair but in some cases they will not. Comprehensive coverage is your best option.

In the event anyone would like assistance in purchasing or leasing a new vehicle I am your guy. If you have an extra vehicle or one that is not being used and you need someone to check under the hood to see if there is any rodent damage, I’m your guy.


Thank You all for reading. Please continue to ask questions and I will answer as soon as I am able. Email fergusonautobrokers@gmail.com