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Old 11-18-2014, 07:47 PM   #1
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Unusual truck problem

Our trailer is at a local dealership for repair. We do not drive the truck much since we have a car. The truck was parked in the garage, and then my husband drove it out to the barn to bring a (borrowed) wood splitter there so we could use it. He turned off the truck but the parking lights stayed on. He had to disconnect the battery to turn them off.

The next day the truck barely ran and it had very little power, it almost didn't make it back to the driveway. We had it towed to a repair shop.

The diagnosis? Mice had chewed the wires and we need the under-hood fuse center replaced. There was a mouse nest under the motor.

Has anyone else ever had this kind of damage due to mice? The repair shop suggested putting a couple of moth balls at the bottom of the motor. I wonder if they would have gotten into the trailer had it been here. I have no food in there, but there was no food in the truck motor either. Is this the kind of thing that could cause a vehicle to catch fire? Scary thought, especially since the garage is attached to the house.

The mice have been very plentiful this fall. Our house is overrun and we had to put out mouse poison as the cat is useless in the mouse department.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:39 PM   #2
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Mice, rats and squirrels will all look for a good place to nest that is out of the elements especially when they are trying to mate. Rats and mice both like to chew on plastic. Don't have a good remedy but look for entrances into the garage that need to be sealed up. Don't leave the doors open unless you are in the area.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:13 PM   #3
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I've had several friends with similar experiences. Seems like a warm, dry engine block is a good place to build a nest and safe from snakes, owls, etc.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:44 PM   #4
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I once had a leaf blower stored in the shed and went to used it one day. When I cranked it or I should say tried to crank it, it was locked up. Got to taking it apart and noticed that shell fragments feel out of the nozzle. Took the blower part itself apart and it was packed with nut shells and nesting material!
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:38 AM   #5
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Pretty normal problem actually. They also like to build nests in the heater core area. A mouse can fit through a dime sized hole so it doesn't take much. As mentioned, seal your garage well and put out some traps. Fall is the time if year they look to moving to shelter to nest and they store up food. They will use any type of material for nest building from plastic to dog hair, you name it.

We have found Fresh Cab works better than moth balls. Peppermint oil is also better than moth balls. Good deterrents but nothing is perfect.

You don't want a nest in the heater core - I know from personal exoerience you can ignite that on a cold day - not fun when smoke starts pouring into the cab while doing 65mph down the highway!!!!

Hard to keep them out of the engine bay but strategically placed fresh cab may help. Regular checks also a good idea.
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:09 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips, guys! Keeping them out of the garage would be impossible as the house & garage are 37 years old and there are just too many places for them to get in. The garage doors themselves may not be a tight seal, so there is no foolproof way to keep them out. We will try the peppermint oil or moth balls. We leave for Florida in a few weeks, which will put an end to that nonsense. We will have to do something to protect the car.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
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So, you are bringing them to Florida ???
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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The mice? No! we are hoping to kill most of them before we leave. We have lots of poison out. Just waiting for the bad news on how much the truck cost to fix.
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:36 PM   #9
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The mice eating the wires.due to the Soy based rubber.coating on the wires. We get that all the time in our repair shop. Lots of it in vehicles.that sit a long periods of time....
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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Maybe spray the engine compartment with raid or something like that??
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:08 PM   #11
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When it turned really cold last winter some mice made it into the crawl space under my house and from there into the house. I don't like to use poison because of my small 12# dogs. I found a great battery operated mouse trap called a Rat Zapper that electrocutes the mice when they straddle 2 aluminum plates in the bottom of the trap. Between the trap and my female Dachshund we killed 10 last winter. The trap got 5 and so did Holly.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tomandlori View Post
The mice eating the wires.due to the Soy based rubber.coating on the wires. We get that all the time in our repair shop. Lots of it in vehicles.that sit a long periods of time....
Well, that's interesting and totally news to us! Thanks for the info. I Googled it and did find reference to this. This truck only sat for a short time in the garage. We had it out on Oct. 27 to take the trailer away, and then put it in the garage. When we first bought the truck, before we started wintering in Florida, it spent the better part of two winters in the garage unused and we never had a problem. I think this is just a very bad mouse year!

They have to wait for a part to come in, so we will be into next week before we get it back, along with the bill.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DavisK View Post
When it turned really cold last winter some mice made it into the crawl space under my house and from there into the house. I don't like to use poison because of my small 12# dogs. I found a great battery operated mouse trap called a Rat Zapper that electrocutes the mice when they straddle 2 aluminum plates in the bottom of the trap. Between the trap and my female Dachshund we killed 10 last winter. The trap got 5 and so did Holly.
That's an interesting approach to killing rodents! Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:20 PM   #14
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Do you have full coverage on your truck ? Check with insurance company, it might be a covered claim. When mice got into our old trailer and stripped the insulation out of the oven, our insurance company covered that and gave us enough to get a new oven when they went on sale.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:33 PM   #15
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Do you have full coverage on your truck ? Check with insurance company, it might be a covered claim. When mice got into our old trailer and stripped the insulation out of the oven, our insurance company covered that and gave us enough to get a new oven when they went on sale.
An interesting thought, for sure! Thanks!

We have no idea what the bill will be, and we have to consider the fact that they may jack up our rates if we make a claim. We will consider it, however.
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:17 PM   #16
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An interesting thought, for sure! Thanks!

We have no idea what the bill will be, and we have to consider the fact that they may jack up our rates if we make a claim. We will consider it, however.
Not an insurance expert, but that would fall under your comprehensive part of the policy and should not raise your rate?
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:49 AM   #17
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Not an insurance expert, but that would fall under your comprehensive part of the policy and should not raise your rate?

I'm not sure if it would or not. Once we get the bill and find out what we are up against, we will check with our insurance agent. We have a $500 deductible on the the comprehensive part, so it depends on how high the bill is. I will share that info when we get it next week.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:14 AM   #18
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Comp claims include cracked windshields. You have a higher chance of getting hit by a rock and breaking it. Collision is if you hit someone. If a person is a careful driver, then the risks of a collision claim are lower and justify a higher deductible.

If you are hit by someone else with insurance, you might have to pay first, but your insurance company is obligated to get your money back, including the deductible, from the other party so a higher deductible can be justified.

If you are hit by and uninsured motorist, that part kicks in, if you purchased it.

You should get with your agent and reevaluate your coverages.

The angle of the windshield of my old 91 Chevy truck was such that I suffered 2 or 3 broken windshields and one or 2 in my 97 Buick Skylark that I drove to work. Granted I drove almost 40 miles each way on the expressway,

BUT

500 in comp claim deductibles was a lot easier to deal with than say, 1500 (500 each occurrence ??? )

If you are with a company that would raise your rates over a comp claim, then it is time to move on to another company, as a comp claim is a no-fault of yours type claim.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:31 AM   #19
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That may be covered under the vandalism rider

I know my bad diesel claim was covered that way a few years back !
and they went after the station/gas company


but thanks for posting - just ordered some peppermint oil and mice stuff off amazon !!!
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:54 AM   #20
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I checked with our insurance agent and he had to check with the company as he did not know. Apparently it is covered. Our deductible is $300. The insurance agent said t would not affect our premiums, but if we made a lot of comprehensive claims, it would affect how big our deductible is.

So I called the auto repair place and asked that this would be on a separate invoice from the other stuff we are having done (oil change, etc.) and told her about the insurance. She said the cost of repairs would not be much more than the deductible. And here I thought we were looking at maybe $1,000 or more! Apparently the problem was diagnosed very quickly, resulting in not a lot of labor costs in that direction. The part that needs replacing is much cheaper if you get a used one, which is what we are doing. The truck is a 2006 and we will likely replace it next year anyway.
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