Rodents Under the Hood!

I drove into the parking area for the Barn about 9:30 PM. Yesterday morning I walked out prepard to go to 8:00 AM NIA (my dance class) and when I started the car all the lights on the control panel were lighted! What?

I tested the hand brake – it was OK, not on. ABS not entirely certain what that is but I think it stands for Automatic Braking System – but what is it and what does it mean? I drove the car foward and back ¬†braking in each direction – all was working as normal. I drove to my class. On the way back I stopped at the Lexus Dealer and explained the problem. The guy who checks folks in said it needed to go through a diagnosis – I asked how longthat would take and he said a couple of hours… Although the diagnostic doesn’t take that long, there were lots of people ahead of me. I asked what would happen if I just drove it? He said that would be a terrible idea because there was no way of knowing what the problem was – could be very dangerous…

I cancelled my 10 o’clock meeting and decided to wait it out (great coffee and pretty good croissant). After almost 2 hours Len Temple, my Lexus Service Consultant (really) came out and said that he had some news. The technician found a rodent’s nest in my motor! The creature had chewed one or more wires!


This is a phot of the rat’s nest – the car is up on the lift and the tech is shining his flashlight on the nest (brown fuzzy thing) and there is other soft fuzzy nest stuffing waiting to be used nearby. The rats eat the wire casing because it is made of soybeans! And because the rats have a problem keeping their teeth short enough to be able to continue to eat (bad design?).

The first estimate was $176. for the diagnostic. It took 6 hours to find the wire… The bill was $1,156.00. I asked how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Nobody knows for sure, but it turns out that Marin is becoming more and more rat infested – we knew that didn’t we?


Pepermint oil – it turns out rats don’t like the smaell of peppermint oil – I am ready to install.

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On the planet in California

One thought on “Rodents Under the Hood!”

  1. Sorry to hear about your problem.
    Peppermint oil is what I use for the SUV. I guess it works since I haven’t had any chewed wires in a while. I think I will go out and drop some more in the engine area.


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