a rodent chews up the engine compartment of a Subaru

Rodents- rats, mice, squirrels - like to chew wires, insulation, plastic, and can quickly do serious and very expensive damage to a car.

This 2009 Subaru Legacy started running badly.
There was substantial damage under the hood.
There was a  nest of leaves on top of the engine, that's not uncommon.
And the wiring harness and many other wires had been chewed.
But this rodent, or rodent family, also gnawed on the radiator coolant, windshield washer, and brake master cylinder reservoirs, the air intake system, the battery positive terminal cover, and the power steering hose.

Warm engines on a cold night invite mice and rats.

They need to chew to keep their teeth from growing too long.

Avoid the problem
Park the car in a garage or on concrete.

Park away from vegetation, brush, trees, lawns etc
Open the hood so the engine cools faster
Get a cat.

Solutions I read about online.
If you have a rodent problem, also visit your local garden, nursery or farm supply store for more good ideas as well as various traps, poisons, and scents to drive away varmints.
Try these at your own risk. Don't use poisons where any children, pets or other animals could be harmed.

Put mouse traps all around the car
Moth balls smell, so hang a sock, stocking or mesh bag full of them under the hood
Put rat poison around the car, but keep it away from pets
Stuff copper mesh all around the engine but keep away from open wires.
Get 2 cats.
Sprinkle cayenne pepper power around and under the car.
Some people say to spray peppermint oil, clorox and water, vinegar and water, or cat urine, coyote urine on or around the engine compartment. Farm supply stores might carry coyote and cat urine.
I also read that stuff Bounce brand fabric softener dryer sheets around the engine might help keep mice away. Not sure why or if only Bounce but regardless, remove before driving or you'll have another problem- fire.
Get 3 cats.
Stay up all night and sit near-by with a pellet gun at the ready.
Buy a large tangle of wiring, place a distance from the car, run a wire and light bulb to it for warmth so the rodents will go there instead of your car.
Buy a pregnant cat. 

Do you have ideas for stopping rodent damage, or photos of damage?
Please share them-  post comments on the forum 

a cat is a great solution. adopt one today

a cat is the best natural solution. adopt one today

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a rodent chewed up this Subaru engine compartment
arrows point to all the places damaged. It was widespread. Notice the nest on top of the engine, there's another one below.
chewed pieces of the washer and radiator fluid containers
chewed big holes in both washer fluid and coolant overflow containers.

ate the covering from wires

you can't miss the holes in all 4 corners of the air intake box. The arrows point to the ruined wiring harness, gnawed firewall grommet, and teeth marks on the airbox. These rodents were busy.

ate into the battery positive terminal cover
ate  into the battery terminal cover and a wire cover
mice gnawed on this battery terminal
close-up of the battery terminal cover
rat chews the wiring harness 2009 subaru
chewed through the wiring harness cover and into the wires themselves, and also grommet in the firewall
chewed a hole in the brake master cylinder
even chewed a hole in the brake master cylinder of the 2009 Subaru Legacy
rodent chew marks on the subaru power steering hose
chew marks in the power steering fluid hose

a nest on the engine. arrow points at damage done to these wires also

thank you for stopping by.

the end