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DOG FOOD IN YOUR ENGINE (Keeping Rodents out of your Engine)

Posted July 14, 2019 9:21 AM

A technician was telling us the other day that he was servicing an engine and spotted something he'd never seen before: A collection of dry dog food siting on a horizontal metal ledge near the base of the engine.  It was neatly stashed and was in a spot where the food pellets couldn't have simply fallen down in there.

Even though it's the first time he'd seen dog food in an engine, he immediately knew what was going on.  Critters like mice or chipmunks had found the dog food somewhere nearby and had used the engine as a nice storage unit. 

Mice, squirrels, chipmunks—you name it—like the heat of the engine.  And they'll use that to store up supplies of food for use in cold weather when outside food supplies are scarce.  The problem is they'll also chew on engine components while they're there. And they can do a lot of damage if they start gnawing on the wires.  Depending on how much of your electrical system needs to be replaced, repairs can mount up to the thousands of dollars. 

Those electrical problems can be tricky to track down, too, because the rodents can get to spots technicians don't have easy access to.  Oh, the signs are there; they'll find mouse droppings, acorns… even full mouse nests in your engine.  Yikes.

OK, but even if you get your vehicle fixed, how do you keep the critters from simply setting up their personal pantry again? Here are some things to try:

  • Don't leave any food in your vehicle
  • Get rid of that sweet-smelling air freshener. The rodents can mistake the scent for food and head right for your vehicle.
  • If you have a garage, block all access points for rodents. This can be very hard since they can squeeze through the tiniest spaces you can imagine.
  • Some people keep mothballs under the hood; rodents don't love 'em.
  • Pop the hood every couple of weeks and look for signs of mice: nests, droppings or stored nuts, acorn shells and pet food.

The next time you bring your vehicle into AutoSurgeonInc for maintenance or service, your technician will be on the lookout, too. Hey, the dog food belongs in the dog's dish, not supplying fast food for little critters with razor-sharp teeth that can create electrical system mayhem.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



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  • Bill earns a strong recommendation for great customer service and for the excellent repair he did on my car. For all future car needs, Bill will be my first call.
    -Sherry A.

  • My daughter brought her GMC in for a noise in the suspension and a air bag issue- Bill and his staff did a great job in diagnosing and repairing the vehicle with keeping us updated on the process. Thank You
    -Brian/Amber

  • My husband has taken his car to Auto Surgeon for many years and has nothing but praise for their expertise and customer service. We both trust that whatever the problem, we're in good hands with Bill and his team. Today it was my car's turn to need repairs. Within 90 minutes of dropping it off, they contacted me with a diagnosis and an estimate. By early afternoon, my car was ready. First-rate experience, start to finish. No one wants car problems, but if you have them, this is the place to go.
    -Ginnie P.

  • Auto Surgeon has been honest with me since I've been bringing my truck and car to them to be serviced. Just last week, I needed my car repaired by the weekend. I took it in on Friday am (major work done) and they had it back to me at 4:30 that afternoon. They take care of you from the time you drop it off until you pick it up. First class all the way! They will be doing work on all my vehicles. Oh yeah, I even stole a pen from Bill. Thanks!!!!
    -Steven Jacobson

  • Auto Surgeon guys have always been honest and up front with me. They get the job done and let you know anything else going on trying help you out before it becomes a problem.
    -Ryan - Lansing, Michigan

  • I didn't have any actual work done, but they were very honest with me when they took a look at my vehicle and told me exactly what needed to be fixed. There were also priced very fair. I will definitely return in the future!
    -Matt T. - Lansing, Michigan

  • Great speed and efficiency on all repairs. Communication between Bill and myself was very quick and he notified me right when my car was fixed. My family returns for multiple reasons. Great service and car care, but overall because Bill is a great business owner and always takes the time to go above and beyond by helping to explain what we can do to maintain good care on my car. Will definitely be returning.
    -Sam Rathbun - Haslett, Michigan