Why rodents may be eating your vehicle's engine

Soy coating attracts rodents

Some unexpected auto repairs? The culprit may be critters. If you've got a Honda, you may be a prime target for mice and squirrels, especially if that vehicle sits parked a lot in a wooded area. We've had our ABC 33/40 Honda Odyssey in for severeal repairs costing in the thousands.

"Honda switched to a soy based coating on engine parts and it turns out the smell attracts rodents. We fix all kinds of vehicles, but the Honda's are the worst for this," explains Service Manager Donny Kelley of Riverchase Auto.

Those coatings were added in the 2012-2015 models. Our ABC 33/40 Odyssey went in for service with five engine codes flashing. Under the hood there were plenty of signs something had been chewing away at the wires and hoses...

"If we don't move it or do something differently, we may have to replace the wiring harness. That's $2,000-3,000 dollars," warns Kelley. The best solution: find somewhere else to park. Some drivers are using rodent traps, sprays or rodent deterrent tape to keep the critters away.

Signs they're tampering with your engine: rodent droppings around the vehicle or acorns in the engine area. You may also see torn pieces of wire and plastic.

A group of Honda owners has filed a federal class action lawsuit to cover their repairs.

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