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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:05 pm

Reoccuring Rodent Damage

A few months ago, part of the electrical system went out. I took it to my dealer and they said it was mice or rats that ate into the wiring and it cost me over $600 to get it fixed. To make sure It wouldn't happen again, I sprayed a mint-based product that was supposed to deter rodents from hanging around. A few days ago a god awful shaking and rumbling occurred from the air-conditioning system. It looks like a critter has crawled in the space and filled it with acorns and other crap. Now the fan won't even work. God knows what this is going to cost. I've owned new cars for 50 years and never had this kind of problem. And none of my neighbors have this kind of an issue. Is this a Bolt issue? I've read that others have had the problem.
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:39 pm

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

Our 2017 Bolt has been parked in an unsealed garage for almost three years with no rodent issues.

BTW, I know there are mice in the area because they were eating the peas in the adjacent garden. I set traps and caught a dozen of them.

jack vines
My vehicles
2017 Bolt Premier Cajun Red
2011 Saab 9-4X
2005 Saab 9-5
1998 Saab 9000 Aero
2004 Ford F250 6.0 Turbo Diesel
1963 Studebaker Avanti
1956 Studebaker Hawk custom with a supercharged Packard V8
1955 Studebaker custom pickup with a Packard V8
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:13 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

Bummer! I faintly remember old stories of critters liking some cars more than others but it's probably random bad luck. I would suggest placing a dozen traps in around the parking area to give them something more enticing. Worth a try anyway.
2017 Bolt EV Premier
Posts: 1190
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:53 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

traps under the car, filled with peanut butter.

or, borrow a friend's cat.
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:08 pm

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

Try a few mothballs under the vehicle

If neighbors or friends have pets offer to brush or comb them and save the fur, put it in an old sock and place near the car.. You won't smell anything but rodents will.
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:58 pm

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

I'm going to say it is not a Bolt problem. I had a similar problem 15 years ago in a 1973 VW Beetle.

Long story short, I was driving it in January from NJ to Miami. I changed the oil and adjusted the valves laying in snow, and I cleaned some acorns from the area under the crank pulley without thinking about it. As I drove south, it naturally got warmer. By Georgia (55-60 degrees F), I noticed that it felt like hesitations at my top speed of about 75-80 mph, and I noticed some black soot buildup. By Jacksonville (65 degree F), I decided to replace plugs and wires. By West Palm Beach (75-80 degrees F), I couldn't get it above 60 mph, the sound had changed, and when I checked on it at a gas station, it was literally sizzling around the engine block and oil seemed to be seeping from everywhere. I showed up in Miami on a flat bed tow truck.

I adjust things here and there, changed the muffler to relieve back pressure, cleaned the carburetor. No avail. Finally, I dropped the engine, took off the cooling tins, and found fur, pine needles, and toasted acorns tucked into the cooling fins around cylinder 3. I had warped the cylinder heads and needed a valve job. It still runs fine to this day, and I have the nest in a ziplock bag in the trunk!

So it wasn't electrical, but it was a rodent of some sort finding a comfortable habitat in my car that caused serious problems just like yours!
Posts: 1190
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:53 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

You can also spray a 1/2 water 1/2 Sriracha solution on the wires and around the heater intake. (Put newspaper under where you are spraying so that it is only on the wires.)

Most rodents (and skunks, and possum, and ...) HATE highly spicy smells and stay away.
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:14 am
Location: Hills above Silicon Valley

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

... this wasn't discussed when the Bolt was presented as environmentally friendly! :mrgreen:

We have good luck with a barn cat which adopted us and lives both outside and in the garage with its own cat door. Often leaves us 'presents' (with long tails) at the doorstep.
Posts: 1190
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:53 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

JoeS wrote:... this wasn't discussed when the Bolt was presented as environmentally friendly! :mrgreen:
I know you were kidding, but this isn't a "Bolt EV only" sort of problem. In terms of wiring, many manufacturers have started using wire insulation that is plant-based, and mice nibble at them.

And a little story. When I was living in France a long time ago, I went out in the morning to start my little FIAT and drive to work. It *almost* started, but then did nothing but turn and turn and turn (crank, crank, crank) and not catch. I finally had it towed to a mechanic. He was mystified. He finally pulled the cover on the timing belt (connects the crankshaft - pistons - to the valves - fuel intake to each cylinder). It was coated on the inside with a fine coating of blood and fur. It was late fall (cold in the evenings) and it seems a small rodent had climbed into the timing belt area next to the warm engine and slept ON the timing belt. When I first cranked the engine, the mouse went BETWEEN the belt and the gear, causing the belt to 'slip' about 3 cogs, so the timing was off and the car wouldn't start. I was actually sort of lucky because that little 1L engine was an 'interference' type (the piston would hit the valve at the top of the stroke if it was really off-timing) ; it could have destroyed the engine. Still, as it was, that f*cking mouse cost me $600 (well, about 4000 francs) in labor to diagnose and fix the problem.
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:34 am

Re: Reoccuring Rodent Damage

Not a Bolt specific problem, but the critters really seem to like the warm charging modules in the winter. Pain in the butt if you live out in the woods.

A few drops of peppermint essential oil from the local health food store every couple of weeks have been keeping them out of both the Bolt and the F250's front compartments.

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