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

Posted September 1, 2019 11:37 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 Lakeside Certified Auto 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.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



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  • This was my first time going to this repair shop and I WILL ALWAYS go back! My heat was not working and I had 2 different estimates from other shops who quoted me at $950-$1,000 to replace my heater and it didn't sound right to me so I brought it here and the guys called me a few hours after dropping it off and said nothing is wrong with my heater, someone had UNPLUGGED something to keep my heat from working. It goes to show how dishonest other shops really are that they lied to me but Lakeside Auto was honest with me and saved me so much unnecessary money. They could have lied to get more $ but they don't do business that way and I appreciate them so much! the trouble I was put in with no heat for 2 weeks with my baby was horrid and im so thankful to have found an honest shop!!
    -Sophie Cicconetti - Willoughby/Ohio

  • This is my "go to" place for repairs. I break down in the morning, get towed to their building and left before end of day!
    -TJ G.

  • If I could rate them higher, I would! Had my car at Mentor Nissan over 3 days, and they weren't able to find out what was wrong with it (I drive a Nissan Altima). Took my car over to Lakeside, and within 12 hours I knew exactly what was wrong with my car, and it would only cost me a FRACTION of what Mentor Nissan quoted me. Fast, Reliable, Professional, and Very Friendly!
    -Joe V.

  • I love this place. Everyone is friendly and professional. Prices are reasonable too.
    -Donna H.

  • Fair prices, great mechanics. Been going there for years. Mechanics are friendly and always have time to talk to you about your car.
    -David M.

  • Pleasant staff, clean shop/storefront, great prices. You'll not be disappointed!
    -Stefan T.

  • I needed a specific repair done that the dealership quoted at $1800. Lakeside originally quoted $1600 but they promised to do some research and came back to me with an $800 quote. They did a good job on the fix and even gave me a car to use- no extra charge- while they worked on my car.
    -Stephanie O.