Five Ways to Keep Critters Out of Your Car

Squirrel on a fence post – adorable. Squirrel curled up in your car’s engine compartment – not so much.

Squirrels, raccoons, mice, even rats arguably are cute to some people. But when they take up residence in the cracks and crevices of your ride, it can get ugly. Critters of all sorts can find their way into your engine compartment, dashboard, tail pipe or undercarriage and quickly get cozy, chewing up wiring, insulation, hoses and upholstery to build their nests.

Unfortunately, those comfy critter hideaways can be costly, racking up damages in the thousands of dollars that will come out of your financial nest egg. So, E3 Spark Plugs offers five surefire tips for keeping these non-paying tenants out of your ride.

  1. Park it: And we don’t mean in the driveway or on the street. Clean out all that stuff you’ll never use anyway from your garage and return it to its intended use – to protect your vehicle. Of course, this effort will be for naught if critters already are frequenting your garage, so keep the doors shut and clear away anything that might make for a cozy nest.
  2. Keep it clean: Those cracker bits you dropped into your lap and simply brushed off onto the seat or floorboard sure are tasty. Refrain from eating in your car, vacuum it regularly and keep your windows shut even while parked in the garage.
  3. Smell ‘em out: While there’s some question as to its effectiveness, some people swear by placing mothballs, dryer sheets or lavender oil-soaked wood chips in or around your car.
  4. Trap ‘em: For the less squeamish, one sure way to make sure an approaching critter won’t reach your car’s innards is to trap them. If you just don’t have the heart to handle a furry little guy’s final demise, use a humane live trap and make plans to relocate the critter. A wooded area or your obnoxious neighbor’s garage are viable choices.
  5. Tape it up: If you’ve got a car that you don’t plan to drive for a while – especially a prizedclassic car – you might want to seal your tailpipe with masking tape and check it regularly. After all, rodents can chew through obstructions much tougher than tape. If you see a disturbance, it might be time for Plan B – a call to your local exterminator.

Got more advice for keeping critters out of your ride? Post it on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.