How To Prevent Rodents From Snacking On Your Engine

Do you have rodent trouble? If squirrels and mice have taken up residence in your engine compartment, your vehicle is headed for a world of expensive repairs. That is why this month’s blog will share tips on how to prevent rodents from snacking on your engine.

Rodents snacking on your engine? Really?!

Yes, it’s true. When car manufacturers created sustainable materials for their vehicles, per government regulations that encouraged fuel economy and earth-friendly practices, they used soybean-based wire casing. While the idea was terrific in theory, no one predicted that the soybean-based wire casings would prove to be a delicious treat for hungry and cold rodents. 

There have been numerous reports of car owners who could not start their vehicles, only to find that squirrels and mice had nested in their engine compartment and made a meal or two out of the wire casings. This kind of rodent invasion isn’t only an issue in Missouri. Nope. This issue is commonplace across the country when critters seek warmth and shelter from the seemingly-safe space of an engine compartment.

At The Auto Shop, here are the things we recommend when hungry mice and squirrels have invaded your vehicle:


  1. Bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop for a complete inspection. We will assess the damage and provide repair options.

  2. We typically refer to Steve’s Pest Control in Jefferson City. His website is, and the phone number is 573-896-4868.

  3. After we repair your engine and replace the chewed-on parts with fresh, factory-grade parts, we have a temporary solution that tends to work well: Hot Sauce! We coat the wiring with hot sauce to discourage the rodents from incurring further damage. Seriously, we have a jar of hot sauce in our shop specifically for this issue, and it works!

If you want to prevent rodents from snacking on your engine compartment, here are a few recommendations:


  1. Park your vehicle inside your garage for the ultimate protection.

  2. For extra measure inside your garage, leave the hood of your car up to remove the desired security and shelter.

  3. Purchase Rodent Tape -- which is tape coated in capsaicin that tastes “hot,” and wrap it around all of your car’s wiring.

  4. Liberally spray peppermint oil or Pine-Sol on your engine block -- the rodents don’t like the smell or taste of those chemicals.

  5. Set carefully-place live or electric mouse traps.

Whether or not you have a rodent problem in your engine compartment, The Auto Shop in Jefferson City is happy to assist you with all kinds of general auto repair and tire service. If your vehicle is due for an oil change or factory-recommended service, we invite you to schedule an appointment

The Auto Shop is located at 612 Missouri Boulevard Court, Jefferson City, MO, 65109, and our business hours are Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM. For payments, we accept cash, personal checks, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, and Discover. We look forward to seeing you soon!