Welcome to the unguided tour of the repair bays. This blog has a check engine light on and rats just so you would know.
It was a rainy morning and a client came to the counter with an issue. The check engine light was on and the car was not running smoothly, running rough in the vernacular. She had limped the car into the station and the Camry sounded like a Mac truck chugging and wheezing.
I was head down ordering parts. “My check engine light is on and my car isn’t running right”. I look up at the client. My first client concern of the morning. “My check engine light is on and something is wrong with my car”. I nod and tell her let’s take a look. I ask some questions about how she was maintaining the car and when did the problem begin. I ask to Adrienne to move the car over to the bay so we could use the hand-held diagnostic computer and see what’s up.
Adrienne pulled the car over to the diagnostic bench and hooked up it up to the computer. The reading showed that the number 4 cylinder was not firing correctly; which accounted for the chugging and unnecessarily rough ride that the car was giving and isolated the problem to under the hood.
It could have been water in the gas, but the diagnostic tool to read the information from the cars computer that had isolated the problem to an electrical issue.
Adrienne pulled the car further into the bay and she lifted the hood to make a visual inspection. One of the first things Adrienne noticed was one of the coverings had gnaw marks on the outer covering which was an unrelated issue or was it? Adrienne lifted the cover that protects the electrical wiring to the fuel injectors and noticed that the wiring harness had been chewed through on the number 4 cylinder. Problem found. This is why the number 4 cylinder wasn’t firing.
Now, a wiring harnesses can cost upwards of $4000 dollars, but where there is a will there is a way. Adrienne disconnected the clasp and set out to patch the issue. Using some ingenuity in her repair strategy, she pulled out what was left of the chewed wire from the harness and re-soldered the connection and plugged it back into its home.
She started the car and it idled fine and the check engine light was off. In order to verify the repair fixed the problem; she then cleared the computer error and hooked the car back up to the diagnosis computer and the report came back with a clean bill-of-health.
But it doesn’t end here. This is the issue that happened to our happy traveler. After the first repair that night the rat came back and chewed the same wire in another place. Using a rodent repellent, either a homeopathic remedy of peppermint oil or an ultrasonic repellent solves the issue from happening again, which the customer had installed in her vehicle.
Rats and other pests are looking for cover and found residence under the hood which is not uncommon and is part of trying to find a dry place to hang out.
Peppermint spray which is a natural repellent for rodents, and adds a nice floral note in the garage. The downside is it must be sprayed or misted under the hood every two weeks to reduce the probability of a reoccurrence of an infestation.
The second solution is to use an ultrasonic gizmo which hooks up to your battery and is used to keep the pest at bay. The downside to the high tech ultrasonic solution is that it creates a light drain on the battery. Either way can be installed by Fara’s Auto quickly and easily.