Now more than ever, humans need to be more mindful of their creations. In an attempt to be eco-friendlier, companies have started making more automotive parts from renewable materials. For instance, in the case of which cars have soy based wiring. It’s true: the components inside your car can be made of soy or cannabis even! Sadly, a big advantage of making cars from edible materials is the rodent infestation that followed.
Since the start of the 21st century, almost every car manufacturer began the use of soy-based wiring insulation in their vehicles. Before that, petroleum and oil-based insulations were popular. The approach was maintained to create environmentally-friendly drives powered by soy-based insulations. If you ask now, “which cars have soy based wiring?”, a few brands have to be mentioned for their love of soy.
The use of soy in making car components is nothing new. The popular brand Ford has been constructing seats from soybean-based foam for over a decade now. Ford also chose soy instead of petroleum for their vehicles’ wire insulation. But, some owners ran into unforeseen issues when little furry vermin found their ways inside the cars and began chewing away at the edible insulation.
Edible by nature, soy wiring is something pets love for a snack or dinner. As a result, rats and squirrels started making regular trips under the hood. With oil-based cars thrown out of the mix, it seems as if consumers have to live in constant fear of having their car’s wiring chewed up rats.
However, with the right remedies and preventative measures, you can address this issue timely. Not to mention how you are playing your part in conserving nature by going green.
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring: History Of The Problem
So, which cars have soy-based problems? Up until about 10 years ago, most automobile companies used petroleum-based wiring insulations. Nests could be an issue alone but with the introduction of brand new soy-based wire insulation, the market wanted to achieve two things: 1) It would be much cheaper for the automakers, and 2) As it used soy rather than oil, it was inadvertently better for the environment.
Things, however, took a sharp turn west when car owners started complaining that the companies’ initiatives had acted as an open invitation for wildlife to come and camp under the hoods of their vehicles.
Rodent nesting in vehicles isn’t particularly a new problem in the world of automobiles. Animals tend to live in and take shelter in vehicles more often than you may think, especially in the winter.
With the dreary blanket of winter settling in, the weather gets much too cold for the local wildlife’s comfort. Under these circumstances, the warm insulation from your car is the perfect abode for the night for them.
Interestingly enough, every other seasoned mechanic has a story or two of how they found faunas hidden in the engine compartment. When your mechanic takes a look inside the hood of the car, they find damaged, frayed, or broken wires that are indicative of one thing — rodents calling your car home.
Another worrying factor is the health hazards. If the animal is huddled up anywhere close to the cabin air filter, you will get a whiff of animal excrement and dander every time you turn the air up.
Mice and rats like to urinate and defecate close to home. With one living near the filter, it’s safe to say that you are simply passing all the dirt to the inside of the car. That’s the perfect way to spread an airborne disease.
If you want to know which cars have soy based wiring, the answer is almost all of them. All Toyota models feature soy wiring. Toyota Camry, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Prius, Toyota Highlander, Prius C, and Tundra are some of the most mentionable ones. Owners of these vehicles often deal with infestations.
Similar to Toyota, South Korean brand Kia too made models with soy wiring. The Sedona, Sorento, Soul, Cadenza, and Sportage are a few examples. Wanting to join the game, Hyundai entered the market with the Honda Accent, Genesis Coupe, Veloster, and Elantra.
This doesn’t just end here; luxury companies such as Dodge, BMW, Audi, and Nissan have all come out with their take on a “green” vehicle. That does not mean you can blame everything wrong with your vehicle on chewed-up wire insulation. Granted, a fair share of them is caused by this but they act more like a catalyst in situations to make them worse. Mechanics across the nation agreed that rodent damage has increased by 10 folds in the past few years.
Why Do Rodents Eat Soy Based Wiring In Cars?
There are a handful of myths about why mice and rats are so attracted to wire insulation in vehicles. A myth even suggests that rodents like the taste of chewed-up car wiring. Others believe that they are dragged in by a kind of electromagnetic signal given off by the car. That too is a myth and will be discussed later.
There does not seem to be a clear answer on why rodents like chewing on trucks, cars, and RV wires. A major theory is that due to their resemblance to branches, wires give animals an illusion of chewing on wood. Rodents do this all the time to wear down their teeth as their teeth are constantly growing – similar to human fingernails – so they have to shape them from time to time.
Another theory suggests that car companies’ choice of soy-based wire insulations has made animals eat them to get nutritional value. A class-action lawsuit was claimed against Toyota in 2018 suggesting that rodent damage is the conclusive result of soy-based wiring. Toyota won that lawsuit and continued to remind everyone that there wasn’t much they could do about animals’ weird love for the new wiring.
But why are rodents so obsessed with chewing on wires in your vehicle? Are the damages expensive to fix? If so, what can you do to prevent these furry pests from returning? Keep on reading to learn more.
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring: What Kinds Of Pests Chew Car Wiring?
Rodents are the most kind of pests that will infect your vehicle if it has soy-based wiring. Anything small enough to sneak inside the engine compartment will surely take advantage of it. A few of the most common annoying critters include:
- Mice – Due to their small size they can easily squeeze into small holes. Before long, they are a big nuisance.
- Rats – Despite being bigger than mice, rats are voracious chewers. They can cause huge damages to any vehicle in the blink of an eye.
- Squirrels – Don’t let their size fool you! Squirrels are quite skinny and the majority of their big body is fur. When all the fluff is removed, you will see a body small enough to fit inside the engine compartment.
- Chipmunks – In cold weather, chipmunks will do everything to find a warm place to take shelter in.
- Larger animals – Larger animals, although uncommon, like possums, groundhogs, and woodchucks can find their way into any vehicle’s engine easily.
These creatures will quickly take up residence in the engines of your vehicles once there is a drop in the temperature, so keep an eye open for rodent infestation signs. Although rodents spend the majority of their time hiding away, you should be able to spot them if you keep a sharp eye out. We will mention a few symptoms of rodent infestation later on in the article.
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring: How Much Damage Is Caused
No matter how small they are, rodents effortlessly chew through wires and can cause damages that would be difficult for professionals to repair. The biggest issue is that they create issues in hard-to-reach places of the engine and destroy wires that are harder to find.
If the mechanic cannot locate the reason behind the problem, they cannot fix them. Additionally, rodents might bring food and nest-making materials into the engine, which can create problems on their own if left behind. Cardboard, papers, and leaf litter could become a potential fire hazard when the compartment temperature goes up.
Based on the make and model of your vehicle coupled with how long the pests have stayed inside your vehicle, the costs of fixing the damages can range from insignificant to burning a hole in your wallet.
How To Prevent Rodent Infestation In Your Vehicles
While you may be able to repair some of the damages caused by the vermin, it’s best to stop the damage from happening in the first place – or prevent it from recurring. Below are some techniques that will help protect your vehicle’s wire insulation from squirrels, rats, mice, and other unwanted pests. Check out this video too!
1. Set A Trap
Place rat and mouse traps around the vehicle. Feel free to set up traps on top of the wheels since some rodents tend to climb up the wheels to get into the engine bay.
2. Use A Taste Or Smell Deterrent
Peppermint oil has a strong scent that stops rodents from accessing the car. On top of that, it won’t make the car smell bad, has a bad taste, and does not harm the wires. All you have to do is spray a little on the wires of the car to drive the rodents away from the engine bay.
3. Park Your Vehicle In A Sealed Location
When possible, park your vehicle indoors. If you find there are rodents in the vehicle even though you keep it in a garage, assess the garage for holes and cracks. Once found, seal them up so the rodents can’t get it anymore.
4. Clean Food Scraps From The Car
Rats and mice aren’t the only things that will be attracted by the candy wrappers, fast-food scraps, and food remnants lying inside your car. If the ants don’t get to it and make your vehicle a mess, the rodents surely will. Do regular interior cleanups to further decrease the risk of rodent infestation in your vehicle.
Also, store the cat or dog food or trash cans elsewhere if you park in the garage. This way, the different food sources are scattered and the rodents have no particular reason to target the garage when the vehicle is safely stored away.
5. Start Your Car Regularly
Run your vehicle regularly, even if you do not plan on driving it often. Rodents generally look for dark, closed environments where they can hide from the cold and predators outside. By starting the engine, rodents might start to register the loudness of the engine bay, marking it as a no-entry zone.
6. Clean Leaves From Your Car
Clean away the leaves from the car. Rodents love using foliage as protection from the rain. If the vehicle is kept near leaves, however, rodents might view the leaves as potential shelter and get into the car automatically.
7. Leave Your Car’s Hood Up At Night
When the vehicle is parked in a garage, keep the hood of the car opened up during the night. Rodents are less likely to consider it a nesting ground since the environment is no longer as comfy, warm, or dark.
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring: How To Clean A Mice Infested Vehicle
As humans can get the Hantavirus by inhaling it, it’s crucial to be extremely careful when cleaning a car that has been home to rats and/or mice. Before you start the cleanup, ventilate the space by keeping the windows and doors open for at least half an hour to let the fresh air fill the area.
Use cross-ventilation (a natural method of cooling) and allow the area to cool on its own. Don’t vacuum or sweep rodent droppings or urine as airborne contaminants might carry the Hantavirus. Rather than that, clean any infected areas with a spritz of liquid disinfectant.
Here are the steps for the process:
- Wear latex, vinyl, or rubber gloves when cleaning droppings or urine.
- Combine a gallon of water with 1½ cups of household bleach and spray the infected areas until they are damp.
- Let the bleach blend to seep into the affected area for five to ten minutes.
- Using a paper towel, wipe the area. Discard the towel.
- Use another piece of paper towel to pick up the droppings and wipe the urine and dispose of the waste.
- Place the nesting materials or the dead rodent in a plastic bag before sealing it shut. Place that bag in another plastic bag and seal once more.
- If you cannot do it yourself, a detail shop will steam-clean the carpet for you.
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring: Debunking Myths About Rodents
Myth: Rodents Like How Wire Coating Tastes
You have already heard plenty about the soy wire insulation used on cars. Interestingly enough, there is no direct connection between which cars have soy based wiring and the rodents they end up attracting. Rodents chew on stuff to maintain their trim.
Rodents will dig their teeth into anything else within reach, so soy based wires aren’t a specialty.
Myth: Car Wiring Gives Off A Magnetic/Electronic Signal That Attracts Rodents
There is some evidence that says that some mice might be capable of detecting magnetic fields, but the evidence is far too little to make a judgment on. The only logical reasoning behind rodents making residences inside cars is that they prefer dark spaces with tons of nooks and crannies to stay hidden and feel safe.
In the winter, warmth can be provided by the engine bay and there are tons of things to chew on and keep their teeth well-trimmed.
Fact: Rodents’ Teeth Keep Growing
Rodents have to keep their teeth trimmed or it grows past proportion – to the extent that they cannot eat anymore. A theory on the reason behind rodents finding wiring harnesses below the hood claims that wires resemble the usual growth of bushes and shrubs in the wild, confusing the critters.
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring: Symptoms Of Rodent Activity In A Car
If you notice any of these signs of rodent infestation in a vehicle, take action immediately:
1. Visible Mouse Nest
A complete mouse nest is the most obvious sign of mice infestation in a vehicle. Your vehicle’s engine air box will be like free real estate to these mice.
2. Clogged Air Vents
The air vents are another great living space for pests of all kinds. Clogged air vents can indicate a forming best blocking the natural airflow.
3. Shredded Upholstery
Are there random patches of torn upholstery in the vehicle? Rodents might be tearing them up to use as insulators for their nests.
4. Mouse Droppings
Another tell-tale sign of unwanted critter activity under the hood. If you see mouse droppings on or in your vehicle, there should be a hidden nest somewhere.
5. Chewed Up Wires
Unfortunately, by the time you even take notice of this red flag, your vehicle will be past the point of saving. When rodents chew through wires, it generally results in the need for the replacement of electrical wiring throughout the vehicle.
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring: Do Car Insurance Cover Chewed Wires And Rodent Damage?
Many people ask which cars have soy based wiring so they can understand if it aligns with their insurance plans for the vehicle. Fortunately, most car insurances cover the cost to replace or repair the damage done by animals to a vehicle, such as damage or frayed wires from a nest, as long as you have comprehensive coverage to your name.
Rodents are rampant in North America, and they find no discomfort in staying inside trucks, cars, or RVs. Once inside, they get comfortable and make a nest before proceeding to damage the wires with their little shredders. The electrical wires will get damaged quite badly and you will have to spend hundreds, or maybe even thousands of dollars on repairs.
Comprehensive insurance coverage will compensate for damage to your vehicle from every cause apart from a collision. Moreover, it also covers damages due to:
However, it’s best to confirm with your insurance agency whether they cover rodent damage, as this feature not be included for every circumstance or location. Comprehensive coverage is mostly necessary for a car you loan or lease; lenders keep it as a prerequisite to safeguard their investment. Alternatively, it’s an add-on (optional).
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring – Coverage Amount
Including comprehensive coverage to the insurance policy of your vehicle typically adds an extra 7% to 11% to a simple liability-only insurance plan. However, the total amount you will pay is heavily dependent on the model of vehicle you own, your location as well driving history.
When you are fixing the car-wiring issues, keep in mind that only a portion of the damage expenses will be covered by the insurance – if the amount is higher than your deductible. For instance, if the bill to fix the wiring damage stands at $500 but your deductible is $600, you will be responsible for the whole amount since insurance will not cover it.
If squirrels or rats damage the vehicle and you don’t own a comprehensive cover or the deductible is too high, you will have to pay for the repairs on your own. Once the repairs are done, we highly recommend adding comprehensive coverage since rodents have this nasty habit of going back for the same vehicle.
You might not be able to get coverage this time, but you can surely save yourself a bit of future hassle by including comprehensive coverage in the insurance policy.
Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?
Sadly, homeowners’ insurance will not cover damages incurred by your vehicle, even if it was parked right inside your home when the animals perpetrated your boundary.
Furthermore, damage done by rodents is not generally covered by renters’ or homeowners’ insurance, so you cannot claim if the rodents damaged the wiring of your house either.
Which Cars Have Soy Based Wiring – Conclusion
On the query, “which cars have soy-based wiring,” almost every vehicle since the oil-based insulation of the ‘90-s vehicles.
Instead of living in constant fear of these pesky rodents, it’s best to take preventative measures. Follow the advice in this article to keep rodents at bay. Check all the engine openings and block them with a wire screen. Electronic deterrent devices have been proven to be useful too!