My car has been acting a little funny lately. At low speeds was jump and was real shaky until I got moving at a steady clip. The alarm stopped working and I could never seem to keep any water in the windshield wiper reservoir. I don’t really know much about cars, so for a while I blamed it on the rain. Or maybe, I thought, I needed to change the oil. Just in case it was something serious, I decided to send it over to the Hyundai dealer to see if he could sort out the problems.
Yesterday morning I got a call.
“You have rats in your engine.”
“Rats? Are you sure?
“Yes, many rats. They have eaten most of the wiring? There are droppings everywhere.”
“Can’t you think of a better excuse to void my warranty, what’s the proof?”
“I’ll send you a picture, hold on.”
Five minutes later he takes a picture of my spark plug caps and e-mails it to me. Yes, those are teeth marks. Some time in the last couple months the giant raccoon-sized rats that feed on temple scraps downstairs (this is a real problem, there are festivals every other day sponsored by the temple in my building and they leave lots and lots of food (aka rat food)in my parking lot overnight…but I digress) climbed into my car’s engine and snacked on the tasty plastic bits.
Or, as this New York Times article on the engine rat problem in New York suggests ““They hang out, and during the night they must get bored, and they eat the wires.” Indeed, a rat expert Paul D. Curtis, an associate professor at Cornell University who specializes in wildlife management, said rodents in general tend to be attracted to plastic tubing and wires. “They do need to chew constantly to wear down their incisors,” he said, “and there’s something about the texture of the plastic that they really like.”
So the question on the table now is does anyone know of a substance that I can sprinkle on my engine to make it taste bad.