I’m not sure why it’s me or my vehicle at which they strike, and I cannot identify precisely which rodent did it – though I do figure a squirrel high on the suspect list.
A few years back I started the car.. and it ran very rough – barely able to move, as I discovered upon trying to pull out of the garage and partially succeeding. I managed to back it back into the garage, and then took $HOUSEMATE’s vehicle to deal with the short errand I had just then. The CHECK ENGINE light was not merely on, but flashing – a bad sign indeed. If you are not familiar, if the light is just on, steady, that means “Have this looked at soon, please.” But flashing? That means, “FIX THIS NOW!”
In that case, a check under the hood made it plain that the fix would be simple: At least one of the spark plug ignition wires had been chewed up and severed in a couple places. When I could manage, I went to a local auto parts store and got a set of replacement wires and installed the new set – saving the remains of the old set as spares. Turns out that was a Good Move.
A few nights ago the CHECK ENGINE light somehow did NOT come on at all (it does light up when I check) and the car ran if not rough, odd. I had to run it at higher revs than normal to keep it going, but I made it the mile or so to work. Later, at a break, I checked.. and sonuvagun, I managed to get there on only two (of four) cylinders. Two ignition wires had been chewed up.
In the morning, I was able to drive home on all four cylinders, after pulling the chewed up wires and replacing them with the ‘spares’ I’d kept. When the local parts shop opened, I purchased another set of wires, but did not install them immediately. Instead I went to a taco place and ordered a take-out breakfast – and asked for some packets of hot sauce.
The new wiring got a couple coats of hot sauce, which took some time to dry. I ran on the ‘spares’ for a few days (with one unchewed wire in reserve). This past night, the new wires (with hot sauce coating) were put into service and what they replaced went into the box-o-stuff in the trunk. Hopefully squirrelly (or whatever) doesn’t like things spicy.
I related the hot sauce coating bit to a fellow at work. “Yow! Do NOT cross Orvan!” was his reaction. And before anyone asks, there are young kids about the neighborhood and I now reside within city limits, so the most effective pest control (such as those made by Remington, etc.) is not an option.