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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. On 7/2/2020 I was driving to work and 3 dashboard warning lights came on, so I drove straight to Toyota service. They said a rodent caused damage by eating wire casings. $1,400 and 2 days later, I got my 2007 RAV4 back. I Googled how to keep the critters out of engine and found suggestions from peppermint, to cedar wood blocks, to mothballs, to spraying the engine bay with a cayanne pepper mixture. I also read to wash engine bay to rid of any waste rodents may have left so they are not attracted to return and to then spray the clean engine bay with deterrent.
There is lots of info on the internet about washing the engine bay. I’ve been reading and watching lots of YouTube videos. Some say to cover parts such as the air flow sensor, exposed electricals, air filter, alternator (all of it Greek to me) others say you don’t really need to cover anything in cars made after 1996.
Do you guys know if there are any engine parts in the 2007 RAV4 V6 that must be covered/protected before I wash it?
If yes, please let me know and idea of where they are. Keep in mind that I am a woman who knows very little about cars, but I am a little bit of a DIY.
I’m going to use some GUNK product and I’m using a garden hose with the shower spray.
Your help will be much appreciated.
 

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The area you should be careful is the two fuse boxes and ECU. Location from each can be found here. All you need to do is mist the engine area instead of soaking it with a hard spray. Using an engine de-greaser like Gunk will work just fine. I would blow everything dry with a leaf blower.
 

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Unfortunately the rodent problem may recur. If your RAV4 is garaged suggest making certain that all spaces are blocked where rodents can enter. Mice can squirm their way through almost incredibly small spaces. Having a good rodent catching cat helps immensely. If your vehicle has to be kept outside people have had mixed results using deterrent chemicals, etc. Rodents can get into the engine bay easily from underneath and into the vehicle through the ventilation system. While some owners have used metal screening regarding the vents preventing access to the engine bay from underneath is a hassle and may not work. If the rodent wire chewing recurs, since you do some DIY it may be possible to splice the damage wires together. Also suggest taking your RAV4 to an independent shop which may be able to repair the damage without having to replace the pricey wiring harness. Problem is, Toyota and other makers have used a soy-based compound as wiring insulation in later models which is attractive to rodents.
 

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The problem was exacerbated by manufacturers when they decided to use environmentally friendly wiring, with soy-based insulation. There were some lawsuits, but the power of automakers was great:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
The problem was exacerbated by manufacturers when they decided to use environmentally friendly wiring, with soy-based insulation. There were some lawsuits, but the power of automakers was great:

The area you should be careful is the two fuse boxes and ECU. Location from each can be found here. All you need to do is mist the engine area instead of soaking it with a hard spray. Using an engine de-greaser like Gunk will work just fine. I would blow everything dry with a leaf blower.
Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Unfortunately the rodent problem may recur. If your RAV4 is garaged suggest making certain that all spaces are blocked where rodents can enter. Mice can squirm their way through almost incredibly small spaces. Having a good rodent catching cat helps immensely. If your vehicle has to be kept outside people have had mixed results using deterrent chemicals, etc. Rodents can get into the engine bay easily from underneath and into the vehicle through the ventilation system. While some owners have used metal screening regarding the vents preventing access to the engine bay from underneath is a hassle and may not work. If the rodent wire chewing recurs, since you do some DIY it may be possible to splice the damage wires together. Also suggest taking your RAV4 to an independent shop which may be able to repair the damage without having to replace the pricey wiring harness. Problem is, Toyota and other makers have used a soy-based compound as wiring insulation in later models which is attractive to rodents.
Thanks for the info and tip, but damaged has already been repaired by Toyota where it has been services since I bought it in 2007!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The problem was exacerbated by manufacturers when they decided to use environmentally friendly wiring, with soy-based insulation. There were some lawsuits, but the power of automakers was great:

Yes, I read about the suits. I’m in New Orleans and the local news had an article about the rodents going mad with hunger because so many restaurants have been closed due to COVID and I wondered if that had something to do with my car since I’ve had it since 2007, parked in the same place with no problems until now.
 

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I would wrap the wires with with extra protection perhaps this may work? Also I would set up traps to catch those rats. See how many you catch. I recently got rid of two rats coming to my garden with animal traps.
 

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I would wrap the wires with with extra protection perhaps this may work? Also I would set up traps to catch those rats. See how many you catch. I recently got rid of two rats coming to my garden with animal traps.
I purchased and placed rodent bait stations around the yard and driveway. I was hoping to get Toyota to wrap wires with something but they weren’t helpful with suggestions on preventing the damage from occurring again.
 

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I’ve been putting a bag of mothballs under the hood at night and removing it every morning. That stuff smells awful, but I read that rodents dislike the smell.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello everyone. On 7/2/2020 I was driving to work and 3 dashboard warning lights came on, so I drove straight to Toyota service. They said a rodent caused damage by eating wire casings. $1,400 and 2 days later, I got my 2007 RAV4 back. I Googled how to keep the critters out of engine and found suggestions from peppermint, to cedar wood blocks, to mothballs, to spraying the engine bay with a cayanne pepper mixture. I also read to wash engine bay to rid of any waste rodents may have left so they are not attracted to return and to then spray the clean engine bay with deterrent.
There is lots of info on the internet about washing the engine bay. I’ve been reading and watching lots of YouTube videos. Some say to cover parts such as the air flow sensor, exposed electricals, air filter, alternator (all of it Greek to me) others say you don’t really need to cover anything in cars made after 1996.
Do you guys know if there are any engine parts in the 2007 RAV4 V6 that must be covered/protected before I wash it?
If yes, please let me know and idea of where they are. Keep in mind that I am a woman who knows very little about cars, but I am a little bit of a DIY.
I’m going to use some GUNK product and I’m using a garden hose with the shower spray.
Your help will be much appreciated.
I read that mothballs deters them, but is it safe to leave mothballs rattling all over the engine? I’ve been placing a bag at night and removing it every morning
 

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I read that mothballs deters them, but is it safe to leave mothballs rattling all over the engine? I’ve been placing a bag at night and removing it every morning
Moth balls are suppose to be used in an enclosed bag. They give off fumes so if they are in the open then the smell can enter inside the car which you are breathing. Not really a good thing to be breathing it.
 

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Well... that's why mothballs work. Because of the fumes that rodents hate. If you enclose them, how would be the rodents repelled? I agree that's not good for the occupants either.
That's why the other solutions are preferred.
 

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You can also use a mint or peppermint oil. Rodents do not like the smell and it is hurmless to you.
Just spray undercarige and perimeter lower under the hood.
I once had this issue with new wires.
They smelled like peanut butter 😮.
So spraied it with mint oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You can also use a mint or peppermint oil. Rodents do not like the smell and it is hurmless to you.
Just spray undercarige and perimeter lower under the hood.
I once had this issue with new wires.
They smelled like peanut butter 😮.
So spraied it with mint oil.
Yes, I read about peppermint. I purchased Exterminator’s Choice Rodent Vehicle Repellent which has peppermint in it and I’ve been spraying the engine and wheels every night.
 
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