All classic car owners have to go through storing their vehicles to protect them from the elements outside. Unfortunately, sometimes when keeping your vehicle, you’ll face another element you have to protect your car from: rodents. If left unprotected, the rodent can damage all of the hard work you’ve done on the cushioning, the car ducts, and other parts that will be completely ruined. Here are some tips that will help protect your valuable classic vehicle from being damaged by rodents.
1. Keep your garage secure
The first line of defense when it comes to protecting your car from rodents is the area you’re storing it in. Whether it’s a shop or a garage, you need to make sure your walls are sealed to prevent any rodents from gaining access to the vehicle. Familiar places you should seal up include gaps around wiring, vents, doors, or pipes. Additionally, you should make use of an under-door seal for the garage doors. One of the more drastic measures you can take is installing rat guards around the exterior walls to prevent rats from getting in through under the walls.
2. Dryer sheets
Dryer sheets can be an effective and inexpensive way to deal with mice. Take some dryer sheets and lay them in the trunk, under the hood, in the exhaust pipe, on top of the tires, and all over the interior. When it’s the start of spring, you can remove all of the dryer sheets. Not only will there likely be no mice around, but your car will smell really well too. The reason dryer sheets are useful is that mice don’t like the smell of them. They’ll generally avoid anything that has the scent of dryer sheets. Rodents are creatures that primarily navigate the world through their noses, sniffing out predators and food before spotting them. When they notice your human scent has dispersed from the car, that gives them the security to try making a home out of your classic vehicle. With multiple sheets in and outside the car, you’ll have a high chance of keeping them away from your classic vehicle. If you find the dryer sheets aren’t as effective, other scents that are good pest deterrents include cayenne pepper, cedar wood, and peppermint oil.
The traditional option that most people will usually go with traps. You can put a small smear of peanut butter in the center of your snap trap. It doesn’t need to be much, as a small amount will be enough to give off a scent that attracts the rodents. Though useful in eliminating mice, this method does have its downsides. If the trap sits too long without a rodent going towards the bait, small bugs like crickets may eat the bait without setting off the trap since they’re light. You want to keep the mines around the car. A good place to put them is at the top of the tires, as that area is a shared space where mice can enter your vehicle. It’s not wise to put them in the vehicle, as it may be challenging to get the smell out.
Sulfur is another item that gives off a scent that mice, roaches, and other pests don’t like. You can find powdered sulfur sold at most garden stores. When you’ve purchased the powdered sulfur, take an old pillowcase, and cut it into 8” x 8” squares. Then, take a spoonful of sulfur and put it in the center. Gather the ends and tie them into a small pouch. You can place it around your car areas that have mouse and bug problems, and the pests should be kept away.
5. Take the wheels off
As mentioned earlier, the area near the tires can be an entryway for rodents. The soft rubber and blocky treads of tires make for an easy climbing surface for mice. If you’ll be storing away your classic vehicle for the winter, or you’re going to leave your current restoration project idle, removing the tires can make it more difficult for rodents to get in your classic vehicle. When you get back to work on it, you might have an interest in using a coyote swap kit. You can learn more about it at this link: https://shop.revologycars.com/collections/coyote-swap-kit.
6. Pop the hood off
You would think it’s counterproductive to leave your hood open, as that would seem to make it easier for rodents to enter your car. In actuality, a closed hood is more inviting, as most rodents enter a vehicle as a means of shelter. A secure hood offers a roof for the animals, and heat can be retained in the engine bay. By leaving your hood open overnight, the engine heat can dissipate, the hood won’t provide much cover, and it’ll be less attractive for pests to consider making a home.
7. Regularly inspect the vehicle and its surroundings
It’s important to check under the hood of your classic car often, as mice tend to make nests there. You should also examine the mechanical system and wiring for any signs of fraying or chewing. Any chewed wires or belts should be repaired as soon as possible. Be sure to scan your engine and driveway for any leaks. Believe it or not, rodents like the taste of gasoline, oil, and other automotive fluids. It’s a good idea to consistently clean up any leaks to reduce any chances of attracting pests and reduce the risk of any flammable debris being ignited. Be sure to listen for rattles as well. Flame-retardant materials are usually between the floorboards and the exhaust systems. If you hear any rattling, a rodent might have loosened your vehicle’s materials, and you may want to consider having a professional look into it.
It’s important to take every measure possible to protect your classic vehicle from rodents. Not taking the necessary precautions could leave you with hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs to make. Following these tips will help you keep your classic car protected from rodents invading it.