Q: Had a 2011 Impala. Little snots chewed the wiring. Cost me about $400. Got lucky, and the dealer spliced new connections in. Owner of the Chevy dealership told me it was common. They would get a vehicle about two to three times a month. I bought a pellet gun the day I got home.
– G.C., Chicago
A: You'll shoot your eye out! (Just in case you don't, find a recipe for squirrel stew. )
Q: I live in Wisconsin and have had the same issue with rodents (mice, chipmunks) chewing on my 2017 Prius and 2007 Jeep Cherokee. I purchased the rodent repellent tape, and when repairs were needed, I have the techs apply the tape. I have also tried Bounce dryer sheets and mothballs and cakes. All have had some success, and (knock on wood) I have not had any issues in the past few months.
– J.Z., Rural, Wis.
A: Rodents not only dine on wiring insulation, they can infest other parts of your vehicle. The National Pest Management Association suggests:
Keep the vehicle clean: Paper, tissues and fast-food bags can quickly pile up and serve as nesting material for mice.
Promptly address moisture buildup: Water is a necessity for rodents to survive, so a leak in the heater or wet materials left in the vehicle will draw them in.
Eliminate entry points: An open sunroof or cracked window is all a mouse needs to gain entry to a car. Make sure they remain closed when the car is unattended.
Pay attention to the garage: Despite parking in a garage, vehicles can still be at risk for rodents. Take extra measures to ensure the garage is rodent-free by keeping trash cans covered, eliminating excess debris, clearing clutter and caulking/sealing any gaps or openings where rodents can squeeze through.
Check under the hood: Rodents tend to build their nests near the engine because of the warmth it generates. Routinely take a look under the hood to ensure invaders haven't made their way in, as rodents situated here have easy access to crucial circuitry.
Contact a pro: Take the car to a professional automobile mechanic if a rodent infestation is suspected or found. A licensed pest control professional can assist with a rodent issue in the home.
At NPMA and its consumer educational site, PestWorld.org, you can find more advice on pest control.
Q: I just bought a "leftover" 2018 Lexus NX300h. I've owned two Toyota Priuses and one hybrid Camry, so I'm a hybrid disciple. Toyota service espoused using regular gas only in these vehicles, claiming that a higher octane would actually yield lower miles per gallon. The owner's manual on my new Lexus hybrid says to use a minimum of 87 octane. I buy top-tier gas from Costco and wondered if the 87 octane was good enough for my new baby. Please advise.
– B.J., Allentown, Pa.
A: Yep, 87 octane gas is perfectly fine.
Bob Weber is a writer, mechanic and ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician. His writing has appeared in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest. Send automotive questions along with name and town to email@example.com.