Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

First significant problem with LR AWD after 2 years and 28k miles

ronzastovnik

New Member
Oct 22, 2018
1
0
Clovis, CA
I had rodent chew up my fog light wires on my Leaf twice. It's parked outside so my Tesla can park safely in the garage. All automotive wiring should have something in the insulation that rodents don't like. Solutions that I use: I throw some mothballs regularly in appropriate areas. I have a good ultrasonic rodent repeller in front of the car. I spray rodent repellent solution on the tires. I have an AA battery operated ultrasonic and flashing light repeller under the hood. (AA operated so not to run down the 12 v battery)
 

Dan G

New Member
Nov 12, 2020
3
0
33897
It turned out to be what Tesla called rodent damage. We actually think it may have been a squirrel based on where the car stopped running. I've never had rodent damage to any car over the last 40+ years of car ownership. Do Teslas have particularly tasty wiring? :) They repaired the wiring harness near the front drive unit. It cost $232.50. They initially thought they were going to have to replace the harness, but then decided to repair it.

Here's a picture.
View attachment 607855
 

EnrgyNDpndnce

Member
Sep 12, 2016
629
1,027
Charleston, SC
Anyone have any advice for those of us living in squirrel country? We're planning to put up a carport just to keep the squirrel poop off, but have been worried about possible damage. Haven't had it in the past, but we've got some nasty ones here, and any helpful hints would be appreciated.

Pellet guns seem to work well. Or, if you’re out in the country, there are no squirrels in the world that can defeat a 22LR. ;-)
 

aerodyne

Active Member
Nov 19, 2018
2,717
2,754
Los Angeles
What makes me wonder the most though, besides the ridiculous hour prices they charge, is why do so many Teslas are being eaten by rodents? Or is it happening to other cars but because they are not in the spotlight we never hear about it? Or does Tesla use especially tasty recycled plastics? I genuinely wonder what the issue is here. Never had a car in the past 20+ years that had a rodent issue... maybe because they find easily proper food where i live.... i am just guessing at this point.

I have heard many modern cars are using soy based plastic for wiring insulation, including Tesla, for Sustainability reasons.

It would be better if they did not use rodent food, as a chewed up car is not very sustainable IMO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: thewallaby

GregD60

Member
Mar 24, 2016
358
354
Colorado
I have to tell you a story about that...

Back before I was a Tesla fanatic - I was a MINI Cooper fanatic. One morning my car had that kind of damage - I was able to limp to the dealership on Saturday with all manner of exciting warning lights flashing.

It was a MINI/BMW/Cadillac dealership - but the MINI guys weren't working on weekends back then. I chatted with the BMW guy - and I said "I think my cables have been chewed by rats". He replied "Oh no sir! At BMW we always tell people it's "Squirrels" - it sounds so much nicer!" ...and then from the far corner of the showroom, the Cadillac guy yells "MINK...it's mink that chew the wires on our cars!"

On Monday when they did get to fixing the wiring - the MINI guy laughed and said..."No, here at MINI, it's definitely rats."

It's comforting that the rigorously science-based Tesla guys say "Rodents" - it's a nice compromise!

And that's the truth - squirrels nest in trees - but rats (and to a lesser degree mice) do like a nice warm, dry place to nest...and they're quite happy to strip some cable insulation to make their nests. Get some rat poison and push it up against your tires when you park at night...problem should solve itself very quickly.

The big concern with the MINI was that the rat had chewed through the airbag wiring and there was a risk of the airbag going off when it shouldn't.
No sign of any nests of any critter in the car. The place where the car stopped is a place that my wife goes to frequently and is sometimes there for quite a few hours. There are many squirrels in the area and my wife has seen a couple run out from beneath the car in the past, and that is why we think it might have been squirrels. At home, the car is always garaged. There are no rats in the area we live, but there are mice. I've never seen any mice, or signs of mice, in the garage, but I'm sure they could get in there if they wanted to.
 

GregD60

Member
Mar 24, 2016
358
354
Colorado
So they did not change the harness?

So you paid 230 dollars just to connect that single 0.5 cable? What is their hour prices ? Unlimited dollars x2?
I am sure he is happy a serious car fault only cost 230 to fix given it was animal damage and not warranty. VW would have charged 250 to diagnose alone and I'm sure many other mnfr the same.

Yes, I had no complaints about the charge; I was expecting worse.
 

Beyond

Member
Jan 31, 2020
14
19
Isanti, MN
The exact thing happened to my wife's new Subaru when a rat chewed into a cable. It also was not covered under warranty. The problem appears to derive from the use of soy based plasticizers in the covering plastic. Rodents for some reason love the stuff.
I've had 2 friends that have had their Prius's destroyed (totaled) by mice chewing the wires. I've heard that the Chevy Bolt also has the problem (soy based insulation).
 

hcdavis3

HCD3
Mar 3, 2019
1,894
1,100
02571
What makes me wonder the most though, besides the ridiculous hour prices they charge, is why do so many Teslas are being eaten by rodents? Or is it happening to other cars but because they are not in the spotlight we never hear about it? Or does Tesla use especially tasty recycled plastics? I genuinely wonder what the issue is here. Never had a car in the past 20+ years that had a rodent issue... maybe because they find easily proper food where i live.... i am just guessing at this point.
Soy based wire insulation from what I’ve read. Rodents find it delicious.
 

Futuresystem

Member
Dec 22, 2017
89
100
Brisbane, Australia
Amazing some of the posts here, saying it should have been fixed for less, is unique to Teslas etc
I actually thought the repair cost to diagnose, find and repair the damage was very reasonable.

I had my first car damaged by rodents (rats?) in the ‘70’s, and again in the early ‘90’s. I’m sure that in those days it wasn’t “soy based” wiring insulation.
I haven’t had damage since then, but have known numerous people who have, including one mate a few years ago who ended up with a bill of well over $2k on a nearly new car, and yes, it was ICE.
Sadly it’s a fact that rats and mice etc will chew just about anything, including wiring in your house. (They’ve caused many house fires.)
With cars, which have wiring looms all over the place these days, the only real solution is to SOMEHOW keep them away from your car- not easy.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top