My car started giving me all kinds of electrical problems. I popped the hood and found a nest!
Read on to see how a small animal caused electrical trouble for this car.
All at once I had 3 new electrical problems with my Lexus IS300:
- Windshield wipers were slow and sometimes stopped.
- Left turn signal / blinker goes twice the normal speed.
- Headlights will not turn off automatically when engine is off.
I popped the hood and took a look.
As I was removing the debris, I noticed additional damage from the animal’s chewing. The animal is probably a chipmunk, squirrel, or rat. We had some cold weather and snow recently and the animals were looking for a warm place to hunker down. After running the car and coming back home to park it outside, the engine compartment must have felt warm and inviting to the cold animals.
Now I know why my windshield wiper fluid doesn’t spray any more. An animal chewed through the hose!
I pulled most of the leaves out by hand and vacuumed out the rest.
Grounding The Relays
How to Prevent Animals from Coming Back
My mother had this same problem with rodents getting up into her engine compartment. She took her vehicle to the mechanic where they discovered the problem. They told her to prevent the animals from getting into her engine compartment again, she could:
- Put moth balls in old pantyhose and attach them under the hood. Instead of pantyhose, I think you could use an old t-shirt or any other porous cloth.
- Spray the engine area with peppermint spray.
- Get a cat which “would take care of the rodents.” (My mother advised the mechanic that she did have a cat, which was worthless at hunting, preferring to be inside sleeping instead.)
With the relays properly grounded to the body of the car, the electrical problems went away. All of the relays in the Engine Room Relay Block are back to working like new.