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Old 6th January 2020, 20:32   #1441
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Tiguan rat damage and solutions

I have had no trouble since 2011, for a Civic, Nano and Liva. The parking under the stilts is reasonably clean, so I was not too fussed about this issue.

In the last two days, my 2018 Tiguan has suffered massive damage from a rat in all parts except the engine bay. It gained access to the rear boot via the wheel well and from there through the non return air ventilation flaps at the sides of the car, inside the bumper. It chewed through the flaps and plastic cage that is part of the flap assembly and got access to the boot, and then all the way to the front part of the car including the dash and the A pillar trim insulation. Fortunately the debris on the mats gave it away before it could do more than superficial damage to the wiring.

I have no idea why it is only the Tiguan a rat has managed to access, but I am now thinking of sealing off the access by removing both flap assemblies, and installing a metal mesh on the access window that will then be open on the one side and a metal plate on the similar window on the other side of the car - the exhaust pipe side. Sealing off both fully will cause pressure issues inside the car, hence the wire mesh on one side. Wire mesh on both sides will add to the issues related to ingress of external smells, hence a metal plate on the other side.

While I will also do things like using the suggested spray inside the engine compartment even though it has not been attacked, I can't see anything else that is practical to do.

I will also post this on the Tiguan thread as an alert to other owners, because the car may be more vulnerable than many others, via these flaps. All it took to do serious damage inside was probably one rat, over two nights.
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Old 7th January 2020, 06:39   #1442
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

I have spent some time reading this saga of a thread, that is tragic-comic.

Tragic because who can say how many car fires or accidents have been caused by undiscovered damage caused to cars by rats. Now that I see what can be done so quickly by probably just one rat, the thought also comes to mind about aircraft maintenance places and the consequences of a rat getting at aircraft control cables after a maintenance service. Comic in terms of some of the actions - I found the idea of driving on to a tarpaulin and then pulling it up and tying it around the car to be hilarious. Even more so because it is unlikely to work and/or be a practical solution. It is a classic case though of desperate times needing desperate measures.

It seems to me that the only good solution is clean environs, but that can't work in India because like stray dogs, rats will continue to breed outside the society gates which are even more porous to rats than they are to strays. The next best solution is to keep cats, but the problem we face is that the couple of neutered stray dogs that are residents will not let the cats live the life they need to in order to hunt at night. The stray dogs kill an occasional rat, but are really not the night time hunters that cats are, at the time when the rats are out and about - the strays are probably asleep somewhere at nights.

I have ordered the Autoguard spray, which seems to have worked for many, for use in the engine bay.

The use of tar brushes tied inside the engine bay seems clunky, and even dangerous when driving, but seems to have worked for some. Perhaps I will have to resort to those at some time.

Rat traps set at night around the car is an interesting idea, but I worry about the stray dogs' probable interest in these. By the way, the two strays are adopted by the society to keep out the many others that are present outside the gates - these are neither vaccinated nor sterilised.

Some of the other solutions like spiked boundaries seem to be dangerous to humans, especially to the young ones that play in the complex.

My other two cars at this time are a Nano and a Liva, and no rat has shown any interest in these for many years. Perhaps the Tiguan has a more accessible entry to more comfortable places inside it. If the closing of these accesses does not work, I will have to consider selling the car as one that isn't suited to an Indian environment. Because rats will not be under control in Indian cities in my lifetime for sure.

Last edited by Sawyer : 7th January 2020 at 06:42.
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Old 7th January 2020, 18:52   #1443
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

Getting rid of one rat needed all the internal trim, seats and dashboard to be removed - the rat kept retreating and finally ran away only when cornered and the last covering trim was pulled out.

The attached photos show where it gained access to the boot via the rear wheel wells - via the air ventilation flap assembly - by pulling out one flap and chewing up the plastic cage. And the solution is steel mesh cover on the flap assembly, on the external side of the assembly. The white blanked off hole is the flap it destroyed, but with three operational flaps, airflow will still happen. And the rat has done this from the other side as well, so both assemblies will get this mesh. That should prevent access to the inside of the car from the rear wheel wells.

For the front, the spray is the only thing being done at this time. And a similar mesh on the AC ducts leading into the cabin.

All it takes is one rat.
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Old 7th January 2020, 21:23   #1444
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

Another point of note: the car is kept impeccably clean, with no eating inside. Plus, it had undergone a car detailer steam wash and internal vacuum clean in the last week of 2019, when no debris had been seen. The rat therefore sought and gained ingress in a car in that state.

So is it the much spoken about EU standards driven soy based internal materials that are used in the car that attracted the rat, ignoring the Liva and the Nano in the same parking spaces? One can only speculate at this time.
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Old 8th January 2020, 11:06   #1445
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

More on the rats..plural now. Last night at VW, there was more evidence of it inside the car, which means there is one more still inside, at least. It bears in mind what I read somewhere that if one rat is found, there is sure to be at least one more.

So now we have to find a way to set traps inside the car to make sure all are eliminated before the work of rebuilding the stripped down interiors commences.

In parallel one of the meshed boxes has been installed, per the photo below. The bumper assembly goes over it. But the photo highlights how easy it was for the rat to access the boot via the rear wheel well; it climbed up the well, slipped between the cladding and the bumper and forced its way through the flaps into the boot.

Is access to interiors this easy for all cars? Because unlike the engine bay, there are so many hiding places for rats that gain entry to the interiors of the car from this end, that this makes the car very vulnerable to small animals by a design that does not take this hazard into account.
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Old 8th January 2020, 13:21   #1446
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Is access to interiors this easy for all cars?
I am in a somewhat similar situation with my Creta. There are these huge ass Rats that hang out in the engine bay every night, pooping in the whole bay, in the places where it seems impossible to reach for cleaning. I have tried rat repellent sprays but they are useless. At last I have started putting 4-5 Roban rat killer pieces all around the car. Found 3 huge rats dead within 3 days, including one dead in the engine bay.
But there are still more and I still find poop all around inside the bonnet. As there is no other option left I will keep putting the rat poison until they are all dead.
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Old 8th January 2020, 13:26   #1447
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

Your work there is excellent, but I advise checking it regularly, as it might be possible for determined-rat teeth to breech the wire mesh.

The wheel well seems like a spectacularly vulnerable design. India is not the only country to have rats. There used to be a London saying, you are never more than twenty feet away from the nearest rat. Although we used to mention this with a wry glance at our manager, it was probably true. It's just that they were less visible there.

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 8th January 2020 at 13:29.
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Old 8th January 2020, 15:04   #1448
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Your work there is excellent, but I advise checking it regularly, as it might be possible for determined-rat teeth to breech the wire mesh.

The wheel well seems like a spectacularly vulnerable design. India is not the only country to have rats.
Yes, but it is planned quite well once the purpose was known. First, it is galvanised steel mesh of the wire thickness spec and hole size for rats. And in the installed mesh, you may see that there are two layers of it. The thinking is that even if the rat is successful in getting through the first wire of the top layer, as soon as that snaps, it will result in a sharp pointing ends pair that will not allow the snout to go deeper to the second layer without considerable pain and bleeding. Actually, even if there was only a single layer, biting through would have the same result making it very painful to push the body past and through the points.

If the rat still manages, it deserves the Tiguan.

Seriously though, it makes sense to pull out the bumper once after some weeks to see how it is faring and if it looks unmoved, then one can be assured it works.

And yes, the design seems very vulnerable. In contrast my Liva has these flaps at the rear of the car/boot, and I don't see a way anything can reach these via the rear wheel wells.

Also, one rat is all it took to make me question the worth of anything more that a cheap runabout like the Liva. All this stress isn't worth it, is my current thinking. And to have to dismantle the interiors of a car like the Tiguan to chase out a rat/s is ridiculous.

@Vikalp - try getting the engine bay steam cleaned, and only then spray something like the Autoguard anti rat repellant spray inside the bay. And make sure that your potential exposure is limited to the engine bay by examining possible entry points from there to the cabin. As well as access to the cabin/boot from the rear wheels. Once the rat gets into the cabin, it is a nightmare. The engine bay can be steam cleaned; for the interiors, once the rat gets between the trim and the body shell, what can you do except strip away all the trim till you find the rat? Or maybe lay traps inside the car every night, I suppose. Which is to be done at VW for the stripped Tiguan tonight.

Last edited by Sawyer : 8th January 2020 at 15:06.
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Old 8th January 2020, 17:49   #1449
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

The nature of this problem is highlighted by this thread is running since 2004, with no one still having found a 100% solution to it. Which isn't surprising given that rats and cockroaches are said to be hardy enough to survive even a calamity that erases humanity from the planet.

Now that I am facing the problem, I am prone to the hospital syndrome, where the world seems to be full of sick people. But it does lead me to wonder how much of a minority we are, and if a small one, what are we doing wrong compared to the larger set of car users that are happily immune? And if a large one, how come more isn't being reported or spoken about this?
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Old 8th January 2020, 20:53   #1450
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
@Vikalp - try getting the engine bay steam cleaned, and only then spray something like the Autoguard anti rat repellant spray inside the bay. And make sure that your potential exposure is limited to the engine bay by examining possible entry points from there to the cabin. As well as access to the cabin/boot from the rear wheels. Once the rat gets into the cabin, it is a nightmare. The engine bay can be steam cleaned; for the interiors, once the rat gets between the trim and the body shell, what can you do except strip away all the trim till you find the rat? Or maybe lay traps inside the car every night, I suppose. Which is to be done at VW for the stripped Tiguan tonight.
Thanks, I will see where can I get it steam cleaned.
I have tried NICHEM No Entry Rat Repellent Spray, but to no avail.
I am thinking of setting up traps as well, since the poison doesn't seems to be working anymore after the initial kills, don't know why.
Will update how it goes.
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Old 13th January 2020, 23:04   #1451
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

see my previous post on HERE

every few days, I sprinkle (water + household phenol) around the vehicles. and sometimes crush the naphthalene balls around the vehicle. the smell would keep those pests away. also tied tobacco and naphthalene in socks, on the vehicles.

its an on-going activity!
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Old 29th January 2020, 18:46   #1452
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

Update: It took 4 service techs 2 days to reassemble the Tiguan interiors after the bare metal interiors had been fumigated and left overnight to ensure that there wasn't a companion still hidden in body work crevices - which were poked with wire to make sure of this as well. They did an excellent job of the re assembly, it must be said.

As of date, there is no evidence of any more ingress in either the boot or in the engine bay.

I was at the car detailer today and we were talking about this subject and he told me that the Pune Mercedes dealer offers an after market treatment of the engine bay that involves putting in gadgets in different parts of the bay that give an electric shock if disturbed/touched. It involves capacitors that discharge and are recharged off the battery. Once recharged they don't draw any current, till the next discharge. Does anyone have any experience with this?
I googled and discovered something on these lines:
https://www.conrad.com/p/kemo-m176-u...ent-12v-857140
Again, any one with experience/insights?
I can imagine that this must be hazardous to users/mechanics. There is a switch that is to be turned off before any maintenance activity is done, but even so...
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Old 29th January 2020, 20:23   #1453
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I googled and discovered something on these lines:
[url
https://www.conrad.com/p/kemo-m176-ultrasonic-and-electric-shock-rodent-repellent-12v-857140[/url]
Again, any one with experience/insights?
...
Sawyer, can't imagine the pain you have undergone due to this Rat menace. I too was in same situation an year back with my Abarth. Tried every solution, Wire brushes in engine bay, naphthalene balls, camphor, tobacco, rat poison, rat traps, 3M spray etc etc. None of them seemed to be permanent solution for me.

Atlast, came up with my own idea and did this fencing https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modif...ml#post4533821 (Rat-proof Fencing as a solution for the rodent menace?) as DIY. Since an year, happy to say car is rat proof.

Also i suggest this for better and easy installation. https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modif...ml#post4563386 (Rat-proof Fencing as a solution for the rodent menace?)

Thanks

Last edited by reddy6980 : 29th January 2020 at 20:26.
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Old 30th January 2020, 07:58   #1454
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

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Thanks
Thank you in turn! The enclosure looks both workable and practical if made adapting your idea if the upper body cover is not needed. Make just the lower frame work that completely surrounds the car upto the height of the wheel arch, using shiny metal external surfaces that rodents cannot climb. In front, incorporate a door that opens for the car to move in/out of the frame. Make sure that the door is well made, with no gaps when closed - the smallest gap will make the whole thing pointless.
This should work in society parking spaces as well with just one issue that may arise - opening the door where another car is parked ahead of the enclosed car. Perhaps a sliding door? But it is not easy to get that one made.
PS: this, after just having seen the video - there is no need for a door, once just has to remove the front panel to move the car in or out, and there is no conflict with the car in front. Looks very doable!

Last edited by Sawyer : 30th January 2020 at 08:02.
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Old 30th January 2020, 09:05   #1455
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re: Rat damage to cars | Protection, solutions & advice

I realised that just a front entrance isn't enough, the frame has to open for the driver to get in - the front entrance will suit a car with sliding doors front and back. Since no such exist, the side panel has be removed as well. And both stored once the car is out which makes leaving also a two step process. Which then makes this somewhat less practical than what I first thought, though if a place is infested with rats, the less practical starts looking like the only workable option.
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