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BMW 5-Series (G30) Forum 2017+ BMW 5 Series (G30) General Discussions Repeat Rodent Damage

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      03-24-2020, 08:37 PM   #1
docgaines
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Repeat Rodent Damage

Not sure what to do. I have a 530e for 17 months, I live in NYC and park on the street. Had a drive train error show up one morning, take the car in and find the wiring harness in the engine has been chewed. Car gets fixed. Park it overnight, same error pops up the next day, more rodent damage. Had engine bay steam cleaned, used some internet remedies: peppermint oil, mothballs and dryer sheets. 1 month later the car gets chewed up again. Dealership smiles and thanks me for my business as each repair is about $1200-1800. I don't see any way to keep this car protected. I feel that a car attacked so many times has something which is attracting these rodents and that it is not being addressed during the repairs or perhaps the wiring harness is particularly tasty. I drive the car at least 5 days and often 6 days a week. On the waiting list for a garage in my building but it's been 2 years already. Any ideas on getting BMW to get me into a different model or some way to protect the wires?
Thanks!
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      03-24-2020, 10:41 PM   #2
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Wow, unfortunate. It's a semi-common issue not just limited to bmw. Partly has to do with environmental requirement changes to the way wiring harnesses are made.

Search Google for rodent tape. Several companies make it and you re-wrap the harnesses being attacked by rodents with this tape. The rodents don't like the scent or taste so (hopefully) they won't chew.

Honda has an oem version. Google it. Many others have it too. Unfortunately, the oems aren't using it on production harnesses.

I've heard of people buying wire loom and wrapping the loom in this tape. Then they cut as needed and place over the car harnesses and tie wrapping to the harness.
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      03-25-2020, 01:56 AM   #3
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They are creatures of habit so you have to seriously dissuade with tape or offer something more attractive like poison bait. Set traps , peanut butter is good. Wait a few days, they are cautious, then keep the bait topped up. Anchor the bait or they will drag it away.
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      03-25-2020, 08:18 AM   #4
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Oils, sheets, etc might work to a degree in a small, confined space with very limited airflow. When parked in a larger space, such as a multi car garage or outdoors, poison (unfortunately IMO) placed strategically, is the only solution that works.

If you choose to go this route, place the poison underneath the car at all four corners and a few pieces underneath also. Might want to check out NYC law...I found this in a quick search

"The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) places poisoned bait (rodenticide) in areas around the City to reduce the rodent population. The poisoned bait is used in accordance with State and City law. It is placed in locations where it will not harm the health of the general public, pets, birds, or squirrels."
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      03-25-2020, 10:24 AM   #5
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I remember some years ago that for environmental reasons manufacturers were making wire sheathing out of a soy based product and the rodents well, ate it up. Are they still using soy? Or some other environmentally friendly material that attracts rodents? Don't know but what ever it is, it does seem to attract them in NYC. --Bob
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      03-25-2020, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docgaines View Post
Not sure what to do. I have a 530e for 17 months, I live in NYC and park on the street. Had a drive train error show up one morning, take the car in and find the wiring harness in the engine has been chewed. Car gets fixed. Park it overnight, same error pops up the next day, more rodent damage. Had engine bay steam cleaned, used some internet remedies: peppermint oil, mothballs and dryer sheets. 1 month later the car gets chewed up again. Dealership smiles and thanks me for my business as each repair is about $1200-1800. I don't see any way to keep this car protected. I feel that a car attacked so many times has something which is attracting these rodents and that it is not being addressed during the repairs or perhaps the wiring harness is particularly tasty. I drive the car at least 5 days and often 6 days a week. On the waiting list for a garage in my building but it's been 2 years already. Any ideas on getting BMW to get me into a different model or some way to protect the wires?
Thanks!
Thank EU politicians and regulators that force automakers to use electrical wiring that is soy based thus making your vehicle's cables into one tasty treat to critters:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a2...hink-is-tasty/

You may have this issue with any new car to be honest. Can you pony up the cost of parking on another critter free location?.
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      03-25-2020, 11:23 PM   #7
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This happened to me a year ago, around Christmas time my check engine lights came on, when i took it to the dealership turned out a rat chewed the wiring harness so bad they had to replace the whole harness. total cost was over 10k but i only paid 1k for deductible. Turns out rodents love the soy based wiring insulation, and they also love to hide in the engine bay in the winter. I no longer park on the street and got a garage.
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      03-26-2020, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docgaines View Post
Not sure what to do. I have a 530e for 17 months, I live in NYC and park on the street. Had a drive train error show up one morning, take the car in and find the wiring harness in the engine has been chewed. Car gets fixed. Park it overnight, same error pops up the next day, more rodent damage. Had engine bay steam cleaned, used some internet remedies: peppermint oil, mothballs and dryer sheets. 1 month later the car gets chewed up again. Dealership smiles and thanks me for my business as each repair is about $1200-1800. I don't see any way to keep this car protected. I feel that a car attacked so many times has something which is attracting these rodents and that it is not being addressed during the repairs or perhaps the wiring harness is particularly tasty. I drive the car at least 5 days and often 6 days a week. On the waiting list for a garage in my building but it's been 2 years already. Any ideas on getting BMW to get me into a different model or some way to protect the wires?
Thanks!
you're correct it has to do with wires outer layers. I've heard about fiber being chewed repeatedly by rodents. It got so bad that we had to file a complaint with corning (OEM for fiber) to look at coatings they use on the wires. I know it doesn't help your situation but i can attest to your assessment for sure
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      03-26-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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With street parking and the size of rodents in NYC I don't know what to recommend but I can sympathize. I found the 'ultrasonic' rodent deterrents work well although I was skeptical at first.
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      03-28-2020, 11:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pictor View Post
With street parking and the size of rodents in NYC I don't know what to recommend but I can sympathize. I found the 'ultrasonic' rodent deterrents work well although I was skeptical at first.
Yeah with New York City's rodents, I am frankly surprised they didn't just get in and drive off....Bob
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