How to Keep Mice Out of Car Engine Compartment (13 Ways)

Ever since I moved to West Virginia, I’d been looking for effective ways on how to keep mice out of car engine compartment and how to stop rodents from chewing car wires. And thankfully, I found a couple of helpful and best ways to prevent mice from getting into car engine and chewing car wires.

If you own a car, you know how important it is to keep up with its maintenance from time to time. Owning a car and maintaining it are two completely different things! Thanks to all the dirt, rodents, technical faults, and other similar problems coming up every now and then to sue your car riding experience frequently and eating up your pocket as well.

One of the most prevalent issues with car maintenance and long-term car storage is to keep it out of rodents, mice, to be precise.

how to keep mice out of car engine compartment
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It is seen among car owners how keeping rats out of the engine makes them struggle. As these are very active rodents (and small too), they generally find small holes in the car to land both themselves and the vehicle in danger!

And the worst part of the rodent attack is when they get through the car’s engine. It is essential to keep rats out of car’s engine bay as it can cause significant issues, leading to fatal accidents.

Not only that, your car engine can become faulty due to a mouse being trapped in it. That is why it is essential that you know exactly how to keep mice out of car engine compartment to have a safe drive in your vehicle.

In this rodent repellent and mouse prevention guide, we are going to discuss all the possible and effective ways to prevent mice from getting in your car engine compartment, stop rodents from chewing car wires and nesting in car engines, and provide much more helpful information. So, just keep reading!

How Do Mice Get in Cars?

By now, you might be wondering; how do mice get inside your car even when everything is carefully packed? It is the most common thinking amongst car owners when they find mice running around the interior of their vehicle, mouse droppings on their leather car seats, or rodents nesting inside their cars.

When you park the car in the parking space or garage and leave the vicinity thinking your car is safe, that is when it is most unsafe. The mice usually get inside the vehicle when there is no one around. And owing to their small size, they sneak in effortlessly.

There can be multiple entry points for the rodents (mice, rats, squirrels, beavers, etc.), which every car owner must know. So, first of all, let’s move to learn how do mice get in your car engine compartment and where do mice nest in cars. Here we go:

Air Vents

Air vents are one of the popular entry points for rodents into the car. The vents usually have small openings, but being smaller in size and having a flexible body, the mice can easily get into the vehicle through the car air vents. When they enter the car engine through the air vent, they damage it as well.

Furthermore, while they move throughout the car, they leave behind a dirty and foul smell from one vent to another. So, it is advised you keep your car’s air vents closed while leaving the car parked for a more extended period so that the mice cannot get inside the vehicle through them.

Pedal Shafts

For those who don’t know, there are small shafts that remain enclosed with the car pedals to ensure easy movement while driving the car. These small shafts bring on big trouble as the mice can effortlessly enter the vehicle through these shaft openings, and the rats can get in quickly and cause nuisance inside the car.

And you cannot do anything about managing the pedal shaft openings. So, what you must do is to learn how to keep mice out of your car engine compartment, which we have explained in the next section. Till then, learn about the other entry points through which the tiny creatures can get into your car.

Car Engine

A car engine is the main and more desirable entry point for the mice or rats to get inside your car. When your vehicle remains unused for a more extended time, the engine bay, of course, has seen no activity. It becomes a passage for the mice to get in and out of the car smoothly.

how to keep mice out of car engine

There is another disadvantage of mice getting into the car through the engine, which is they can easily nest there and chew the engine wires that might lead to more danger. So, you must also know how to stop rodents from chewing car wires, which we will read about in the latter part of the article.


Of course, the opened car windows are the most common point of mice getting inside your car. Though the rodents rarely find a way through the windows to get in your car when you are actually inside it or driving it, it is more likely to get in when you leave the vehicle parked inside your garage without closing the car windows properly.

The rodents find it extremely easy to get into the car through the windows as it’s ample space, unlike the paddle shafts or air vents. Sometimes, even a tiny gap in the car windshield or windows can pave the way for mice and rats to enter your car.

So, it is highly recommended that you keep your car windows closed whenever you leave the car in the garage, no matter how long or how short a period it is!

Steering Columns

You might be wondering how mice can get inside your car engine through the steering columns. Right? You might have noticed a small gap between the steering columns that help us hold grip when using the steering to drive. That is the entry point that many rodents find suitable to enter the car engine compartment.

These rats and mice find a way towards the dashboard and the seats to build a nest or cause damage to the car’s interior. Though not a lot can be done in this entry space, you can use the most effective and best way to keep rats out of car engine that we have discussed in this guide.

Holes Around the Cables

The holes around the cables of the car engine might not look very significant to the car owners, but it is actually a significant entry point for the small rodents. These holes might be tiny, but the small mice and rats can get through them and enter the car causing substantial damage to the car’s interior.

What is more exhausting sometimes is that they are prone to chew the car cables, which might lead to more danger. So, let us move on to the next and most valuable section to find out how to prevent rats from eating car wires and what are the best solutions to keep mice out of the car engine compartment.

These were some of the most common entry points for mice to get into your vehicles. Now let us discuss the best prevention methods for these rodents to keep them away from the engine bay.

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How to Keep Mice Out of Car Engine Compartment (13 Ways)

If you have landed on this page and have read the article this far, you are obviously looking for solutions to keep the silly rodents off your car engine! Isn’t it? By now, you already know the most common entry points for mice and rats in your vehicle, and it is evident that it is practically impossible to seal all the entry points to control their entrance.

So, what you can do is take other measures to prevent them from entering your vehicle. Here is a list of the 13 best ways on how to keep mice out of car engine compartment and how to keep rodents from chewing car wires. Let’s take a look and learn all the helpful methods to prevent mice from getting in your car engine. Here we go:

Keep Your Car Clean and Free of Food Trash

This is probably the best way to keep mice and rats away from your car engine when you do not want to try any other method to prevent their entering. In most cases, the rodents enter the vehicles to find food for themselves or sometimes perhaps for nesting. In either case, if your vehicle is clean and free of any kind of food trash, they would not try their luck in it.

The rats are always in a hunt to get any type of eatables wherever they can find them. We have seen in our houses that the rats feed on any food leftover that we keep in our kitchen or in general, and whenever we leave food trash in a place where rats frequently visit, they feed on them.

Likewise, if you leave food trash inside your car, the chances are high that the mice and rats would get in to feed on them, resulting in the accumulation of more rodents inside the vehicle.

This accumulation can eventually lead them to nest also if the car inside is not too clean because they usually do not like to nest on clean areas. Thus, one of the significant ways to prevent rats from getting inside your car is to keep it clean and free of any type of food trash.

Keep Your Car Parked in a Clean Area or Sealed Garage

The car owners who have discovered rats or mice running around in their vehicles can notice one thing in common – they might have kept their vehicles parked in an uncleaned and wet area or inside an open garage.

When you pave the way for the rats to get inside your car, why wouldn’t they?

It usually occurs that when you keep your car parked in a dirty or messy area, the probability is high that rodents such as rats, mice, beavers, and squirrels rule the area. And whenever you leave the car parked there, they would undoubtedly attack it and try to get inside your vehicle. The same goes when you do not park your car in a sealed garage.

When the garage is closed from all sides, and there is no space for the mice and rats to get in, it becomes easier to prevent them from damaging your car. But if you park your car in an open area where getting inside the vehicle becomes accessible through the entry points mentioned above, then you will have hard luck keeping mice out of the car engine compartment.

So, it is advised that you park your car in a clean and sealed garage area if you do not use it often. If at all you do not find a sealed space, at least try to park it in a clean and dry area so that rats do not find it easy to nest inside your car.

Don’t Park Your Car Near a Food Source

This is an extremely important piece of advice and an uncomplicated method that you can try to keep rodents away from cars. As we mentioned earlier, mice and rats like to feed on food trash, or they come out generally to hunt for food, mainly during the night.

And as we seldom drive during the night, it is more likely that the rats can come searching for food during that time. And if you park your car near a food source, the possibility is high that it might attack your car’s interior and engine bay too!

Though it is weird to think that someone will park their car near their kitchen (the obvious food source) but if you think of it from a different perspective, it is not always about vehicles parked in your home garage. Sometimes, you may be outside of your home may be near a food corner, and it is then when your car is parked near a food source.

And as most of the time, the rats come visiting food sources; they will likely find your car and enter it to hunt for food. So, the best thing you can do to prevent rodents from entering your car is to park your car away from a food source.

No matter how big or small the food source is, the rats would still be interested. So, if you think the food source is small and pretty and the rats would not intervene, there is no good thinking!

Block Every Entrance and Exit Entrances to the Engine Compartment

If you are wondering how to deter rodents from chewing car wires and how to keep mice out of your car engine compartment, then this is the most effective way to do that. It would be best if you blocked every possible entrance and exit of your car’s engine compartment correctly.

Some of you might think it is a pretty tricky task, given that blocking every entrance that leads to the car engine might not be possible. But then, if you actually want to control the rodents entering your car engine without implementing any unusual and external methods, you must do this.

Start with blocking the top of the wheels with tapes as this is one of the main points where the rats find a way to the engine. It would be best to tape the strategic opening ends around the front end compartment so there is no entrance for the rodents.

They usually climb up the car wheels to get inside the engine compartment. And when you block the entry path itself, they cannot enter the car engine despite trying.

Apart from these areas, you must also try to block the other tiny openings that include tailpipes, holes in ductwork, wheel vents, paddle shafts, etc., as these also work as entry points of the rats inside your car.

Use Rodent Repellent Spray for Cars

If at all the above-mentioned easy and traditional processes fail to provide any positive results, and you still remain petrified of these tiny creatures literally haunting you to take every possible step against them to prevent their presence inside your car, then try using a high-quality mouse and rat repellent spray or natural rodent repellent for car engines.

Yes, except for the conventional ways of preventing mice from getting into your vehicle, you can also go the artificial routes which are quite effective and safe. Yes, it’s true! A top-quality under hood rodent repeller spray and the best rodent repellent for cars are perfectly safe to use in your garage or in the engine compartment.

rodent defense vehicle protection

The rodent repellent sprays have a strong smell that prevents the rats from entering the space it is used. And when the car is closed and you have sprayed the rodent repellent inside, it is more likely that it will stay in for a more extended period.

There are countless mouse repellent spray and under hood rodent repeller products available in the market that you can buy from.

But suppose you are wondering what is the most effective rodent repellent for cars to keep rodents away from the engine compartment and looking for some great suggestions. In that case, you can trust buying the Rodent Defense Vehicle Protection Spray by Exterminators Choice and Mighty Mint Rodent Repellent Spray made with high-grade peppermint.

peppermint oil rodent repellent spray

These are the most widely used, natural, non-toxic, non-staining, and best mice repellents available in the market right now. They have a long-lasting effect, affordable price range, and ensure your car remains safe from damages caused by rodents.

Not only that, but these rodent repellent sprays can protect your vehicle from other types of insects, bugs, and bacteria accumulation as well.

Wrap Your Car’s Wires in Rodent-Deterrent Tape

The rodent deterrent tapes are the most helpful and preeminent solution for those car owners who keep wondering how to stop rodents from chewing car wires. Sometimes some areas have too much rat rampage, and thus, even if you try to prevent them from entering your car, it is likely that you will fail.

So, the next option that you have to protect at least your car wires from the rodents chewing them and turning them into pieces is to tape them. And this is where the rodent deterrent tapes are worthy enough to buy.

copper mesh for mouse control

The rodent deterrent tape for cars has unique materials that ensure your car wires remain protected from rodent chewing, no matter what! And if you are looking for some good options in the mouse deterrent tapes for car wires, then you can buy the 3M Scotch Electrical Shielding Tape (tinned copper wire, fire-resistant) or Copper Stuff-Fit Mesh for Rodent Control (wool material, rust-proof, and stain-proof).

These rodent repellent wire wraps are specially formulated copper mesh rolls that prevent rats from eating car wires. These are also available at an affordable price range, so you do not have to spend a lot of money to protect your car from rodent rampage.

3m scotch electrical shielding tape

All these rodent tape for cars and rodent deterrent tape for wire harnesses are easy to use as well, all you need to do is buy the roll, cut it into required sizes, and tape it in the car wires, and you are done!

Use Electronic Rodent Deterrent Devices

If manually applying the rodent repellent spray for cars doesn’t work in your case, you can go for the electronic rodent repeller for cars. These ultrasonic mouse repellent devices consume less power but provide too much effect on repelling the rodents from your vehicle.

The electronic rodent repellent devices can be used efficiently; you just need to put them in the lighter receptacle inside your car or the charging socket. It will prevent rodents from entering your vehicle by emitting a combination of ultrasounds and LED flashlights.

loraffe under hood animal repeller

Some of these ultrasonic mice repellent devices are battery-operated, so you do not have to put them into the charging socket while using them.

And if you are looking for suggestions, then some of the best electronic rodent repellents available in the market are the Angveirt Under Hood Rodent Repeller and Loraffe Under Hood Animal Repeller.

These electronic rodent deterrent devices have all the qualifying potentials to distance the rats from your car by releasing ultrasonic sounds that help in the deterring. Along with being small and portable in size, they are pretty affordable and provide long-lasting effects.

angveirt under hood rodent repeller

These electronic rodent repellers can last up to 24 hours and also have an easy installation process. Not only that, when you buy these ultrasonic rat deterrent devices, you can be assured of preventing rat rampage not only from inside your car, you will also be free of rats from beneath the hood, car engine, and all other adjoining areas.

Set Traps to Get Rid of Mice

So, are you curious to find out how to keep mice out of car engine compartment or garage in the most antique way? If yes, get the electronic mouse traps or glue traps for mice on board!

Does this remind you of your granny setting mouse traps at home to get rid of the nuisance of the rats at home back in your childhood? Yes, the mouse traps go back to an age-old technique to trap mouses by luring them of food!

And as they say, “old is gold” we also recommend using this technique to get rid of the mice rampage inside your car.

electronic mouse trap

As most of the time, the number of rats entering the car is limited, like one or two probably, it is good to set up mouse traps inside and around your vehicle so that the mouse can be caught easily.

The basic idea behind this is that the mice and rats typically visit places to find food trash to feed on, and when you place the food trash inside the mouse traps, they will, of course, get in to feed on it. This will result in them being trapped inside, and you can easily get rid of them.

But with time, the mouse traps have also become advanced. There are various electric mouse traps and glue traps for rats available in the market these days, and the best thing is these modern traps are easy to use and do not weigh much on the pocket.

tomcat glue traps

And if you are looking for some of the best electronic mouse traps and mouse glue traps, you can try using the Tomcat Glue Traps and Victor Electronic Mouse Trap for their excellent mouse trap coverage. These mouse traps work great and effectively control the mice problem.

Keep Moisture Out of the Engine Compartment

Some car owners might relate to the fact that they experience more rat rampage in certain seasons than others. That is true to some extent! You can find more mouse attacks inside your car, mainly during the winter season due to the cold outside. And you might be thinking about how to keep mice out of your car in the winter, right?

Usually, the rodents enter the car in winters because they want to get warmth near your car engine or in your seat also. But the thing is when there is moisture inside your car, mice, and rats love to nest in the moisture-laden places as well.

And we all know, inviting moisture and mice in the vehicle can be dangerous as these rodents tend to carry certain viruses that can be manifested while there is the moisture content in your car. That is why experts suggest never leaving your car in a condition when the engine compartment or the car cabin is full of moisture.

Though it is not always possible to keep moisture at bay during the rainy or winter season, try to keep it dry using different techniques available these days like using cat litter, keeping away damp clothes, placing your car under the sun for long hours, etc.

By doing these essential things, you will not only prevent the rodents from getting into car engine compartment, but you will also have a moisture-free car interior that will make your traveling healthier.

Do Not Leave the Car Unused for a Long Time

This is a pretty well-known reason why the rats try to nest inside your car. When the vehicle remains unused for too long, not only the mice and rats but other species also try to find a nesting place inside it. That’s why it is highly recommended that you do not leave the car sitting without being driven for very long.

It is evident that you may not be a frequent car user, and you leave your vehicle parked most of the time and took it out once or twice in weeks or sometimes in months also! So, how to keep rats away from car wires and how to keep mice out of car engine compartment?

In such a situation, it is suggested that you start your car regularly, drive it at least to your courtyard or nearby street and then park it. Doing this will at least not leave your car unused for a long time, which in turn paves the way for the rats to build nesting space inside it.

But if at all you cannot start your car engine once a while or take it out regularly for a short drive also, due to time constraints, then you must try to keep it parked in a place where it is completely sealed, clean, and dry, so that it prevents the entrance of the rodents inside your car.

Also, you must adhere to the methods mentioned above on how to keep mice out of vehicles and engine bay to make it work for you.

Switch Parking Spots Often (If Possible)

Are you still looking for some rat prevention solutions? Switching the parking spots can be considered the best way to keep mice out of the car. Most often, it is seen that the rats nest inside the vehicle when it remains stagnant at one position.

Though it is evident that switching parking spots is not always possible for car owners as, of course, there is a fixed garage position in most car owners’ houses. But what you can do is sometimes keep your car parked in your backyard, or if your parking space is large, you can switch positions as well.

This way, the rat rampage may become lesser as they frequently prefer to find food, trash, or nesting options in the same place. If at all there is no option to park your car in different spots near your house, you can also try parking your car at a friend’s place for some days.

Or you can also use your office car parking area to park your vehicle for a few days. Like this, you can try switching the car parking spots frequently to avoid letting the rats find a permanent nesting place inside your car.

Get Insurance that Covers Rodent Damage

By now, you have come across all the possible solutions to how to keep rodents out of your engine compartment. But then again, there are still possibilities that none of these techniques prove to be 100% effective (in some places and specific conditions) when it comes to preventing the rodents from nesting inside your car or damaging your car interiors and wires.

At this point, the best solution and precaution to save those damage repairing costs is to get car insurance that covers rodent damage to the car as well. But the main questions here are; Is rodent damage covered by car insurance? Does insurance cover rats eating car wires? The answer is, Yes!

Some of you may find it weird thinking that why should an insurance company bear the expenses of a mere rat biting your car wires. Well, they actually do, at least some, if not all! The comprehensive car insurance coverage covers animal damage, which includes chewed car wires caused by rodents.

You can find some car insurance providers who give coverage to rodent damage as well. Though it’s not the regular damages like a torn seat mesh or typical rat nest causing nasty smell inside your car, the more extensive damages that these rodents cause are covered by the insurance providers.

There are some comprehensive insurance coverage policies under which more considerable damages like chewed car electric wires or damage to the car engine compartment are covered entirely by the insurance providers. All you need to do is find such an insurance provider who covers damages like these!

Hire a Professional to Get Rid of Mice

Lastly, even if the top-rated electronic rodent repeller, electric mouse traps and glue traps for rats, best rodent repellent for cars, and all other mentioned techniques fail to provide any feasible solution to you, then you must give up the idea of mice prevention all by yourself and seek professional help.

There are numerous professional rodent exterminators out there who have experience in rodent prevention and control. They provide you with a quick and easy solution to control the rampage of rats inside your car and also in the nearby area like your garage or car parking lot.

Rodent control professionals come equipped with various rodent control devices and sprays, which ensures the rats do not reach near your car for a more extended period. Though sometimes these professional rodent control services are heavy on the pocket, it is a fact that you have to pay more to get better services.

These professional rodent removal services work well for those who do not have enough time to DIY the rat prevention techniques. You simply hire a professional rodent removal and control service, and they will do the needful and take the needful too (pun intended!).

Use this method as a last resort when you cannot DIY rodent control due to your busy schedule, or you don’t want to know exactly how to keep mice out of the car engine compartment and get rid of rats in the car yourself.

And no matter how reliable these professional services are, do not forget to do the bare minimum things to prevent rat rampage inside your car like keeping it clean or parking it in closed areas, etc.

Learn: Can Flood Damaged Cars Be Repaired? Is It Worth Fixing a Flooded Car?

How to Keep Mice Out of Your Car Engine [FAQs]:

This article helped you learn all the effective and possible ways on how to prevent mice from getting in car engine compartment and how to prevent rodents from chewing car wires, and you have also become accustomed to the most common entry points that mice use to access a car.

However, there are various other pieces of information related to it that, as a car owner, you would want to ask and know for the prevention of mice from getting inside the car. So, just go through this most frequently asked questions and answers section and fulfill your knowledge entirely!

What is the Best Rodent Repellent for Cars?

If you have thoroughly read this guide, you know that the best way to keep mice out of car engine compartment is using a rodent repeller, as it is not always possible to completely block the entry into the car for the mice using natural techniques.

But even though you know that the under hood rodent repellers are an excellent option to keep rats out of the engine bay, you must still be wondering what is the most effective rodent repellent for cars available in the market that would ensure protection against the rodents; in the best manner, right?

So, if you are confused, you can go for our recommendation. It is the Loraffe Under Hood Rodent Repeller and Mighty Mint Rodent Repellent Spray that we found to be awesome mice repellent products in controlling rodent rampage inside your car.

Does Car Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?

Some people might find this to be a weird question, but it is actually a valuable thing to know as sometimes the damage caused by these tiny rodents can be heavy on your pocket! So, if you also have the question – Is rodent damage covered by car insurance?

You should know that the answer is “Yes.”

Though not every car insurance provider has this kind of coverage policy, you can find a few of them with a comprehensive insurance coverage policy under which they cover damages caused by rodents as well.

Sometimes the rats and mice damage to car are enormous, like chewing the engine wires that lead to replacing the entire car engine wire system, which is an expensive process. Thus, when you have insurance that covers damages caused by rodents, you know you are on the safe side.

Can You Spray Peppermint Oil on Car Engine?

If none of the above-mentioned ways of preventing the rodents from your car engine compartment seems to be successful, you can try this natural method also to check whether it works.

Yes, you can surely use peppermint oil in a car engine to keep the naughty tiny creatures out of your car engine. The scent of peppermint oil acts as a natural rodent repeller as the rats generally do not like the smell of peppermint oil.

You can use cotton balls and soak them in the oil and then throw them in the car engine or the car interior to make it more effective, as the effect will last longer than usual when you use cotton balls.

Do Dryer Sheets Keep Mice Away from Car?

According to experts, using dryer sheets to keep mice out of cars might work for a shorter period, but it is not indeed a good remedy for the long run.

It is a myth that dryer sheets help in keeping mice away from cars, and the truth is that dryer sheets are not a reliable solution for keeping mice away from entering your vehicle.

Though sometimes it works in preventing the mice for a shorter duration, if you are thinking of a long-term solution to prevent the rodents from nesting in your car, you must go for the solutions mentioned above in the article.

What is the Best Way to Keep Mice Out of Car Engine Compartment?

It is not easy to keep rats away from cars or pickup trucks as they are tiny creatures and move really fast! So, they can get inside your vehicle in a blink of an eye, move towards the engine bay, and cause you unnecessary trouble.

If you have reached this part of the article, you already know the 13 best ways to prevent mice from getting in car engine compartment. But it is not always possible to apply all these methods together, right? And so, we need some best of best practices to rely on.

Finding the best way to keep mice out of car engine among the given methods was not that difficult for me because I have tried all of them in order to keep mice out of my engine compartment. However, here I have chosen the solutions that best go with my understanding and needs. So, the most reliable ones that I would always pick to get rid of mice in my car are:

Apparently, these are my picks, depending on my experiences with the rats and mice getting inside my car. And depending on how much trouble these rodents give you, you can have your own pick and, thereby, find the best way to keep mice out of the car engine and interior.

What are you waiting for? Now you know exactly how to keep mice out of car engine compartment without spending a lot of money, so just go ahead and apply these techniques now and get rid of the rodents to have a carefree ride soon. Thank us later!

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About Amy Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars. I enjoy working on cars in my spare time and love anything related to automobiles. I like using different types of car accessories, car gadgets, and innovative car care products.

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