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Hi,

While changing the oil on my Volt, I noticed that this wire was partially chewed by rats. Can anyone tell me what this wire does? I have wrapped it in electrical tape rather than changing it out completely.

172887
 

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Looks like the added wires for the illuminated charge port - follow the harness over to the charge port and verify.

edit: research irish spring soap, peppermint oil and capsaicin impregnated electrical tape to help reduce the chances of this happening again.

-Charlie
 

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Wait to see what isn't working and you'll have your answer. :p
 

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Waiting to splice in a replacement wire could cost you big time. With so many copper strands broken in so many places, I'm surprised it has a single strand that is still fully intact. One of your guy's relatives did over $500 damage to my wiring while I was parking outside on a driving vacation. If you do splice, you should first disconnect the negative cable to the 12V battery.
 

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Wow, I've been driving old cars since the 70s, which means some of them were from the 60s, and I've never had anything I could attribute to rats. Must be something they're putting in modern insulation. Just took another look at picture, must be something in black insulation.
 

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Must be something they're putting in modern insulation.
Yes. Modern wiring has soy-based insulation that the rats (and mice) are fond of... since the change, every car manufacturer has had to deal with these issues (tweaking insulation formulas, etc.).

I've been fairly lucky on my cars so far, but I have found a few chewed things here and there and a few 'presents' left around various engine bays...

-Charlie
 

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In case you haven't, it'd be a good idea to do a good under hood search for other rat damage. I got a rat into my 2015 Volt while it was parked outside for several days in winter in NM. She built a nice nest out of the chewed firewall insulation.
 

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Rats urinate constantly so there is rat smell where the chewing was done. Odds are it will come back there. Sometimes some peppermint oil dissuades them. Car makers went to cheaper, un-cross linked PVC insulation and it so happens that the rats seem to like the taste. Wires that are exposed to higher underhood heat are made of cross-linked PVC ( which is just a little bit more expensive) the rats don't like that. Old cars were made before they figured out how to cheapen the insulation to save a few pennies.
 

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Tomcat (?) Is a spray repellant I've used. Spraying the under hood blanket is what I did.

I took my '15 in to have the coolant loops flushed and the tech noticed evidence of 'rodents' under the hood. I'm confident that it was only a day as I changed the oil two days prior and it wasn't present then..
 

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Charging outside, especially at night, in cooler weather attracts pests. Best in the garage, second best, daytime.
 
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