Marderschutz car what really helps? Effective tips and tricks for marten defense

You are mainly on the road at night – not infrequently in the car. They feel particularly at home in the engine compartment. The speech is from martens. Unfortunately, the critters tend to cause damage by nibbling on cables, hoses or insulation, among other things. Every year, according to Statista, almost 200.000 cases of damage caused by marten bites reported to the insurance companies. If these damages are not recognized in time, serious consequential damages up to engine damage can threaten. We tell you how you can protect your car against damage caused by martens, what costs you will incur and what you need to do in an emergency.

What is a marten damage?

Marten damage is damage to a car caused by marten bites to cables and hoses in the engine compartment. Especially from early April to mid-May, during the mating season, the risk of marten damage by the nocturnal loners is at its highest. This time of year is even considered marten season. Whether ignition cables, power lines or plastic hoses – the small predators will stop at nothing when it comes to defending their territory.

Why do martens usually cause damage to cars?

Martens are constantly on the lookout for safe, warm hiding places and occupy a very large territory. Curious and nocturnal, they explore their environment for an optimal shelter that protects them from light and noise. If the rodents find a suitable place in the car, they mark it with their scent mark to defend it against conspecifics. If another marten crosses the territory, it is provoked by the set secretion and attacks the surrounding cables as well as hoses. Only by neutralizing the scent of the rival calm down.

marten cable bite

Important: Martens should only be trapped by a trained hunter or specialist company.

How to recognize marten damage

If you notice a drop in the performance of your vehicle or if the car indicator lights flash, this can often be an indication of marten damage. If there are scratch marks, tufts of hair or footprints on the hood, it is also worthwhile to take a look in the engine compartment and, if necessary, visit a car repair shop. If the car smells of secretion or feces, it is also strongly recommended to go to the nearest car repair store.

marten tracks on the car

Tip: If the marten in the engine compartment has set its scent mark, only a proper engine wash helps. Learn how to repair the car from the inside& wash the outside of the car and get rid of dirt and bad smells.

These are the most common damages caused by martens

As a rule, ignition cables, plastic hoses, rubber sleeves, insulating materials and hoses for the cooling water and windshield wiper system are most frequently affected by marten damage to the car. These damages can bring immediate and long-term consequences. Acute cases include bitten-through ignition cables that immediately paralyze the car. The garage simply replaces the cable, so that the vehicle is ready to drive again. A severed coolant hose can also be fixed relatively quickly.

If the cable or hose was merely gnawed on, there is often a threat of even more serious consequential damage. If it is a bitten ignition cable, for example, the damage is not always noticed immediately. The engine then runs out of round and the catalytic converter is damaged at the same time, because the fuel is not burned properly.

Important: If you have marten damage, you should not use the car, as this may put your driving safety at risk.

Which marten guard helps best for marten defense?

For marten repellent in cars, there are a few methods available these days to protect against pesky marten bites.

Cable protection

An effective method is to provide additional protection to cables and hoses by using special corrugated tubing as a sheathing. These can't be bitten through by a marten, but must be professionally installed in advance at a garage.


For the sensitive ears of a marten, the ultrasonic method is particularly unpleasant. This type of marten deterrent can be easily installed under the hood and therefore does not require professional installation. But be careful! Martens get used to certain conditions and sounds very fast, so they ignore the sounds with time.

Electric shock

The electric shock method uses high-voltage metal plates that deliver mild, non-lethal electric shocks when touched. You can easily install these plates in the engine compartment. Thus the marten is frightened and moves away from there. This solution is not only easy to install, but also helps permanently to keep martens away from the car.

Home remedy

You can also use products for home use to combat martens in the car. Among the most commonly used home remedies as marten protection are, for example, toilet stones or mothballs. However, many also resort to dog or cat hair to keep the small predators away from the car.

Scent mark remover

With the help of an anti-marten spray you can easily remove marten scent marks of a territorial competitor in the entire engine compartment. In addition, these sprays leave unpleasant odors and tastes for the marten, preventing further visits by the animal.

Tip: The combination of a cable protection and the electric shock method is particularly effective for marten defense and is considered the best solution.

What does the car insurance pay in case of a marten damage?

If contractually covered, the partial cover insurance will normally pay for marten damage. In addition, there are supplementary insurances, which bear the repair costs for marten and their consequential damages. Such a protection makes sense especially in rural areas, because the cost of a complete engine damage due to a marten bite is not infrequently in the five-digit range.

Tips& Tricks for optimal marten defense

The main cause of marten damage is the scent marks of other martens. Already when running over the engine hood the animals leave their smell over the scent glands at their feet. Therefore the regular cleaning of the car including an underbody and engine wash is only to be recommended, in order to remove possible marten scent marks immediately and prevent future damage. Nowadays even some manufacturers offer engine compartment bulkheads especially against marten damage as special equipment. This method is associated with a high cost, but saves future high costs in possible marten damage.