You start the car, turn on the heating / air conditioning and notice an unpleasant, ammoniacal smell. In this case, you can be sure that the marten was at work and not only damaged your air conditioner, but also relieved himself in the engine compartment of your vehicle. Other indications of marten damage can be a rapidly rising radiator temperature, or direct starting problems.
Marten damage – where, how and why?
Risk of marten bites is especially high in villages, along waterbanks and near grasslands. Many myths surround the reasons why martens damage cars. Experts say that plastic and rubber have a special attraction to the small predators and literally attract martens. Another theory is based on the heat of the engine, which seems to have a magnetic effect on martens, especially in the cold season. Territory marking is another reason often cited in relation to marten damage. Martens are not rodents, even if their droppings give the impression that they are. For the predators that are hunted and driven away, especially in cities, a warm place under the hood is a perfect retreat.
Car parts frequently affected by marten bites
Cables and hoses in particular fall prey to martens. Some experts believe that martens, for example, like the smell of radiator fluid and for this reason prefer to nibble on the radiator hose. Cable bites and punctured hoses have nothing to do with the taste of the fluids or rubber, contrary to popular belief. Rather, martens defend their territory by damaging plastic parts and scenting the engine compartment. Besides the cold season, the small predators are most active in May and June. In
these months is mating season, so that it comes to regular marten fights under the hoods of parked cars, as well as in their environment. Brake lines, battery cables, radiator and air hoses, but also oil lines are not safe from the territorial defense of a marten.
Immediate help marten damage to the car
If the marten has struck in your car, you should not take any risks and drive off. It is better to call a garage or a towing service if you are unsure about the extent of the damage. Sure indications of marten damage are oil, brake fluid or radiator fluid under your car. In this case driving is too risky. In order to effectively protect yourself from a marten damage, you should pay the greatest attention to prevention.
Recognize marten damage – act – prevent consequential damage
As already mentioned, a marten leaves immediately visible as well as hidden traces. Liquids on the ground under the vehicle, leaves and animal hair under the hood, as well as visible tooth marks on hoses and cables let you recognize marten damage. Act with caution and exclude that for example your engine gets stuck, because you start with defective engine cooling. Defective brake lines also become a life-threatening risk, as you cannot stop your car if necessary and roll unbraked into oncoming traffic. If the marten was in the car, calling the towing service or your trusted repair shop is the only correct and safe thing to do.
Prevent marten damage
There is a lot of information on the Internet about how you can prevent marten damage with home remedies. Very few of these tricks work. Dog hair, toilet stones and pepper or even dog urine only ensure a dirty, but not a marten-free engine compartment. Helpful, on the other hand, are
– Hard plastic sheathing of all lines and hoses
– Ultrasonic devices for marten deterrence
– regular engine washes to eliminate "competitor smells"
– Engine bulkheads made of bristle curtains or perforated plates.
Some home remedies, such as mats made of wire mesh, help in the short term. But the animals quickly learn that there is no danger from the mat. All home remedies based on odors do not have the desired effect, as there is no scent that can mask a marten mark for the sensitive noses of the animals.
Does the insurance pay in case of marten damage?
Whether you get the cost of repair from the insurance depends on whether you have taken out comprehensive insurance. Both the partial and fully comprehensive insurance pay for marten bites. Depending on the extent of damage, the cost of repairing marten damage can be very high. Therefore it is worthwhile to consider the marten damage in the insurance and to conclude a comprehensive insurance especially if you live near waters or other habitats of martens.
Why do martens actually eat cables?
As already mentioned, it is not about eating itself, but a method of marking the territory. Vehicles that have been chosen as a resting place by more than one marten are therefore particularly at risk. As a rule, destruction only takes place after several marten visits. If you react and act in good time, you can prevent the worst from happening.