Monday 28 March 2011

Squirrel finds home in '03 Astra, almost destroys car (UK)

2003 Opel Astra hatchback
A squirrel decided to store hundreds of peanuts in a 2003 Vauxhall Astra, worth £5,000.

The owner, 59 year-old John Gold, took his car into a local garage when a mechanic told Gold the air intake was stuffed with peanuts. The car was initially taken in for a leaking radiator.

“I couldn’t quite believe what the garage was telling me”, said Mr. Gold. “There were literally hundreds of them stashed in there! My mother-in-law regularly puts seeds out for the birds next to where I park the car, so the squirrel must have taken them from there and hidden them in the airbox. My car must be a haven for rodents, as last time I took it in for a service, I faced a £1,400 bill because rats had chewed through the HT leads in its engine!”

Mechanic, Jason Perry
The mechanic, Jason Perry said “In 42 years of working in this business, we have never seen anything quite like this! When we lifted up the bonnet to investigate the problem, we certainly weren’t expecting to find a hoard of nuts. We were very surprised the car was still running, as the nuts were completely blocking the filter. Rodents can sometimes find their way into car bonnets and can cause quite considerable damage. Right next to the air intake is the Engine Control Unit if the squirrel had started to chew the wires – like Mr. Gold’s last experience with rats – it could have caused very serious damage to the vehicle.”

Perry continued to say: “Unfortunately, there’s not a lot people can do to prevent rodents setting up home under their car bonnets, especially if they live in rural areas like Mr. Gold. However, it does help to check your car regularly, as it is those vehicles left unattended for long periods of time that it tends to happen to.”

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