Furry friend almost destroys car

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Garages may dish up squirrsome far-fetched excuses for car problems but the diagnosis one motorist was given this week was plain nuts. When mechanics popped open the bonnet of John Gold’s 03-plate Vauxhall Astra to address a leaking radiator, they unearthed a squirrel’s secret peanut stash in the vehicle’s air intake system. “I couldn’t quite believe what the garage was telling me,” Mr Gold said. “There were literally hundreds of them stashed in there!” It soon emerged that this perplexing choice for a food cupboard was the result of his mother-in-law’s over-generous bird feeding. “The squirrel must have taken them from there and hidden them in the airbox,” John added. “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.” Serious damage Jason Perry, the manager of Bosch Car Service garage, Warrington’s of Warwick, said he hadn’t seen anything like it during his four decades in the business. “When we lifted up the bonnet to investigate the problem, we certainly weren’t expecting to find a hoard of nuts,” he explained. “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. “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.” So today’s lesson? Check often for squirrels. squirrelSquirrel photo courtesy of Californian Em


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