Car marten repellent – protection against martens

How to protect against martens? What helps against martens? home remedies, electric shocks or ultrasound?

Who has not problems with martens had in his car? and almost everyone swears by a home remedy to protect themselves from marten chewed hoses. But do home remedies really help against martens? An investigation by kfztech.De and various studies raise doubts.

Marten defense project

Some time ago ran on kfztech.De the marten defense project. Several suggestions and experience reports were submitted at that time and ultrasonic devices were tested.

conclusion of the marten defense project:

It was found that the alleged effectiveness of some home remedies is not available. An important and correct tip seems in any case the regular and thorough engine wash to be with the steam cleaner. Of course the parking lot even where the vehicle is parked, thoroughly cleaned become.

Otherwise kfztech thinks.De that besides the MACHINE WASHING under the car the electronic marten repellers with ultrasonic technology probably still work best. Here the MS ultra power car is recommended.

By the way, the author himself has been using an ultrasonic repellent device for many years to repel martens. So far has not had a marten problem. Car manufacturers like z.B. VW also offer retrofit solutions to seal the engine compartment and cable protection measures to. According to scientific studies, electrical quenching systems are based on the "pasture fence principle an effective and sustainable marten defense. the martens are driven away by harmless electric shocks.

The following suggestions and experience reports on marten repellent are a selection and were made by kfztech.De-visitors submitted.

  • Not much helps against martens: all attempts to scare them away by smelling, beeping, electroshocking and other means have failed. What helps is pure mechanics: a grid under the engine compartment (are there z. B. For the obviously tasty mazda 626) or put a grid (from old beds or rabbit wire on slatted frame) in front of the tires. The marten does not go over wire and other than from the front obviously not into the engine compartment. Tobias
  • The guys had it nightly on the warm engine block of my ZAFIRA 2.0 hdi made cozy and plucked off the insulation wool of the hood. With marten sprays and electronic marderscheuchen no success. I have a meter fine galvanized wire mesh( 1m wide )wound into a roll diameter ca. 35cm) and put them crosswise in the engine compartment and flattened a bit. When the hood is closed the wire fills the space otherwise occupied by the martens. Since the wire is elastic and stainless ( the battery terminals are short-circuit proof covered )there are no problems in operation. During service work, the wire roll can be removed with a handle. Marders are now locked out! Peter

  • we drive two cars, a VW polo III and a T4 with 2,4 L TDI. After I had changed the fuel supply and return line in the polo and let the engine compartment steam off, the rodent was at the bulli and moved the insulating mats there. (cave set up properly)! After an engine wash was the topic but still not done, ca. One year later the ABS – light started to glow. Error: the marten had used the control unit for ABS as a toilet and now the seals were in trouble and the contacts corroded. (in the meantime I had in the polo already the 4.Te fuel line. (in the meantime i can install them myself. ) a frame with covered wire mesh lay exactly one night under my car, then under others. Jorg fiege
  • Put a wire mat (old wire mesh) under the engine compartment at night, the marten steps on it, gets scared by the clatter and gets lost. HTH greetings from trier oliver
  • I have in my ford galaxy since 2 years an electronic marten repellent device and since then no more marten problems had. Before I was regularly haunted by martens. I bought one with medium price quality. Alois Kleindorfer
  • There are also some systems that go with ultrasound! Younger people hear this as a quiet beep, older people do not hear it at all. Have seen it often in our workshop. It is simply clamped to the vehicle battery. You have to see where you can find it. Mathias
  • A radiator hose at the caravan of my daughter had to believe it recently. Now on the advice of a friend hung a toilet stone in the engine compartment. Hopefully the marten doesn’t like this smell very much. Hans-D. Zeuschner
  • A stocking with hair of a bernese mountain dog – this always works! Landex
  • My experience with martens is based on several years in customer service. It depends on when you park the vehicle (residual heat). Where the vehicle is parked: between 2 territories of the male furry animals.
  • A sensible protection is a high voltage discharge. But as far as I know, it is forbidden in Germany (animal protection law). Several metal plates are placed in the engine compartment so that when the marten gets between the plates, it gets an electric shock.
  • From my experience also helps garlic. Some nodules on the parking lot floor rub and also hang in the engine compartment. Lothar rosenbusch
  • I just put a little bag (z.B. Fine pantyhose) with dog hair hung in the engine compartment. Done! Hair should come from hunting dog. Peter H. Brada
  • A little frustration:

Recently, a small furry neighbor has made himself at my passat to create. Result: 6 bitten cables.

Have now over the cables where I got PU tube inverted. But with the many cables in the engine compartment only a little help.

What are the symptoms of marten bites?

These are typical complaints that can come from the marten (source audi):

The engine check lamp lights up, a lack of power is noticed.
The engine runs rough or does not start at all.
The coolant or the ABS indicator light is burning.

Martens prefer to attack easily accessible and exposed pipes. On thin wires "stands it especially. Some damage caused by biting is often very difficult to detect because of the thin sheathing of cables. Needle-like punctures are characteristic for browsing.

The needle punctures are only clearly visible when magnified.

Further indications of marten browsing can be tattered insulation mats of the noise and heat insulation. Animal hair and paw prints are further indications.

Broken insulating hose of a power supply line

Information about the stone marten

stone marten, in europe with exception of the british islands, scandinavia and northeastern europe widespread marten species. The pine marten is about the size of a cat, its body is slender and elongated, its legs are short. The long, bushy tail accounts for about one third of its total body length, which is a maximum of 75 centimeters. The fur is gray-brown colored, in the chest and throat area is a large, forked whitish throat patch.

the preferred habitat of the stone marten is open, sparsely vegetated, rocky terrain with many hiding places, today it also lives in cities, settlements and parks. Its lair is in crevices, caves and buildings. The nocturnal animals climb little and prefer to hunt on the ground. The food is mainly animal, it consists of rats and other rodents, rabbits, hares, birds, eggs, reptiles, amphibians and insects, but also fruits. After a prolonged gestation period of about nine months, the female gives birth to two to seven young, which become independent at about four months of age. Food enemies are larger predators.

In more recent times, stone martens also cause damage to cables and pipes of parked cars with their teeth. They have long since lost their former shyness towards large cities. Parking cars are simply included in the natural habitat. The knowledge that engine compartments are interesting caves is passed on from generation to generation – and is thus spreading more and more from the south to the north. The males take the young animals born in march with them on their forays. Stone martens are omnivores with pronounced oral exploratory behavior: everything that appears interesting is taken into the mouth in order to be able to judge it.

Stone marten

stone marten source: microsoft encyclopedia

Tips from the ADAC on marten defense

Basically recommended: a thorough engine wash with a steam jet is highly recommended if there has been marten damage to your car or a car in your neighborhood or if you discover paw prints on the hood or traces of a marten visit in the engine compartment (food remains, shredded rubber parts). This is the only way to remove the scent traces that provide a marten with a reason for a rubber slaughter. not recommended: scents whatever you have heard as a "secret tip" – dog hair, toilet stones, repellent sprays, scent bags, moth balls – forget it. First of all, just a ride in the rain is enough to wash away the scent. Above all, however, martens get used to new smells very quickly and, as experiments by marten researchers have confirmed, are no longer disturbed in the least by them in their territorial behavior.

When does insurance pay out for marten damage??

Partially comprehensive insurance only covers marten damage if this is expressly stated in the insurance policy – as is the case, for example, with the companies cooperating with the ADAC. Even then, however, only the costs (less the agreed deductible) that arise directly from the marten damage are covered. For example, replacing bitten-through ignition cables or shredded insulation mats, but not consequential damage or the engine wash urgently recommended by marten experts.

ADAC breakdown statistics show a 60 percent increase in marten damage over the last two years to 16303 cases! Most affected: ignition cables (9392 damages), followed by coolant hoses (4811 cases). Experts estimate the repair costs at 30 to 40 million euros per year. And with an average damage amount of 200 €, these are in most cases borne by the vehicle owner because of the deductible for comprehensive insurance. Whereas until a few years ago the problem could only have affected the south of germany, the latest statistics show that martens are now striking everywhere – from konstanz to kiel.

study at the university of gieben

The behavior of these pine marten males seems somehow familiar. When the screaming of offspring at home gets on their nerves, they take to the road and enjoy themselves on nocturnal forays through the territory. on their little escapes, the curious predators also inspect the engine compartments of cars parked at the side of the road – cozy, warm dens for them, where you can eat cherries and eggs in peace and quiet. Or seek protection if a dog should suddenly appear. In 99 out of a hundred cases, a nighttime visit by a marten under the hood has no consequences, claims biologist karl kugelschafter, who has worked intensively for years on the species martes foina in the wildlife biology working group at the university of gieben. According to these investigations, a marten only becomes a (car) killer if it finds the scent trail of a rival in the engine compartment of "its" territory. Then he thoroughly devastates this cave with his 38 razor-sharp teeth. It bites through ignition cables, water hoses and rubber sleeves of steering and drive shafts, and gleefully shreds insulation mats.

Repeat offenders must be expected. The researchers in Giessen report a case in which a car was parked alternately in grunberg in Hesse and reiskirchen 20 kilometers away. the annoyance of the respective "territorial lord" over the scent traces of the rival led each time to a massacre of cables and hoses: within six weeks, the car had to be taken to the workshop eight times. The unnerved owner finally bought a new vehicle.

Study by the German Insurance Association on marten damage

If a pine marten bites into ignition cables, coolant hoses or parts of a vehicle’s electronics, it causes considerable damage. The repair costs amount to an average of € 300. Germany-wide, these amount to around €38.5 million each year (2007). And the number of marten damages continues to increase. 200 cases were reported to insurers in 2009.000 cases reported! The number of unreported cases is estimated to be four times as high. While experts have always assumed that all car brands are the same when it comes to marten teeth, a study by the German Insurance Association (based on 10253 cases) shows that certain preferences do exist. According to this study, cars from Chrysler, daewoo and Renault are killed by martens three times as often as vehicles from VW, Mercedes and Ford. With 30.4 claims per 1,000 registered vehicles, the renault megane is marders’ absolute favorite, followed by the chrysler voyager (24.7) and ford galaxy (16.8).

Because the territorial wars have such a decisive influence on the claims picture, however, the significance of these statistics should not be overestimated. The fact that two vans are among the top three can also be explained, for example, by their large (engine compartment) cavities, which are particularly homelike in the eyes of martens. On the other hand, the low interest of martens in mercedes and ford is no coincidence: the ignition cables of cars with the star are inaccessible to potential attackers due to the standard engine cover. And ford uses a rubber compound that spoils the martens’ appetite. While an unintended side effect of progress – changes in ignition distributor technology have virtually eliminated the need for cables – means that martens will increasingly have to do without their favorite menu in the future, their attacks on rubber sleeves of drive and steering shafts continue to cause consequential damage with particularly high repair costs. The fatal: effects of these bite damages are not immediately noticeable in normal driving, they are often only noticed after thousands of kilometers during an inspection. The washing out of the grease filling as well as the penetration of dirt and water can by then already have led to severe damage to the components.

It is hard to imagine that car manufacturers have not yet succeeded in finding a solution to this problem. Or should they not have looked for them seriously at all? The suspicion is obvious, after which some manufacturers let themselves pay so dearly for the subsequent installation of protection devices. At audi, for example, marten protection for an A8 costs €600 in the price list. BMW requires depending on the model series between 400 € and 550 € (incl. installation). Almost perfect marten protection, on the other hand, does not cost a penny extra for the luxury sports cars from zuffenhausen. Which is only partly to the manufacturer’s credit, as a porsche spokesman openly admits: "firstly, for aerodynamic reasons, our cars have an almost closed floor panel. Second is your engine compartment. Full to the brim, even the slimmest marten won’t feel like caving in. And of course, nine out of ten Porsches are parked in the garage at night."

Marten protection device from VW

An effective protection is allegedly offered by volkswagen with its original marten protection device. In this case, the entry points into the engine compartment are mechanically blocked so that the marten has no chance of penetrating there. For this purpose, two brush curtains are installed in each of the front wheel housing boxes in the area of the steering linkage and the drive shafts. A perforated plate prevents penetration in the area of the exhaust system leading out of the engine compartment. The installation takes between 30 and 45 minutes and is possible for most golf V, jetta and touran types. Whether there is a suitable set to retrofit, should be asked at the VW dealer but. The brush set costs approx. 85,- € and the perforated plate ca. 26,- €. Another effective means of defense on the vehicle side is a cable protector consisting of slotted corrugated tubes that are pulled over the lines.

Marten trap

Catching the marten alive with a marten trap and releasing it somewhere else is probably the best method because it is animal friendly. You can read the details here. Which is currently the best method to avoid marten damage, can be found here.

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