Marten damage to the car: everything you need to know about recognizing, repairing and preventing it

Martens can cause a variety of damage in the home, but they are even more likely to target cars. Here, they can destroy hoses and cables, which can lead to malfunctions in the car or even serious engine damage.

The inquisitive martens can be chased away using various methods. @ 422737 / pixabay.Com

You get into your car unsuspectingly, want to start the engine and suddenly nothing works anymore. The sudden failure of your car could be due to damage caused by a marten. These pose a high safety risk and should be repaired immediately. The culprits are usually stone martens, popularly known as "car martens". The danger of marten infestation exists basically all year round, since the animals do not hibernate. However, marten bites seem to be more frequent in the warm months, i.e. in spring and summer. In these seasons, the animals reproduce, have their young and have to defend their territories particularly aggressively. Learn more on auto-workshop.De, how to recognize and prevent marten damage to your car.

Where are martens most common?

Martens are found almost all over the world, except in madagascar, on remote islands and in the caribbean, in antarctica and in the australian oceanic region. Most marten species are found in Eurasia. Also, martens rely on shelters because their usually small body size means they have a large number of enemies. Basically, the different marten species inhabit a range of different habitats: tropical rainforests, savannahs, steppes, grasslands, as well as boreal and temperate forests. Many species like to stay close to water along lakes, rivers or near seashore areas. Otters live almost completely aquatic.

In germany, there are eight marten species: pine marten, stone marten, ermine, mouse weasel, iltis, american mink, badger and otter. Most of these species live in forests or meadows, sometimes also in gardens. If you park your car near wooded areas, the risk of marten infestation for your car is correspondingly high.

Why do martens cause damage to cars??

Pine martens and pine martens are playful and curious animals by nature. It is therefore not surprising that they find their way into our attics, cellars and also into vehicles. If motor vehicles are parked outside garages and perhaps in the vicinity of a marten territory, the risk of marten damage to the car increases. The engine compartment is a protected and dry refuge for the predators, where they can rest or deposit food reserves.

If another marten enters a foreign territory, the engine damage is pre-programmed. Irritated by the scent marks of the adversary, the marten bites its way through the cables and hoses, to eliminate all traces of the previous infestation. It is not only the competitive behavior, but also the natural play instinct and the exploratory behavior of the marten, which can lead to considerable damage to the car.

What damage does a marten cause in the engine compartment??

Martens are particularly at home in the engine compartment: they like to eat the insulation material, and in the worst case scenario, hanging parts can catch fire and cause a car fire.

Once they have entered the engine compartment, martens can cause a lot of damage here. @ CWS8 / pixabay.Com

marten damage to the car: what other components are affected??

Martens damage cables, hoses and other plastic parts by biting and playfully chewing on them. Undetected damage, for example to the brake lines, ignition cables or similarly important parts, poses a great danger to the driver and is associated with high repair costs. the damaged engine part itself is normally not the problem, but the consequential damage, which can result in high costs and risks and is usually only detected after some time. For example, destroyed hoses and cables can eventually overheat the engine and cause engine damage, or bitten rubber sleeves can eventually affect the steering.

How to recognize marten damage?

It is often not easy to identify the marten as the cause of car damage. There are, however, some indications that may point to it.

  • Paw tracks on the car: marten tracks can be distinguished from cat tracks by five toes on the front paw
  • Leaves, newspaper remnants, animal hair or even food waste in the engine compartment
  • Excrement given off near the vehicle, such as droppings or a strong urine smell
  • Leakage of cooling water due to bitten pipes and bite marks on cables and hoses

Marten damage to the car: when does the insurance pay??

As a rule, the liability of a car insurance company does not cover the costs of damage caused by a marten infestation. You are insured against marten damage through your partial or fully comprehensive insurance policy. Depending on the tariff, marten protection may or may not be included in the partially comprehensive insurance policy. Direct damage is covered within the scope of the agreed sum insured and a possible deductible. Some partial comprehensive insurances also take over consequential damages. Check with your insurance company to find out what assistance you are entitled to in the event of a marten bite.

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How to report marten damage?

Car owners who are affected should report marten damage to their partial or fully comprehensive insurance immediately. Damaged cables, sleeves, hoses or mats can then be replaced at a specialist workshop at the expense of the insurance company.

In the case of partial casco, only the direct damage is usually settled, but not the consequential costs. Therefore: report the damage as soon as possible and have it repaired before further defects occur.

How to behave correctly in the event of damage:

  1. Document the damage: take photos at best.
  2. do not act hastily: the insurance company will check for you whether you are actually liable for damages.
  3. contact the insurance company: regardless of whether you are at fault or not, you must inform your liability insurance company about the damage in good time.
  4. Fill in the damage report: the insurance company will send you a damage report form.
  5. forward claims: if you receive any claims, reminders or lawsuits because of the damage, forward them to your insurance company immediately.

What helps against martens and marten damage?

if a marten is bothering you in your car, you should first have a thorough engine wash, removing territory markings. Martens are thus no longer attracted by the marking. Subsequently, they take various protective measures, which we present to you below.

marten trapping – is it allowed? What does the law say?

The marten is subject to animal protection laws and hunting laws, which means that it cannot be hunted, trapped, injured or killed. If you try to catch the marten with a live trap and release it in another place, you are guilty of poaching.

How to prevent marten damage to your car?

The install a protective jacket around the ignition cables or the sealing off the engine act preventively against marten damage. martens, being nocturnal animals, shy away from the light. park your vehicle under the light cone of a lantern or install a suitable lighting on your property to reduce the risk of a marten infestation. Electric protection mechanisms work like the electric fence of a pasture. In this principle, a device is connected to the battery in the engine compartment, which is connected to contact plates. These plates are positioned at the penetration points in the engine compartment so that the marten receives a light electric shock when it tries to enter the car. the electric shock is unpleasant for the marten, but not dangerous. With this method you can reliably drive away the small predators without affecting other animals.

the specialist in your car repair shop can present you a wide range of different mechanisms for marten protection for your car. Price-wise you will find between 9.90 and 400.00 €. In the following you will find an overview of the most proven methods.

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Scaring away martens: is a marten repellent with ultrasound effective??

Ultrasonic devices produce sounds whose waves are supposed to be perceived as unpleasant by the martens, so that they move away from the environment. Although the control method is still controversial, many car drivers are already convinced by positive reports of experience. The frequencies of ultrasound do not disturb humans, but can have an effect on other animals in the vicinity.

Scaring away martens: are sprays and grids effective??

Sprays to remove marten scent marks are a good complement to engine washing. An odorless engine compartment is the best prerequisite for successful marten deterrence. Anti-marten sprays, on the other hand, are not recommended. many tests and studies showed that these means have hardly any effect on the martens. Another proven method of preventing marten damage is the placement of a marten fence under the car. The marten carpets and marten mats consist of a fine wire mesh, which is scary and unpleasant for the marten to walk on. This environmentally friendly and inexpensive method can effectively keep martens out, provided you position the fence correctly.

What home remedies help against martens?

Most home remedies are based on sounds and smells that are supposed to be unpleasant for martens. The use of scented candles, hairspray, dog urine, toilet stones, loud ticking alarm clocks or cds that are supposed to reflect light is not recommended. These methods are either ineffective or have only a short period of effectiveness, as martens quickly get used to them.

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