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April 2018

Electric wiring

Why is there soy in my electrical wiring?

I’ve heard that some recent cars have engine wiring that contains soybeans, of all things. And the wires are eaten by the squirrels so the car won’t start. A truth to that and, if so, which cars? – Gilles

The push to go “green” has touched all industries and your family vehicle complies with construction procedures and environmentally friendly products.

The shift to plant-based soybeans was developed and implemented primarily to reduce dependence on petroleum. Called bioplastics, most manufacturers have steadily increased their use in vehicles built since 2008.

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The potential for damage to a vehicle’s wiring harness has always been an issue, as the heat from a newly parked vehicle will attract rodents. But since soy-based cable insulation was put into use, the average motorist’s car is now a little tastier.

As soon as the protective covers of your wire harness are eaten away, the metal wiring will be exposed and the possibility of electrical problems increases dramatically.

While there’s no way to completely protect your vehicle from critters, there is rodent-resistant electrical tape, available from Honda, to wrap around existing wiring.

Plus, you always have a variety of pest control products at your hardware store to deter animals from settling in your vehicle’s general parking area.

The use of these products is however random, so unfortunately these repair occurrences are generally on the increase. Check with your insurance company for coverage before authorizing subsequent repairs.

Lou Trottier is the owner and operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. A question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, by placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

Looking for a new car? Discover the new Globe Drive Construction and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

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