check engine compartments for "tenants"
This is the time of year to check the engine compartments of vehicles parked outdoors. Various rodents (chipmunks, field mice, etc.) find these a great place for winter living.
Saturday while driving down a two-lane country road I accelerated to pass a slow vehicle and the truck took off. In seconds I was up to 70 mph and gaining. Fortunately I was able to halt in a large gravel driveway near a barn, digging 6 inch ruts into the ground as I skidded to a stop. After I shut off the engine and popped the hood, I discovered the engine compartment PACKED with about a million black walnuts, one of which had rolled under and jammed open the throttle mechanism. This was a very tidy, well-organized little critter, too. On the driverside wheel well it had built a huge nest of grass, leaves, paper and other combustibles; on the passenger side it had set out its dining table where there were a couple of inches of walnut shells and husks. Between and filling up EVERY crevice were walnuts and bits of grass, plastic bags, leaves, paper, styrofoam cups, AND pieces of the insulating blanket under the hood. Grrrr!
Needless to say, before every trip from now until real winter I'll be checking under the hood for new neighbors. Sure wish I could figure out some way to discourage these tenants. Any suggestions?