Why you can trust Jerry
Jerry partners with some of the companies we write about. However, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of editors and licensed insurance agents, and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn more baout how we make money, review our editorial standards, reference out data methodology, or view a list of our partners
Owning a car comes with inherent risks, like the threat of damage or vandalism. You can try to protect it by using alarms and theft-deterrent systems to scare off would-be bad guys. But what if the perpetrator happens to be a squirrel?
The Drive tells us about the incident involving the Chevy, a squirrel, and a whole lot of walnuts—more than 150 pounds worth, to be exact.
A North Dakota man cleared 150 pounds of nuts out of his Chevy truck
Bill Fischer had left his Chevy Avalanche parked for four days, which turned out to be long enough for one Red Squirrel to cram the engine bay and fenders full of black walnuts. He posted pictures on Facebook of five-gallon buckets filled with the evidence.
The situation was so extreme that Fischer had to take off the Chevy truck's front clip so that he could reach the majority of the debris.
Despite his best efforts, some of the walnuts were inaccessible, though they were eventually removed and Fischer was able to get his Chevy back and up running.
Comically, Fischer ended up advertising the “naturally grown” walnuts as "all hand (paw) picked by a squirrel," according to one of his Facebook posts featured by The Drive.
Situations like the walnut-stuffed Chevy are not unheard of
This isn’t the first time such an unfortunate feat of squirrel ingenuity has wreaked havoc on a vehicle. In 2019, a massive walnut store was found in a Pittsburgh Kia Sorento, along with a mess of moss and branches.
Driving with these materials near your engine can cause serious problems with dire consequences.
A presumable lack of airflow can lead to overheating, and there is real potential for fires to ignite when a hot exhaust meets flammable matter like vegetation.
Precautions you can take to keep animals out of your vehicle
Animal activity can damage your vehicle in other ways, too. Small creatures can gnaw away at the wiring, which brings its own repercussions.
The Drive reported back in 2018 that instances of chewed wires were becoming more prevalent as rodents may have enjoyed the renewable soy-based composition of the insulation.
Over recent years, some major automakers have faced class-action lawsuits regarding the matter, but all have been dismissed, according to Consumer Reports.
Regardless, animal infestation in vehicles is a well-documented reality. However, there are a few easy things you can do to keep rodents and other small creatures like rabbits out of your engine.
- Store your vehicle somewhere that animals are less likely to access
- Keep doors and windows closed while parked
- Use a spray deterrent that will discourage animals but won’t harm them
- Keep the area surrounding your vehicle clean
Car insurance can help protect you from animal damage
Not only can car insurance protect you in the event of an accident or collision while driving, it can protect you if your vehicle is vandalized, stolen, or damaged—say, by an overzealous squirrel.
This is an especially important consideration if you live in a rural area with a lot of roaming wildlife.
Hopefully Bill Fischer's Chevy had a comprehensive coverage policy, which typically includes events of contact with animals.
Thinking of adding coverage, or swapping providers? If you want to save money on car insurance, the Jerry app is a good place to start.
A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new car insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.
No long forms. No calling around. No hard work. Just savings. The average Jerry user saves $879 a year on car insurance.