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

The push towards“green” has affected every industry and your family vehicle is compliant with environmentally friendly build procedures and products.

The switch to plant-based soy was developed and implemented primarily to reduce dependency on petroleum. Referred to as bioplastics, most manufacturers have been steadily increasing 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 warmth from a recently parked vehicle will attract rodents. But since soy-based wiring insulation has been put into service, the average motorist’s car is now a bit tastier.

The minute your wiring harness’s protective coatings are gnawed through, the metal wiring will be exposed and the possibility of electrical problems rises dramatically.

While there is no way to completely protect your vehicle from critters, there exists a rodent-deterrent electrical tape, available from Honda, to wrap existent wiring.

Plus, you always have a variety of hardware-store pest-control products available to deter animals from taking up residency in your vehicle’s general parking area.

Use of these products is hit-and-miss though, so unfortunately these repair occurrences are generally increasing. Check with your insurance company for coverage before authorizing any subsequent repairs.

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

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new Globe Drive Build 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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