NYC Shops Navigate Rodent-Related Repairs

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Aug. 4, 2022— For some drivers in New York City, a "check engine" light can mean more than meets the eye. Believe it or not, it can mean rats.

According to The New York Times, the city has seen an increase in drivers on the road ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. The article reported that new car registrations increased by 19 percent from the summers of 2019 to 2021 alone.

The article also shared that 28 mechanics were interviewed for this story and 20 of them said they have seen an increase in the presence of rodents in vehicles brought to their shops.

“I see new cars, old cars, everyone is coming in now with these rat problems,” said Ozzy Dayan, a mechanic at Manhattan Auto Repair in Hell’s Kitchen, in the article. “It brings me a lot of business but it’s disgusting.”

The repairs can be pricey for the drivers. The article shared a couple of stories, including that of Libby Denault, who paid $700 to fix the wiring on her Prius that a rat had chewed through. 

Another driver named Jenna Carpenter-Moyes paid $1,200 for car repairs and a cleaning after a mechanic found chicken bones, bread, and part of a breakfast sandwich under her hood— a sure sign of a rat. 

“Sometimes it’s a quick fix that I can do in an hour and sometimes it costs $1,000 to repair all the damage. You don’t really know until you get in there,” Charlie Salino, a mechanic at Parkside Auto Care, said to The New York Times.    

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