As It Happens

Squirrel blamed for car engine stuffed with nuts

A U.K. mechanic found hundreds of nuts clogging the engine of a client's Honda Civic.

'We brought her the bag of nuts and told her, this is the problem with your car,' said mechanic David Evans

A U.K. mechanic found that his client's Honda Civic's engine was full of nuts. (David Evans; The Canadian Press)

Update, Oct. 9, 2019: Squirreling away supplies for winter took on a whole new meaning for a couple in the United States after they discovered the hood of their car was chock-full of walnuts and grass.

It's not the only time squirrels have targeted cars. As It Happens did an interview after a similar incident in the U.K. in 2015. Original story below, published March 13, 2015:

For U.K. mechanic David Evans, it was definitely not a hard nut to crack. A client called his shop in the village of Poole Keynes, complaining that her Honda Civic wouldn't accelerate past 60 km/h.

When he popped the hood and removed the air filter he found the engine was full of nuts.

"We brought her the bag of nuts and told her, 'This is the problem with your car.' She was gobsmacked," he told As It Happens host Carol Off.

David Evans holds the bag of nuts he found in the car's engine. (Submitted by David Evans)

Evans says the driver recognized the nuts. They were the same ones she was leaving out for animals in her back garden. It wasn't hard to figure out what had happened from there.

"I think it was a squirrel who was taking them off the bird table, coming 'round to the front of the house, getting into the garage and climbing up into the engine bay and making its way into the air filter," Evans speculated.

Evans found nuts hidden throughout the engine of the Honda Civic. (Submitted by David Evans)

Evans used a vacuum at his shop to suck the nuts out of the engine. He ended up filling a grocery bag with the squirrel's quarry.

Evans says that in his 18 years as a mechanic, he's never seen anything like this.

"I've seen like, little nests under there, or signs of where a mouse has been chewing. But I've never once seen anything like that inside the actual air filter."


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