Marderschutz car: what really helps? Effective tips and tricks for marten defense

They are mainly at night – not infrequently in the car. They feel particularly comfortable in the engine compartment. The talk is of martens. Unfortunately, the animals tend to cause damage by chewing on cables, hoses or insulation, among other things. Annually, according to Statista, almost 200.000 cases of damage caused by marten bites reported to insurance companies. If you do not recognize this damage in time, serious consequential damage up to and including engine damage can occur. We tell you how you can protect your car against damage caused by martens, what costs you will have to bear and what you have to do in case of emergency.

What is marten damage?

Marten damage is the term used to describe damage to a car caused by martens biting cables and hoses in the engine compartment. Especially from the beginning of April to the middle of May, during the mating season, the risk of marten damage by the nocturnal loners is highest. This time is even considered the marten season. Whether ignition cables, power lines or plastic hoses – the small predators stop at nothing when it comes to defending their territory.

Why do martens usually cause damage to the car?

Martens are constantly on the lookout for safe, warm hiding places and occupy a very large territory in the process. Curious and nocturnal, they explore their environment for an optimal shelter that protects them from light and noise. If the rodents find a suitable place in the car, they mark it with their scent mark to defend it against conspecifics. If another marten crosses the territory, it is provoked by the set secretion and attacks the surrounding cables as well as hoses. Only by the neutralization of the scent mark of the rival the animals calm down.

Marderschutz car: What really helps? Effective tips and tricks for marten defense

Important: Martens may be caught only by a trained hunter or specialized enterprise.

How to recognize marten damage

If you notice a drop in the performance of your vehicle or if the car indicator lights flash, this can often be an indication of marten damage. Even if there are scratch marks, tufts of hair or footprints on the hood, it is worth taking a look in the engine compartment and, if necessary, visiting a car repair shop. If the car smells of secretions or feces, we strongly recommend that you take it to the nearest automotive repair store.

Marderschutz car: What really helps? Effective tips and tricks for marten defense

Tip: If the marten has set its scent mark in the engine compartment, the only thing that will help is a proper engine wash. Learn how to protect the car from the inside& you can wash the outside yourself and remove dirt and bad smells from it.

These are the most common damage caused by martens

As a rule, ignition cables, plastic hoses, rubber sleeves, insulating materials and hoses for the coolant and windshield wiper system are most frequently affected by marten damage to the car. This damage can have immediate and long-term consequences. Acute cases include bitten through ignition cables, which immediately paralyze the car. The auto repair shop simply replaces the cable so that the vehicle is ready to drive again. A severed coolant hose can also be repaired relatively quickly.

If the cable or hose was merely gnawed on, there is often a risk of even more serious consequential damage. If it is a bitten ignition cable, for example, the damage is not always noticed immediately. The engine then runs out of round and the catalytic converter is damaged at the same time, because the fuel is not burned properly.

Important: If the car is damaged by a marten, you should not use it, as this may endanger driving safety.

Which marten protection helps best for marten defense?

For marten defense in the car, there are nowadays some methods that protect against annoying marten bites.

Cable protection

An effective method is the additional protection of cables and hoses by special corrugated hoses, which serve as sheathing. These cannot be bitten through by the marten, but must be professionally fitted in advance at a car repair shop.


For the sensitive ears of a marten, the ultrasonic method is particularly unpleasant. You can easily install this type of marten deterrent under the hood, so it does not require professional installation. But be careful! Martens get used to certain conditions and sounds very quickly, which causes them to ignore the sounds over time.

Electric shock

The electric shock method uses high-voltage metal plates that deliver light, non-lethal electric shocks when touched. You can easily install these plates in the engine compartment. This frightens the marten and it moves away from there. This solution is not only easy to install, but also helps to keep martens away from the car in the long term.

Home remedy

You can also use products for home use in the fight against martens in the car. Among the most commonly used home remedies as marten protection are, for example, toilet stones or mothballs. However, many people also use dog or cat hair to keep the small predators away from the car.

Scent mark remover

With the help of an anti-marten spray, you can easily remove marten scent marks of a territorial competitor in the entire engine compartment. In addition, these sprays leave behind unpleasant odors and tastes for the marten, which prevents further visits by the animal.

Tip: The combination of a cable protection and the electric shock method is particularly effective for marten defense and is considered the best solution.

What does the car insurance pay in the event of marten damage??

Insofar as contractually covered, the partial cover insurance normally pays for marten damage. In addition, there are supplementary insurances that cover the repair costs for marten and its consequential damages. Such a protection makes sense especially in rural areas, because the cost of a complete engine damage due to a marten bite is often in the five-digit range.

Tips& Tricks for optimal marten defense

The main cause of marten damage is the scent marks of other martens. Already when running over the hood, the animals leave their smell through the scent glands on their feet. Therefore, regular cleaning of the car, including an underbody and engine wash, is only recommended to immediately remove possible marten scent marks and prevent future damage. Nowadays even some manufacturers offer engine compartment bulkheads especially against marten damage as special equipment. Although this method involves a high cost, it saves future high costs in the event of possible marten damage.