A motorist who took his spluttering car to the garage was stunned to discover a squirrel had blocked the air filter – with hundreds of NUTS.
Businessman John Gold, 59, booked his eight-year-old Vauxhall Astra in for a service after he noticed an odd rattling sound and smelled a nutty odour.
He took his motor to Warrington’s garage in Warwick with a suspected leaking radiator.
But mechanics were shocked when they opened the bonnet and discovered hundreds of peanuts and acorns blocking the air filter.
John, who runs a machine components company in nearby Leamington Spa, Warks., said: ”I noticed my car was juddering and there was an odd rattle.
”A few times I also noticed a faint smell of nuts but thought nothing of it.
”When I took it to the garage I couldn’t quite believe what they were telling me.
”There were literally hundreds of nuts stashed in there.
”My mother-in-law regularly puts seeds out for the birds next to where I park the car, so the squirrel must have taken them from there and hidden them in the air box.”
Mechanic Jason Perry, manager at Warrington’s of Warwick, said: ”In 42 years of working in this business, we have never seen anything quite like this.
”When we lifted up the bonnet to investigate the problem, we certainly weren’t expecting to find a hoard of nuts.
”We were very surprised the car was still running, as the nuts were completely blocking the filter.
”Hundreds of peanuts and acorns poured out of the filter.
”The squirrel must have crawled into the pipe which lets air come into the car. It’s only a four inch gap so he must have squeezed his way in.”
Incredibly, mechanics who inspected the car last Wednesday found the nuts had not caused any damage and the leaking radiator was due to an unconnected fault.
Jason, 41, added: ”Rodents can sometimes find their way into car bonnets and can cause quite considerable damage.
”Right next to the air intake is the Engine Control Unit if the squirrel had started to chew the wires.”
It’s not the first time animals have tried to wreck John’s #5,000 motor.
Three years ago rats caused more than #1,000 worth of damage to his Astra.
The dad-of-two said: ”My car must be a haven for rodents, as last time I took it in for a service, I faced a #1,400 bill because rats had chewed through the leads in its engine.
”It seems animals have something against my car.”