Date registered: Oct 2008
Vehicle: 1959 190, 1961 190SL, 1967 250SE 4Spd, 1968 220D 4spd
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Ahh, rats. The worst. They certainly CAN destroy wiring, and particularly love the cardboard-type heaterboxes Mercedes used in the 50s and early 60s. The reason the rats are drawn to the car, particularly at this time of year, is that the outside world is getting cold, and your warm engine bay provides ample warmth almost through to morning.
If the car is not warm, the rat issue is minimal, as it serves them no purpose (no warmth, no food, plenty of shelter elsewhere). In terms of suggestions, like others have said, avoid them dying in there! Terrible long lingering smell. I was never able to deal with it, but moved the car to a better location from then on out.