Ah, Nuts! Acorn-Stashing Squirrels Mess Up Man's Gearbox

Photo credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Photo credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

When a car stops working, the average human doesn’t stop and take the time to filter their reaction. But hopefully U.K. driver Andrew Wilkins left the typical profanities behind when his Volkswagen Golf wouldn’t respond well last month, because it was full of acorns. “Ah, nuts!” is the only appropriate response here.


Since that was such a corny way to start the blog, let’s get back to the seed of the problem: The Independent reports that while Wilkins was away on vacation, he left his Golf outside his girlfriend’s father’s home near London. He and his girlfriend were gone for more than a month, touring Vietnam, Thailand and India and probably not thinking about what could be happening to his car.

But during that time, a local squirrel (or squirrels) decided to take the car over. Finders keepers, right? What a nutty thing to do, leaving your car unattended for all that time.

Wilkins got back and tried to shift the car, but the Independent reports that it was “stiff and changing gear was difficult.” He took it to a shop, and soon found out the car was so stiff because it was packed with acorns—like, overflowing with them. From the Independent:

While tidying the car before handing it over to a mechanic, he opened his glove compartment and made the discovery. ...

“I hadn’t opened it since I had been back but I went to put a pair of sunglasses in there and when I opened it, eight acorns fell out. You can imagine my surprise.

“I told one of the mechanics to take a look and he said: ‘What the ****?’

“Within 30 seconds, all ten of the garage’s mechanics were gathered around the car having a laugh.”

The shop called half an hour later, according to the Independent, to tell Wilkins that the acorns were in more than just the glove compartment. From the story:

He said: “I got a call an hour later saying the car was stuffed full of acorns.

“The reason I couldn’t change gear properly was because they were absolutely everywhere.

“They were behind the trim - under the bonnet and inside the gearbox assembly.

“Underneath the bonnet there’s sound proofing and that had been torn apart. There were probably 100 acorns. It was literally full to the brim.”


The shop also found a dead rat under the car’s hood, which probably wasn’t stored there by the creative little squirrel(s). Wilkins paid about $230 at current exchange rates “to remove acorns from gearbox linkage housing and dead rat from sound proofing,” according to the shop invoice quoted by the Independent.

But Andrew didn’t start the new year out salty, and instead had mixed feelings about it all: He told the Independent he was happy to have the car back, but felt bad for the squirrel(s) since he “ruined their winter and all their hard work.”

Staff writer, Jalopnik


Land-Rover Matt

This is your fault America.

These were almost certainly nasty North American grey squirrels, our lovely native red squirrels would never do such a thing. (And they’re more endangered by the year due to those evil greys).

Death to America(n grey squirrels)!