There are 8 million stories in the naked city, and this is one of them:
My friend A was getting her oil changed, and the mechanic told her she had a rat's nest in her engine. Could he remove it? A asked. No, he told her. She had to go to a specialist in the Bronx who could wash the debris out of the engine with a high-pressure hose. The engine stank of urine and feces, and when it was hosed, bits of paper and old food and other nasties were flushed out. A had read that red pepper discouraged such infestations, so she sprinkled her newly sanitized engine with Tabasco. But here's the interesting thing: this is a common problem in New York. Many people get rat's nests in their car engines. And rat infestations can be destructive. Rats' teeth grow five inches a year, and to keep them filed down, rats chew on hard things like plastic, concrete, wire and so forth. So a car engine is just a giant emery board. The rat's-nest-in-the-engine specialist who hosed out A's nest advised her not to park near garbage. Good luck with that.