Save Your Car from Flood Damage

How to Minimize Water Damage to Your Car

First and foremost, floods are extremely dangerous. Itonly takes about two feet of water to make the average car float and some carscan even be swept away by a mere six-inches of flowing water. If you see yourcar awash in flood waters, don’t go out there. Wait until the waters recedebefore checking on your car. When you can get to your car safely, here are afew steps that can help you to avoid creating more damage and to beginpreserving your car. Within safe limits, speed is key to saving your car fromflood damage.

Next, check and see how much your car is worth.Having a good idea of what your car is worth can help you decide whether or notrepair is your best option. Click on the button below to see what yourcar is worth.

What Your Car is Worth

    Sometimes, being submerged in water can booby-trap your car. Some auto makers have warned that airbags can deploy unexpectedly after exposure to water. It’s a good idea to check with your car’s manufacturer for any advisories and warnings related to submersion in water.

    When it comes to insurance claims, preparation is key. Mark high water levels on the vehicle with a wax pencil. If your car has insurance that covers flood damage, notify your insurance company of the water damage loss and follow your insurer’s instructions on what to do next. Give you insurance company a call as quickly as possible after the flood.

    Engines and water don’t mix. Don’t start your car engine until you’re certain no water will be pulled into the engine. It only takes a little water passing through the air intake to damage an engine. When water is sucked into an engine through the air intake, it makes its way into the cylinders where the air is supposed to be.

    During normal engine operation, the piston compresses the air and gasoline, then a spark causes the mixture to explode, forcing the piston down and turning the crankshaft. Unlike air, water doesn’t compress. So, if there’s water in the cylinders instead of air, when the piston rises, there’s nowhere for the water to go. This can cause the cylinders, the crankcase or the piston head to crack. Now instead of a running car, you have a hydrolocked or blown engine.

    Check your air filter to make sure it is completely dry before starting your car. If it has been more than a day or so since your car was exposed to water, the air filter may dry naturally, but water can be sitting in the air intake. If there is any doubt, take steps to be sure that no water is present in the air intake or cylinders.

    Thinking about fire damage in a flooded car may sound like a contradiction, but electrical connections can short-out and lead to fires well after the flood waters have receded. Disconnecting battery cables until you can be sure the electrical system isn’t damaged will likely prevent this potential problem.

    Electrical components are easily damaged by water. If your car was exposed to salt water it is likely that many electrical components cannot be saved. Cars exposed to fresh water have a better chance of recovery than parts exposed to salt water. Have a qualified technician check the computers, power seat and window motors, spark plug wires, battery connections, wiring harnesses, electrical connections and all dash components.

    If there is any doubt about contamination, flush and replace all fluids. Water in the gas tank, transmission, power steering and transmission is not common, but possible. Usually this occurs when the water exposure was very deep. Water will make oils look milky and thick. If the fluids become opaque and milky, you’ll need to flush and replace them. If your engine oil has been contaminated by water, DO NOT TRY TO START YOUR CAR! If your engine wasn’t hydrolocked and damaged by the water, if you try to start it with water-contaminated oil, it will be.

    Brakes, starter motors, wheel bearings, door hinges, seat tracks and pretty much anything else that moves can be damaged by water. Have a qualified technician assess these components for necessary repairs or damage prevention. If you have water in your engine, a mechanic will have to remove the sparkplugs to allow the water to be expelled. If the damage has already been done to the cylinder heads, block or piston rods, you may have to replace your engine.

    Remove water from the car’s interior and trunk area as quickly as possible. Disassembling the car interior, removing seats, carpets, door panels and other exposed components will allow them to dry thoroughly. Many cars have drain plugs in the trunk area and passenger compartments. If you’re not comfortable disassembling the interior, you can have a mobile car detailer come do the work for you.

If you choose to repair your car, an ounce ofprevention really is worth a pound of cure. Make sure all steps are taken toprevent corrosion and further damage. Even when every precaution is taken torepair flood damage and prevent further damage, don’t be surprised whenproblems pop up days, weeks or even months later. Replacing a flood car isoften cheaper and easier than attempting repairs.

If you decide repair isn’t you best option, click thebutton below to get a no-obligation, guaranteed offer from foryour flood-damaged car.

Get Guaranteed Offer Now!


What’s your Car Worth?

Use our Price Checker Tool to find out how much you can get for your car.