Typical Types of Water Damage to Vehicles

Partial or Total Submersion
Rising water that partially or completely submerges a vehicle is the most familiar form of flood damage.  Getting a significant amount of water in the car’s passenger compartment or over the car engine can lead to a variety of problems. These water damage problems can appear instantly or, in many cases, it could be weeks or months before the damage to the car shows up.
Another common form of water damage to vehicles is hydrolock.  Hydrolock occurs when water enters the engine through the car’s air intake and causes internal damage. Many people on flooded streets suddenly find their car stalled or completely dead when driving through relatively shallow water. This occurs because even a small amount of water taken in through the vehicle’s air intake can ruin a car engine. Hydrolock can also occur if a car is started after being exposed to rising water. It is best not to drive through high water, but if it is necessary and safe, slower speeds can save your car engine.

Most common problems with cars exposed to water include:
  • Electronic problems with power windows, power seats, computers, wiring connections, wiring harnesses, dashboard components, radios and related equipment.
  • Major Engine Failure.
  • Mechanical problems with brakes, starter motors and other moving parts.
  • Rusting Seat tracks and other metal exposed to water.
  • Water in the oil or other critical fluids in the vehicle.
  • Mold, mildew and unpleasant odors in the interior of the car. This smell is often difficult to remove from seats and carpets.


What’s your Car Worth?

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