What Happens to Your Car When it Floods?
We’ve had our fair share of hurricanes and floods this year. If you’re one of the many who were affected by the recent hurricanes you may have had some trouble with water getting into your vehicle. So what do you do if your car has been flooded? We’ve put all of our answers to the most common flood damage questions.
How Do You Know a Car You’re Buying Has Flood Damage?
There are a few obvious signs a car has been flooded, water logged seats, sea scented fabrics and general dampness. Keep an eye out for any mineral deposits of discoloration on the seats, seat belts, and door panels. Check the trunk and engine compartment for debris like mud and sticks. Keep in mind there may be droplets of moisture on the inside of the instrument cluster and warped or misshapen door panels, none of which are good signs for the future health of this vehicle. If you find any of these signs it may be better to move on to the next one.
Most professionals trying to pass off a flooded car n the used car market will have cleaned all of these things, and perhaps even replaced the seats and carpet. Making it very difficult for the average buyer, or even mechanic to see that the car was flooded. If you do happen to notice a heavy aroma of Lysol or other disinfectants, this is a tell tale sign that someone’s trying to manage, and potentially cover up a mold or odor problem.
Is a Flooded Car Junk?
Pretty much, yes. To keep things simple if water got any further than the floor of the car, we’d consider it totaled. The cost to fix every part of your car effected by water damage will end up being more than the trouble is worth. Save yourself the headache, take the insurance money, try not to think about it and move forward to your next car.
What If I Already Own a Car That’s Been Flooded?
We’re sorry to hear that, and hope that you are insured. If you’re not and you aren’t in a position to replace it you can attempt to continue driving it, but you should perform some crucial tasks before.
Here’s our list:
1. Get the water out of it. Remove the seats, depending on the damage you can either clean or replace them. The carpets, interior panels, and possibly the headliner will need to be cleaned and or replaced as well. You’ll need bleach to attempt to kill the mold spores.
2. Remove all the spark plugs, then turn the engine over to purge any water that may have gotten into the cylinders. If you see water coming out, that cylinder is a candidate for corrosion and failure. You’ll have to drain the motor oil and transmission fluid, in case water has gotten in and diluted those critical lubricants.
3. Start looking for electronic gremlins, and hope mold and the smell don’t get too bad.
While there are a few things you can to do attempt to salvage your vehicle, it’s bound to cause you problems. If you absolutely have to keep a car that’s been flooded, consider it a short-term solution.
So, if you absolutely have to keep a car that’s been flooded, consider it a short-term solution. And if you’re shopping for a car, buyer beware. Our best advice is to simply avoid cars that come from flood areas, and replacing your car if it has been flooded. If you’ve found a new vehicle to replace your flooded one, call us at Auto Transport 123 to ship your new vehicle to safe, dry ground!