If your car was submerged in water due to floods, the dirt, water and mud that got into can cause severe damage. Thus, it is important to spot on the possible signs of damage as soon as possible. Here are helpful basic tips for a flooded car.
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Never attempt to run your car as doing so can most likely damage it beyond repair. It is advisable to disconnect at once the battery from the terminals to reduce further harm on its electrical and electronic components.
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Check and determine how deep the car was submerged inside and out. The waterline left can give you clues on the possible extent of damage. Do not clean your car yet if your car insurance covers such events. Make sure to take photos inside and out including the engine parts before attempting to dry it up then submit these photos along with the other documents needed when processing an insurance claim.
Check the oil using the engine dipstick, if the level reading is too high or if you see water droplets on the dipstick then it denotes that water got into the engine. Have your car towed to the nearest service center for a professional mechanic to do the water clearing and changing of fluids.
Start drying the interior after taking photos as molds and bacteria will grow quickly inside a wet vehicle. Open the doors and windows; take out the carpet and mats. For a thorough and detailed interior cleaning such as the door panels, seat padding and upholstery, it is advised to have your vehicle serviced by professional interior detailers. Have it done in the soonest time as the longer you wait the more expensive it might cost you.
Electrical systems like headlights, turn signals, stereo, air conditioning, power locks and mechanical components such as engine transmission, brake, clutch, power steering and fuel systems must be checked for contamination and corrosion by a qualified and expert mechanic.
Check for debris lodged around the wheels and tires and underbody.
A flood damaged car can experience problems and can hamper its performance especially if it is a borderline case. If you are still in doubt, consider pushing your insurance company to total the car. Car replacement can cost you more but it will save you and your family for more possible mishap down the road.