September 29, 2016
The rainy season comes pouring in and it is much easier to get around when you are in your vehicle. You get to places on time and you are sure to be safe and dry during your journey.
However, getting yourself wet is not the only problems the rainy season brings. Flooding is also a hassle bought about by the rainfall.
The key is avoided braving the flood. However, if you did try to cross it and your car gets submerged, make sure to follow these steps to save your car:
1. Do not attempt to start the car!
Do not, in under any circumstances, try to turn your car on while it is submerged in water. It might cause some damages that cannot be repaired.
6. Check all the other fluids.
Fuel systems on late-model cars are usually sealed, but older cars may need to have their fuel systems drained. Brake, clutch, power steering and coolant reservoirs should be checked for contamination.
2. Determine how deep the car was submerged.
If the water didn't rise above bottom of the doors, your car will probably be fine. Most insurance companies will consider the car totaled (damaged beyond economically-reasonable repair) if water reaches the bottom of the dashboard.
7. Check all of the electrical systems.
If the engine looks OK to start, check everything electrical: If you note anything even slightly amiss, including the way the car runs or the transmission shifts that could be a sign of electrical trouble. Take the car to a mechanic, and remember that the damage may be covered by insurance.
3. Call your insurance company. Flood damage is generally covered by comprehensive insurance, so even if you don't have collision coverage, you may be covered for repairs or replacement.
8. Check around the wheels and tires. Before attempting to move the car, look for debris lodged around the wheels, brakes and underbody. (Set the parking brake before crawling around the wheels!)
4. Start drying the interior. Start by opening the doors and windows and putting towels on the floor to soak up water, but you should plan on replacing anything that got wet, including carpets, floor mats, door panels, seat padding and upholstery. Remember, these repairs are likely to be covered by your comprehensive insurance.
9. If in doubt, push to have the car totaled. A flood-damaged car can experience problems months or even years after the event. If your car is a borderline case, consider pushing your insurance company to declare the car a total loss. Replacing it will cost money, but you may save yourself from some major (and expensive) headaches down the road.
5. Check the oil and the air cleaner. If you see droplets of water on the dipstick or the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter has water in it, do not attempt to start the engine. Have it towed to a mechanic to have the water cleared and the fluids changed
10. Beware of flood-damaged replacements. Before buying a used car, have the title checked; words like "salvage" and "flood damage" are giant red flags. Get a comprehensive history on the car, the seller may be trying to hide flood damage.