Flood Damage

Flood Damage

With heavy rain wreaking havoc across parts of the country, Suzanne Keane explains how to check your car for flood damage

It’s never advisable to drive through floods but what do you do if your parked car is submerged in flood water? Once the water subsides more than likely you won’t be able to just jump in and drive it away!

Firstly it’s important to figure out how deeply the car was submerged – you can usually see where the waterline was from mud/debris.

If it wasn’t high enough to reach the air intake, battery, or inside the car you’ve probably been very lucky and it’s safe to move your car to a safe place!

Otherwise there are a few checks you’ll need to do before using the car –

  1. Oil level – if the oil level seems high or there are droplets of water on the dipstick there’s water in your engine and it can’t be started – doing so will cause irreparable damage.
  2. Also check the air intake/filter for any signs of water.
  3. Fluids – check your coolant and brake fluid for any signs of contamination – even if you don’t see anything unusual it’s advisable to flush the system a.s.a.p. just in case!
  4. Electrical – even if your engine seems ok being submerged in water won’t have done the electrics any favours. Make sure everything is working as it should – headlights, windows, heater, a/c etc. Electrical damage may not show up immediately but problems will occur when corrosion sets in.
  5. Interior – If your carpet, door cards or seats are showing any signs of water replace them! Flood water isn’t clean and you certainly don’t want to be sitting on whatever was floating around the sewers beforehand!

If you’re unsure about checking your own car out leave it to the professionals – if you feel any damage has been done and you have comprehensive insurance any repairs should be covered or if you feel the damage is severe it’s better to send it off to the great car park in the sky rather than repairing to avoid a lifetime of costly fixes – especially if sea water was the culprit!

Suzanne Keane

6th October, 2014


Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for Retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @_suzannekeane

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