lash floods, coastal flooding, river overflow – it doesn’t take much for any of these to occur around the US. While you may be able to seek shelter from the storm, your car isn’t always so fortunate. Every year, hundreds of people are faced with flood-damaged cars. The extent of that damage of course varies, but it leaves them wondering: can my flood-damaged car be repaired?
The answer is not a simple yes or no, unfortunately. Determining whether you can repair a flood-damaged car will require a real assessment of the damage. Someone whose car has minimal dampness may be able to dry the car out and move on. Meanwhile, someone whose car was completely submerged in water may not be able to repair their flood-damaged car.
IS YOUR FLOOD-DAMAGED CAR WORTH REPAIRING?
The bigger question in all of this is, is your flood-damaged car worth repairing? Depending on the extent of the damage, you’re looking at some serious cash. Unfortunately, unless you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance company is not going to cover the flood damage. Even those who do have comprehensive coverage shouldn’t rest so easy. If the cost of repairs exceeds the current value of your car, your insurance company will total your flood-damaged car.
DETERMINE YOUR CAR’S VALUE
So, before determining whether you can repair your flood-damaged car, start by determining your car’s worth before the flood damage. Did your car have any other issues? Is it an old car? These things will determine the value of your car. You can use resources like the Kelley Blue Book to get a clearer picture of your car’s value.
GET YOUR DAMAGE ASSESSED
To determine if your flood-damaged car is repairable or worth repairing, have a specialist look at the car. They’ll determine the extent of the damage and give you an estimate on the repairs. Try to get at least three estimates to be on the safe side.
Now that you have the value of your car prior to the damage and the cost of repairs, you know whether your flood-damaged car is worth repairing. If the repair costs exceed the value, you may want to sell your flood-damaged car to a junk car buyer. That way, you get some extra cash. If the repair costs are minimal or the car is new, then trying to get it repaired is an option.
TYPES OF FLOOD DAMAGE
To answer the question further on whether you can repair your flood-damaged car, it helps to know what type of flood damage you’re dealing with. Below are some descriptions of types of flood damage and the likeliness that it can be repaired:
SALTWATER VS. FRESHWATER
What kind of water damaged your car? While any water damage isn’t good, a car that has been damaged by freshwater has a better chance at being repaired than a car damaged by saltwater. Since salt is very corrosive it can wreak havoc on your car’s interior and mechanical parts. The engine and electrical components are particularly vulnerable.
When a car is damaged by freshwater, in many instances it just needs to be dried out really well. After that, things are typically fine. However, saltwater damage will require the car to be flushed out by freshwater. It then must be dried out to assess the damage, which in many cases is severe and expensive.
MECHANICAL VS. COSMETIC
Was the damage to your car mechanical or cosmetic? This has an impact on whether it can be repaired. Cosmetic damage is obviously a lot easier to repair than mechanical damage. When a car is cosmetically damaged, it’s typically on the interior. The cloth, wood, leather, and other materials are often drenched in water. This is not necessarily an easy fix but is a lot more repairable than mechanical damage. You’ll have to let the car dry out and get a deep shampoo and condition done to the car. It’s also important to keep an eye out for any signs of mold or rust due to flood damage.
Mechanical damage can be rough. For those who were driving their cars at the time of the flooding, you could be facing serious repair bills. The car’s engine sucks in air to operate. So, when the intake ends up below water, the engine begins sucking in water instead of air. The piston rods will begin to bend and your engine will blow. This may result in the need to replace your entire engine.
A BETTER SOLUTION
It is true that flood-damaged cars in some cases can be repaired (sometimes at a high cost). However, flood damage can still have serious impact years later. Damp spots can start to produce mold while other parts of the car can begin to rust with time. Not to mention, you may have a permanent mildew smell in your car. You’ll also have to record the flood damage which can make it harder to insure and sell in the future.
If you have an older car with flood damage and insurance won’t cover the costs, your best option is to sell your flood-damaged car online. You can use the money you get from the sell to buy a new car. Junk Car Medics is just the buyer to help. Why go through all the trouble of repairing your flood-damaged car with a diminished value and bad car history?
Junk Car Medics has a nationwide network of tow truck companies that’ll get rid of your flood-damaged car for cash. We will come and remove the car from your property and leave you with cash in hand. All you have to do is call.
Ask anyone about “car flood damage repair,” and most will say it’s impossible. Even car insurance companies, known to avoid spending money, tend to simply write off a flood-damaged car. Since cars are complex machines and flood water is harmful to all modern cars’ systems, the answer is usually not a simple one. Hydro-locked engines, short-circuiting electronics and water-logged transmissions are just a few potential results of water damage, not to mention mold, mildew and rust. Flood damage repair can fall into two categories, which can best be expressed as “economical” and “uneconomical.”flooded car
Uneconomical Car Flood Damage Repair
When cars get hit by a storm surge or river flooding, they may sit for days or weeks while water saturates everything. This can severely compromise your vehicle’s interior, electronics and powertrain. Salt water flooding, even light flooding, does the worst damage to cars. In fact, some experts consider a salt water flooded modern car to be unfixable at any level. Unless you are prepared to completely rebuild the car, you should write off repairing a salt-water or long-term flooded car.
Economical Car Flood Damage Repair
Your repair options depend on the extent of the flooding, water type, depth and duration of submersion. Fresh water isn’t as corrosive as salt water, so you might be able to repair a car caught in a river flood. If you drove into a flooded road and the engine died, you might be able to repair the damages. Here’s a list of tips and things to check in the event of flooding:
Do not attempt to start an engine that has been flooded. A hydro-locked engine, if it even starts, will quickly destroy itself. If the oil level is abnormally high, water probably got into the crankcase because oil floats on water, making it useless as a lubricant. Remove the spark plugs and turn the engine over by hand to force water out of the cylinders. Blowing compressed air into the spark plug holes and intake also helps. Make sure to drain the oil and replace the oil filter.
Check transmission fluid levels, as well as the transfer case and differentials, as these may also have been flooded. Automatic transmission discs and bands tend to delaminate in water. Manual transmission synchronizers can be ruined by lack of lubrication, and a soaked clutch may rust to the flywheel. Transmission problems may be allayed by completely draining fluids and refilling, and the clutch may release once you get the engine up to temperature.
Pay special attention to safety systems, such as water-contaminated brake fluid or power steering fluid. Water-logged brake fluid, for example, can vaporize leading to a loss of braking power. Flush the brake system and power steering system. Brake pads and shoes may spread rust to rotors and drums, but moving the car may free them.
Dry out the car by removing the seats, carpets and insulation completely. Park the car outside on a sunny day, doors and windows open, and lay everything out in the sun — don’t forget the trunk. Disconnect all electrical connectors and dry them out with a hair dryer or heat gun.
Depending on the level of flooding, you may need to drain the fuel tank to eliminate water contamination.
In general, repairing flood damage is an uncertain venture. Time is of the essence; drying your car out as quickly as possible will give you the best chance at successfully rescuing your ride.
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