What Happens To My Car If I Drive Through A Flood?

Driving Through Floods  | A Guide

Flood, Water, Street, Disaster, Emergency, Flooding

We all know the story of Noah and the ark, but that is a tale of biblical proportions. In recent news, we’ve all seen what happened to the city of Venice in Italy and all the damage it has done to its vehicles and infrastructure.

Here at Manuel’s Body Shop in Culver City, we want all cars owners to be a prepared incase you experience a catastrophic disaster such as a flood.

By definition, a flood is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. It is also the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods result from rain, snow, storms, and an overflow of water systems in the area. And yes, it does flood in Southern California and in fact, most of California is vulnerable to flooding.

In any case, flood warnings are issued and weather is almost precisely forecasted.

For car owners, driving through floods can cause serious damage to your vehicle and we’ve develop a few tips and safety measures on what you should in case you find yourself driving through water that shouldn’t be there to begin with.

Driving in heavy rain

If you find yourself driving in the middle of a storm surge, make sure you slow down and leave plenty of space in front of you. If you prone to tailgating, you’re also prone to accidents.

Be sure to have your headlights on to aid your vision and also to let other drivers know that you are on the road.

Be mindful of your surrounding and look out for potholes.

Also, stay calm.

Driving through flooded water

Now, at this stage the heavy rains have not stopped and you begin to see the roads start to flood around you. You may even encounter flash floods. Again, stay calm. No one wants and anxious driver on the road.

Don’t Stop Your Vehicle

You make get stranded if stopped in the middle of the road and you’ll end up causing a traffic jam. Main a slow and steady speed — up to 4mph. Moving slowly will prevent the engine bay from flooding.

Beware of Your Surroundings

Watch out for pedestrians and other vehicles on the road. Safety first!

Get to higher ground

You should never drive in water more than 10 inches, about the the height to the centre of your tires/wheels. Of course, it also makes sense to look for high ground. The center of the road is usually the highest part.

After getting out of the flooded area

Once you get out of the water, drying your brakes is absolutely essential. Apply brakes gently while driving to slowly remove water.

Assess the Damage Done

automotive car car engine display engine maintenance parts power production repair service technology transportation system vehicle

Now, you have survived going through flooded waters. You’re not done yet. You need to assess the damage done.

1. Don’t start your car as there may be water in the engine.
2. Check the exterior of your vehicle for any damages.
3. Clean your vehicle and make sure everything is dry. If by any chance, you drove through salt water, this increases the chances of corrosion.
4. Wet interior components not dried properly can develop smelling odors, You cab deodorize your vehicle with baking soda.
5. Check your oil. Finding water on the dipstick can be signs of potential damage.
6. Test all the electrical components – brakes, power steering, clutch, etc.
7. If your car is damaged beyond repair, consider buying a new vehicle.

Insurance Claims

Car Insurance

If you’re insured, you maybe in luck since floods fall under natural disasters which makes you eligible for a claim. It all depends on the type of insurance that you have.

Once you file your claim, the insurance company and a qualified mechanic will check how extensive the damage is. Once the extent is determined, your insurance company will assess the costs of repair against the cost of a full replacement.

Don’t Buy A Flood-Damage Vehicle

Even if its seems like a great deal, don’t buy a flood-damaged vehicle. Some dealers can be dodgy and not tell you that the car has been driven through floods. Make sure you get an online report to check the car history. Another thing to do is inspect the vehicle for any signs of water damage. Some tale-tell signs include wet or stained upholstery, foggy lights, must odors, and rust in areas that don’t usually oxidize.

Manuel’s Body Shop Can Help

If you ever encounter any flood damage in Southern California, be sure to contact Manuel’s Body Shop. We have experience in all types of auto repairs and we’ll even provide you with a free estimate. We care about your safety and we’ll do our best to repair the damages. We are the best body shop in Culver City and we are only one call or email away!

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