Flooded cars have long road ahead

Alan Rawles

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Recent floods have destroyed thousands of dollars worth of property. This includes people’s cars. Flood damaged cars present a host of problems to owners.

There are two possible options when dealing with a car damaged by flood waters.

A flood doesn’t necessarily mean the car is destroyed. Repair options are available with some flooded cars. Some cars are beyond the state of repair. Owners will have to go through the process of finding a new car to replace their flooded car.

Determining if the car can be repaired means finding out how much water got into the vehicle.

“You have to figure out how far the water got into the vehicle,” Dustin Whitehead, a mechanic at Diesel Specialist of Northwest Louisiana, said.

Owners should contact his or her insurance agent to determine the condition of their flooded car.

Anson Andrews, an english literature studies graduate student, has a friend who had to handle a car that was flooded.

“His car was completely submerged. He had it handled through insurance,” Andrews said.

Flooded cars that are not considered destroyed by flood waters have a long road ahead. Owners can begin this process of determining the state of their car before insurance agents declare it totaled.

The engine is an important part to keep dry. Whitehead said  partially submerged engines can be saved, but a completely flooded engine is easier to have declared totaled.

The car’s fluids are another area to check after a flood. Car owners should drain the oil, transmission fluid and final-drive lube. Siphon the gas out of the tank and check for water.

Large amounts of water is bad for a gas tank, so the tank might need to be repaired.

Electrical systems are sensitive in modern cars. If a car’s electrical system is flooded, the car should be considered totaled by insurance.

Owners who decide to have their car totaled should be careful if they decide to buy a new car.

Flooded vehicles can be reconditioned by dealerships and be resold. Always do thorough research when buying a used car. Previously flooded cars are not always reported to have been flooded.

The general rule with flooded vehicles is to be extra diligent. Whether repairing a car that was damaged due to flooding or buying a car after a flood, make the work or research is done with care.