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As many parts of the UK are still suffering from flooding we thought we would take a look at what to do if your car becomes immersed in flood water.
Whether flooding has occurred dues to heavy rain, or a swollen river there are certain actions you can take to try to save your car from being written off by your insurance company. The amount of damage sustained to your car will be determined by the length of time it was submerged, and whether it was submerged in fresh or salty water.
Prevention Better Than Cure
Obviously preventing your car from suffering from flood damage is the best option. Following weather broadcasts on your local radio stations, or TV news will help you to be fore warned of approaching floods and bad weather. Evacuating the area likely to suffer flooding is the best option, but if you need to remain in that area, parking your car on high ground or away from the area likely to be at risk of flooding is a good idea.
If you have to drive through flooded roads, do not drive through deep flood water. If you can not safely determine how deep flood water is on any road, do not attempt to drive through it. This is especially the case if you come across flowing flood water.
If your car does become submerged in flood water, once the water has subsided, and you can do so safely, you need to take action quickly. The first step at all times is to contact your insurance company, but you also need to begin to dry your car out.
A god tip is to take photos of your car so that you have physical documentation of the damage caused that you can present to your insurance company. In many cases it will not be possible to save a vehicle once it has suffered extensive flood damage, but by acting quickly you could minimize any long term damage.
If the flood water reached or submerged the engine, Do Not try to start your car. If you turn the engine over it can cause more water to be forced through the engine, the transmission, and brakes causing more damage.
The best course of action is disconnect the battery, and have the car towed to a local garage, or mechanic. Once you have contacted your insurance company you should be ok to start drying your car out, but as mentioned earlier document everything by taking photos .
The steps you need to take to start to dry out a flood damaged car are,
- · Drain the flood water from all areas of the car and engine, and flush using fresh water, or solvent.
- · Drain out all the fluids and oils that have been contaminated, and replace with new ones.
- · Dry out and clean all the electrical systems and components.
- · Clean all seats and upholstery using a wet/dry vac. Extracting as much moisture and water from the seats and the upholstery as possible to will help them to dry out quicker
- · You will need to take the car to a mechanic or garage that specialises in evaluating flood damaged vehicles. They will then be able to advise you on whether your car is worth repairing.
- If your car was submerged in salt water there is very little chance of saving the car, so it is not worth spending a lot of money on trying to do so.
Prevention is always the best option, and can be a whole lot cheaper. So if your local area is at an immediate risk of flooding, you may want to consider moving your vehicle to safer or higher ground.