With half of the country burning and the other half underwater over the summer months of 2018, it only stands to reason many have returned home to find their vehicles either still underwater or having been submerged for an extended period of time. If you came home to find your vehicle in this condition, do you know what to do next? Most people don’t. The one thing you can expect once your vehicle has been submerged is that it may never be quite the same. Water has a habit of getting into every nook, cranny, wiring connector, the engine, the transmission, the brake system, in fact, every inch and system of your vehicle.

Never Try to Start A Car that Has Been Submerged

Even if you put a new battery in yourcar, mechanics say the worst thing you can do is to try and start it. Even if you can get it to start (not likely) as soon as the water that entered the engine enters the cylinders, the engine will lock and can self-destruct. Even if there is only a little water in the oil pan, as the oil heats up the water can end up in the bearings causing serious damage. Better to let the pros make sure your engine is safe to run. Since water will have gotten into the interior of your vehicle, it will have soaked the carpets, the upholstery, under the dash, and the ceiling liner. Leaving the windows closed will turn the inside of your vehicle into a mold and mildew factory. Leaving them open might help to dry the interior out, but not fast enough to stop the growth of mold and mildew.

Your best option is to take your car to a repair facility that deals with flooded vehicles. They will completely disassemble your vehicle, dry it out, clean it, and put it all back together. It is possible your car can be returned to almost new condition.

Not Necessarily the Best Option

Taking your vehicle to a professional flood damage repair service can be very expensive as the work can take many hours of detailed work. Along with this, all of the electrical and electronic systems in your vehicle have also been underwater. Many of these systems are easily damaged by water and may require replacement at a very high cost.

Whether this is a good idea or not depends heavily on the year, make, and model of your car. The reality is that for cars more than a few years old, the cost of such repairs could easily exceed its book value. How much your insurance company might work with you when it comes to covering the damage caused by flooding will depend heavily on the insurance provider you choose and the policy and coverages you opt for. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, this is something you need to keep in mind as you compare the best auto insurance rates for your vehicle. Even if your basic policy does not include coverage for flood damage, you may be able to add it for an additional fee. While it might cost you more for flood coverage, the first time your car disappears underwater, you will be glad you were covered.