A car can be fixed after suffering flood damage, but the damage may be tough for the average vehicle owner to repair without the assistance of trained mechanics. There’s also a chance serious flooding will result in a car being totaled by your insurance company; in which case you will probably just need to replace your vehicle.
Flooding can negatively affect or destroy nearly every part of a vehicle. Water can get in gas tanks and engines, damage electronics, permeate fabrics in seats or flooring, ruin leather and wreck interiors. Those types of damage can cost a lot to repair. In many cases totaling the car for salvage is less expensive than gutting and replacing a car’s interior and all its electrical components.
However, not all flood damage is irreversible. In some cases, a moist interior can be dried out and then thoroughly cleaned.
The process for assessing and repairing vehicle flood damage includes:
Be forewarned, it’s not uncommon for those fuse and module components to become hard to acquire in the immediate aftermath of a flooding event. A lot of people may be attempting to perform the same repairs on their vehicles. Salt water can complicate all of these steps, which is why so many vehicles submerged in hurricane storm surge are simply totaled.
The amount of time and effort required to clean out your vehicle’s interior depends on how high up the water reached on your car. Drivers, their mechanics or auto detailers may need to remove interior door panels and trim to let the inside of the doors dry out.