Tips For Drying Out Your Flooded Car

September 20, 2017

Heavy flooding is utterly devastating. It can easily destroy lives, houses, bridges – and how much more your car. The thing is, as you may have noticed flooding is occurring more frequent than before. Thanks to global warming and deforestation, we are now more vulnerable to the curse of floods.

Hence, it is very important to be prepared at all times or at least get as much information you need for your advantage. As we all know water immersion may cause significant damage to your car’s engine, electrical wiring and the interior parts. In the event that your car is not spared from the havoc caused by flood, here are valuable things to remember:

Dry It Out As Quickly As Possible

It is important to dry your car right away before it is too late. Mold and corrosion may start setting immediately. Clean out the water and mud in the best way you can. Remove all the wet items inside the car including the carpet and floor mats. Do not attempt to set off the car engine. While it may be tempting to start the car – to see if it still works, chances are ifwater has indeed gotten into the engine, starting the car could significantly damage it beyond repair. Do not forget to disengage the battery either.

Assess How Far The Car Was Immersed

Find the waterline. If the water level did not rise above the bottom of your car doors, there is a greater probability that your car will be fine. But if the high-water mark reaches the dashboard, then you probably aren’t too lucky and you might start looking for another car. While the interior and car upholstery can be dried out pretty much easier albeit tiresome, the electrical parts of most cars are very intricate. They are highly sensitive to corrosion and the damage can be too extensive and expensive for repair.

Muddy water and debris such as leaflets should help you find the waterline easier. In some cases, though, if it is clear water it probably won’t leave any residue. Try to check for signs of water within the car doors, the taillights, the floor mats as well as the interior upholstery.


Use dipsticks to measure the presence of liquid in the car’s transmission system as well as the engine. If you see liquid droplets at the end of the dipstick, it signifies that you badly needed to replace the filter and the oil. You have to do this even before attempting to start the engine. It is recommended that you change the filter and oil after the flooding and again after you have driven up for a few miles.

The newer car models typically have sealed and more secured fuel setup, and most likely water will not get in them easily. Otherwise, you will need to draw out the fuel out and transfer the fuel into another container so you can check for traces of water. It is a good idea to just send the tank to a mechanic so it can be cleaned and thoroughly checked by a professional if you can find traces of water in it. Remember to check out the carburetor too. If you can see traces of liquid in your cars fuel injected engine or the truck’s tank it would be better if you change the fuel filter too as it contains a paper-like material which has the tendency to easily fall apart when it gets submerged to water.

The liquid water can easily penetrate up to your car’s engine within a matter of hours. Before starting the engine, filter and replace oil including the fluid in the transmission system. You will also need to change the fluids again after you have driven the vehicle for a few hundred miles.

Clean out the bearings and seals as well. Clean the floor mat and carpet if they also got wet. You can use a wet-dry vacuum to expel out as much water. Floodwater may bring out foul odor too, use baking soda to effectively remove this foul odor.


Unfortunately, it is not impossible for a car dealer or an individual to legally acquire a title for a car that has been previously damaged by flood. They can have the cars totaled without reflecting the damage. Ideally in most states, the titles of the totaled cars must bear a salvage tag on the title. However, an individual can resale the car out to a state that will issue the fresh title without bearing the salvage tag. So, before buying your next car, always examine the car carefully. Watch out for evidences that the vehicle may have been submerged to water such as water marks in the interiors, an owner’s manual that looks like it has been damped among others.

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