So, Your Car Has Flood Damage. What’s Next?

Car Driving Through Water
We’re already deep into rainy weather, and that can mean bad things for your car. There are plenty of steps you can take to protect your car from flood damage, but what can you do if it’s already too late? If you’re dealing with a flood-damaged car, the most important step you can take is to assess the damage quickly. Flood damage doesn’t have to be the end of your car, and no matter how badly your car has been affected, there are always options. Read on to see what to do with your flood-damaged car.

Assess the Flood Damage

In all honesty, there really isn’t “light” flood damage. There’s a big difference between leaving your window open on a rainy day and having your entire car submerged in water.

Dry It Out

As soon as possible, start drying out your vehicle. Even if you think the damage might not be worth repairing, it never hurts to do all you can to fix what’s damaged. The only thing worse than a broken car is a smelly, moldy broken car.
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Visit a Mechanic

Your next step is having a qualified car mechanic check your car for potential issues. Mark the water levels reached in your car, if possible, and don’t try starting your car until a mechanic has told you it’s safe to try. Type of damage and repairability will vary widely depending on what parts of your car were submerged. There’s also the issue of whether you were driving at the time of the flooding, which can leave you more susceptible to water being pulled into your engine — not good.  Also, salt water can be worse for a flooded car than fresh water.

Weigh Your Options

Did you air out your car, and it dried without complications? Did the car mechanic give you a cheaper than expected estimate for repairs? Consider yourself lucky. You’ll move past the flood damage without spending a lot, and hopefully you’ll be able to get many more years out of your car. Most people with flood damage don’t have the luxury of keeping their vehicle. Some may not even have the correct insurance to cover repairs or to get reimbursement for the price of the car. If you’re stuck with liability coverage, your best option may be to sell. Depending on the extent of damage, you may be able to sell your car privately. If the interior is dry, and the buyer knows a lot about fixing up cars and isn’t afraid to put a little elbow grease into the job, you might make a small amount off the sale. It’s important to remember, however, that your car is not worth what it was before the flood. Valuable parts may be damaged, and even if you can’t see the damage externally, your car isn’t worth what it once was. If you don’t want to wait for a private buyer, you can try dealership trade-in, or you can give us a call! It’s your car to sell, so weigh all your options to get the most value for your flood damaged car.

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