• Oct 31, 2012
Here's what to do if your car sustains damage from floo... Here's what to do if your car sustains damage from flooding (Credit: ChairWomanMay, Flickr).
Thousands, if not tens of thousands of cars and trucks have been flooded by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy.

Do you know what you should do if your car is flooded, or of you see a flooded car?

Here is our advice:

1. If the car is yours, call your insurance company. The bad news is that if you are only covered for liability, you won't be getting a check to replace your car. Only if you have comprehensive insurance will you be getting enough cash for a replacement car. if you do have comprehensive insurance, be patient as insurers like State Farm and Progressive report huge call volume.

2. Take pictures of the damage, especially of your car submerged if you can. If possible, take pictures of the license plate on the car.

3. Take measures to prevent the damage from getting worse. If the vehicle's windows are broken, then tape cardboard or plastic over the holes or open windows. Keep receipts for everything you buy.

4. Do not try and start your car if it has been flooded. It can cause more damage. You can usually tell if the car was submerged by checking if the seats or carpet is saturated.

5. Check the air-filter under the hood. If the paper filter is wet, do not try and start the car.

6. If you are not insured, and will attempt to keep your car, you will need to take it to a professional detailer to dry out with high-power fans. You risk having severe mold problems no matter what you do. But leaving windows open, or using household fans will not dry the car out. Do not use space heaters or anything with a heat-core to dry out your car. There is gasoline in the tank. Please! Use your head.

7. Be aware that your car can experience severe problems even after it seems dry. The micro-electronics, if they got wet, will never be the same.

8. If the water got into the engine compartment or inside the cabin of the car, you must be prepared for the worst case scenario if you don't have comprehensive insurance coverage. A total loss. If you need replacement wheels, check out our new gallery: Best Cars Under $10,000.

9. Stay away from flooded or flood-damaged cars that don't belong to you. Law enforcement is on the lookout for people trying to take advantage of power outages and post storm chaos.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      Donna Chan
      • 11 Months Ago
      if ur only covered for the basic coverage (libaility coverage) like most people are, your insurance company wont cover u and you will be left out to dry (no pun intended) what u could do if u live in areas prone to floods is get extra coverage from ur insurance company, but that will be super expensive and probably harm your overall risk score and add extra costs to ur coverage. ur best bet is to get a quote from an outside service like 4autoinsurancequote to see how much it will be before u commit to anything.
      JE WA ZA WI
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sell it as junk to a car dealer in FLORIDA,to be resold to some little ole lady for top dollar . .Very seldom do they prosecute for fraud in this state,and that's why it's one of the top states for fraud .Won't tell you what political party runs the state .I think you can guess .
      theswagg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now these flooded cars will be cleaned up and sold to other parts of the country not knowing they were flooded. Electronics can trap moisture and either short out or start a fire long after the car seems to be alright. Especially the master computer that most vehicles have nowadays.
      Koz
      • 2 Years Ago
      If your car was ever submerged hope the insurance will cover it. None of the crap above will work. Send it to the junk yards. I don't care how many fans you put in it it will never dry out. It stink for ever. Worse part is even if they could do all the say and you drive away, within 2 years you will start to have problems; starting with all the wiring connections. Unless every one has been taken apart and dried, they will corrode, period.
      • 2 Years Ago
      about how much to repair a 1966 con. mustang that was under salt water from hurricane sandy?
      kastmaster2105
      • 2 Years Ago
      your RATES WILL GO UP....!!! mine too, and I live in/near Galveston, Texas
      allenhollowell
      • 2 Years Ago
      sell it for scrap
      • 1 Year Ago
      I brought a car years ago that I suppect was flood damaged after the facts. Being young and not knowing the car had a meldew smell and had quiet a few elcctrical problems. As fait would have it I had a wreck before the first payment was do. Hind sight....
      allenhollowell
      • 2 Years Ago
      sell it to the junk yard. its scrap metal now.
      • 2 Years Ago
      in most times of tragedy lessons are learned and blessings are counted. Material possesions can be replaced not so LIFE> With the amount of construction that is going to be needed to rebuild the East Coast I se jobs being created . Then there is the Auto industry talk about a boost for sales. Those flooded cars will never be the same they will end up beins sold as used cars somewhere if they are junked but with all the electronics dude those cars are rust. If your in the market for a used car better make sure its not from the east coast...
      • 2 Years Ago
      most newer cars since about 93, have very well sealed and corrosion protected circuits. Dry and clean car and make sure to change oil and all filters and drain and refill gas tank and use a good quality water removing additive when refilling. If gauges are dirty on the inside, remove them and clean them. After all, this is a good learning experience and in reality, you have nothing to loose trying. Do not be a wimp and just give up.
      lacabrera
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sell it on Craig List Cheap ,Someone Will Buy It
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