How to prevent any car damage during floods
Heavy rains and flooding can lead to problems for your car. Whether you get caught in a heavy flood or drive your car through a deep puddle, water can do a tremendous amount of damage to your vehicle. So, what should you do if your car is submerged in water and how to avoid water problems?Water is your car’s enemyWater and the sophisticated parts and systems of your vehicle don’t mix; prolonged water exposure can lead to a host of problems for your vehicle. You could experience damage like:
- Engine problems
- Electrical system failure
- Mold and mildew growth
- Corrosion and rust
- Seizure of parts like wheel bearings
What can you to do?If your vehicle has been submerged in water, time is crucial. The quicker you act, the better chance you have in avoiding permanent damage to your car.Get the water outStart by getting any standing water out of your vehicle. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water. Take out the floor mats and hang them up to dry. If there was standing water on the carpet, remove it and hang it to dry. You will likely need to remove the console, seats and some plastic trim.Dry outNow it’s time to dry out your car. You can open the doors and let it air dry or you can use a couple of high-powered fans to speed up the process. Once your vehicle is dry, put everything back in that you had to take out.Check the electrical systemTo ensure that your car’s electrical system came through unscathed, you will want to test the various lights, knobs, controls and buttons in your vehicle. Check the dashboard lights, are there any new ones lit up that need to be investigated? Test all controls such as the lights, locks, windows, power seats, emergency brake, climate controls and radio. If anything isn’t working properly, consult your mechanic who will do a thorough inspection.Eliminate odorsIf your vehicle smells musty, take action to rid your car of the odor. Once you have found the source, sprinkle some baking soda on it and leave it overnight. The baking soda acts as an odor neutralizer and moisture absorber.Get professional help if the damage is seriousPlease keep in mind that if your car has suffered severe water damage, you will want to get professional help in assessing the road-worthiness of your vehicle. Severe flooding can do permanent damage to all areas of your vehicle including the engine, electrical system, brakes and air bags.How to avoid water damage?The best way to avoid water damage to your vehicle is to prevent it from happening. You may not be able to control the weather but there are some simple things you can do minimize your risk.Avoid driving through deep puddlesIf you can’t see the bottom of the puddle or it looks like it’s deeper than 6″, don’t proceed. Turn around and find an alternate route. In the blink of an eye, your car can get swept away in as little of a foot of water; you lose control as your wheels lose their grip with the road. You also run the risk of water getting sucked into the exhaust, which can cause your car to stall.Roll the windows upIf rain is in the forecast, keep your vehicle shut tight to prevent water from getting inside. Make sure the windows are up and the doors are shut. And don’t forget about your sun roof, if you have one. Repair any cracks in your windshield or windows where moisture could enter your vehicle.Head for higher groundKeep your vehicle away from low-lying areas that are likely to flood. If possible, park your vehicle on higher ground to protect the undercarriage and components from the harmful effects of water.