Is It Possible to Repair a Flooded Car?

Lisa Steuer McArdle
· 4 min read
Hurricane season is here. Not only can severe hurricanes cause damage to buildings and infrastructure, but cars are at risk as well—especially when there is street flooding.
One of the most recent storms, Hurricane Ida, recently wreaked havoc in
, and remnants of the storm also recently caused severe flooding in the northeast. In fact, car damage is especially common during a storm when there is severe flooding, according to
Unfortunately, when a vehicle is partially or fully submerged in floodwaters, it can suffer extensive damage that is sometimes unrepairable, or lead to very expensive
car repairs
Car damage is especially common during a storm when there is severe flooding.

Car repair for flood damage

State Farm
offered more advice on what you can do if your car has flood damage.
The first thing to do is to survey the potential damage. Take note of the depth of the floodwaters.
If your car is damaged during a flood, experts caution you to not start the car yourself, because it could cause more damage.
Acting quickly on the problem is important. If a vehicle is submerged in salt water, there is a much greater chance of corrosion, as salt water causes much more damage than fresh water. As soon as you can, start drying out the vehicle.
You will then want to contact a towing service to get the car to higher ground. Before a tow, transmission fluid and lube may need draining.
file a claim
with your car insurance company. Your insurance company and a mechanic will be able to determine how extensive the damage is.
Once the insurance company figures out the extent of the damage, it will weigh the costs of repairing the vehicle versus the costs of replacing it.
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What will be inspected?

When inspecting a car after a flood, car insurance companies and mechanics will look at several things, including the oil dipstick. If there are water droplets found, it means there is likely water in your engine. That also means that the cylinders, which are supposed to compress air instead of water, might be broken.
They will also remove water-damaged cylinders and check for corroded spots, check the interior, remove all moisture, check electrical components and check the fuel tank and line.
Mechanics will also change the oil and transmission fluid, and if the car is not totaled, you will want to do this again when the car is fixed and you have been driving it for a few hundred miles.

Comprehensive car insurance and car repair

If you are in an area that’s prone to flooding, or even if you just want to protect your car from natural disasters, make sure you have a good comprehensive car insurance plan in place.
Comprehensive car insurance
will protect you in the event a flood damages your car.
This type of insurance typically covers things like damage due to vandalism, natural disaster, contact with animals or other that don’t involve a collision with another vehicle.
Some states require comprehensive insurance, but others do not. Even if it’s not required in your state, it’s worth considering.

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