1. Do not attempt to start the car!
It’s tempting to turn the key and see if the car still works, but if there is water in the engine, attempting to start it could damage it beyond repair. Don’t try to start the car. If there’s water in the engine, transmission or fuel system, you’ll just compound the damage. Your best option is to have your car towed to a mechanic work shop.
2. Determine how deep the car was submerged.
Mud and debris usually leave a waterline on the car, inside as well as out. If the water didn’t rise above bottom of the doors, your car will probably be fine. if water reaches the bottom of the dashboard, you car won’t definitely not be fine.
3. Dry the interior.
If water got inside the car, mole will grow quickly. Mold and corrosion are setting in now. You need to clean out as much liquid and mud as you can and dry out your car as soon as possible Start by opening the doors and windows and putting towels on the floor to soak up water, however you should plan on replacing anything that got wet, including carpets, floor mats, door panels, seat padding and upholstery.
4. Check the oil and the air cleaner.
If you see droplets of water on the dipstick or the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter has water in it, do not attempt to start the engine. Have it towed to a mechanic to drain the water and have the fluid changed. If you are the do-it-yourself type, you can try changing the oil then removing the spark plugs and cranking the engine to blow out the water, but we still recommend taking your car to a professional mechanic. Fuel systems on more moderns cars are usually sealed, but older cars may need to have their fuel systems drained. Brake, clutch, power steering and coolant reservoirs should be checked for contamination.
5. Check all of the electrical systems.
If the engine looks OK to start, check everything electrical: Headlights, turn signals, air conditioning, stereo, power locks, windows and seats, even the interior lights. If you note anything even slightly flicker, including the way the car runs or the transmission change, that could be a sign of electrical issue. Take the car to a mechanic immediately.
6. Check around the wheels and tires.
Before attempting to move the car, look for debris lodged around the wheels, brakes and under body. Make sure nothing this obstructing the movement of the wheels.
7. It is advisable to consider replacing a flooded car
A flood-damaged car may not should signs of problems immediately, it could take months or even years before such problems begin to manifest. If you can it is advisable you consider replacing the car. Replacing it will cost money, but you may save yourself from some major (and expensive) headaches down the road.
8. Beware of flood-damaged cars in the market.
Many used cars in the market today are flood damaged cars that are simply cleaned up and re-sold. Before buying a used car, have the title checked; words like “salvage” and “flood damage” are giant red flags. Get a comprehensive history on the car — if the car has been moved from an area where there has been recent flooding you should be suspicious.