Car Care 101: Simple Tips to Follow To See If Your Ride is Flood-Damaged
Written By: Sean
August 21, 2015
The “Ber” months are upon us once again and you know what this means—torrential rains and occasional floods. So better take care of your sweet ride; you don’t want water entering the muffler, engine, and exhaust system, trust us on that. Still, chances are you need to pass through a flooded area every once in a while. And when that happens, it’s best if you check your car afterwards for any damages done by the surging waters. Here are a few tips to get started.
If you suspect your car to be damaged after “taking a swim” in a flooded area then don’t even think about starting your vehicle since doing so might cause further problems.
Look for the Waterline
This will indicate how high the water got. And by knowing the waterline, you’ll also be able to know what car components were affected or damaged.
Survey the Oil Levels
If your dipstick indicates that your oil level is higher than it should be, then it means that water has entered the container.
(Note: Also check the levels of the other car fluids.)
Remove Any Debris
Take a thorough look at your engine and check for any trash that may have lodged itself between parts. Not doing so would further damage your vehicle.
(Note: Sometimes animals like to take shelter in cars so also be on the lookout them.)
Replace the Battery
If your battery has been submerged, your mechanic will most likely recommend replacing it. But in case it’s sealed, you may not have to do this (Sealed car batteries have higher chances to survive flooding).
Check the Transmission Machine
For manual gearboxes submerged in salt water, replacement is recommended. But if it’s only fresh water, then all you have to do is replace the fluids in it.
Automatic gearboxes, on the other hand, are a lot trickier than manuals since water can cause de-lamination of its transmission’s bands and clutch plates. Thus, it needs overall gearbox replacement.
Inspect the Clutch
Car clutches can corrode when flooded, making switching gears difficult if not impossible. So as soon as you notice that the gears aren’t responding to the clutch the way they used to, go to your mechanic and have it looked at.
Examine the Engine
Of course, the one part of the vehicle you should be worrying about is the engine. As mentioned earlier, you must replace its oil and its filter in case it’s been flooded. Also remove the spark plugs so you can drain the engine cylinders of any water faster. However, if it’s submerged in salt water, your car’s engine may no longer be salvageable.
Observe the Brakes
Have the brake fluid flushed out if it’s been contaminated by flood water or else you’ll have a difficult time stopping your car. Also check the brakes pads for any rusting. These can remove itself from your car overtime, but if it does not then better bring it in for dismantling.
Floods and torrential rains mean bad news for vehicle under any circumstances. So don’t drive your car in flooded areas unless you really have to. And if you do, better have it inspected afterwards.