Flood Affected Cars Need Not Be Write Offs, Says Warren Steel

Flooded roads are nothing uncommon in the land of the Kiwis. Many parts of Queensland are flood prone, providing challenging environment for motorists and their vehicles. Friendly Warren Steel, chief of Shyn4U, Auckland’s premiere car detailing agency advises clients whose SUVs have been caught in flood waters.

What you are likely to encounter in a flood affected car 

  •  Flood water entering into components such as transmissions and brakes can lead to critical failures.
  • Water in the cabin area can affect electrical systems and lead to erratic operation, or complete failure.  These systems include engine management, transmission operation and other primary control and safety systems.
  • A build up of debris under the vehicle can damage mechanical components or lead to clogging of cooling systems and overheating.
  • Steering and brakes would be worst affected by flood water
  • If water has entered the engine bay, do not attempt to start the engine until an expert has checked it.
  • Fuels, oils and hydraulic fluids are likely to get contaminated by flood water.


What you need to do for a flood affected SUV

  •  If insured, get in touch with your insurer for necessary advice in the matter.
  • If uninsured, or not covered for this type of damage, seek help from fellow motorists or from Mr. Steel.
  • Do not attempt to drive the car till it has been thoroughly checked by a mechanic familiar with the brand or marque of the vehicle.


 Safety precautions

Prior to inspecting, starting or driving a flood affected car:

  •  Check for and remove debris from the engine compartment and the undercarriage
  • Check for reptiles or insects that might have got lodged under the vehicle
  • Drain out fuel, lubricants, hydraulic fluids and then replenish the same


Electrical components need special attention

  •  Starters, alternators, wiper motors, window working motors need special attention and are not likely to work after being submerged in flood water. However, these may again start functioning after being thoroughly dried and lubricated.
  • Electronic units and computers will operate satisfactorily after being checked with meters. However, since most of these are hermetically sealed, these are less likely to become damaged due to flood water.
  • Salt water affected components may be written off as these are difficult to repair/renovate.
  • Batteries – unless sealed, may also be written off as flood water entering the cells will turn these dead.


Engine, transmission and drive shafts

Chances of permanent damage to the engine, transmission and drive shafts are far lesser as compared to electrical components of your SUV. However, you need to drain out the sump and replenish it with fresh, appropriate category lubricant. The same applies to the gearbox and the differential.. In any case, both the air and lubricating filters must be replaced with new ones before the vehicle is put into operation.


Even though it may seem that the vehicle is a total write off, in reality it is not so. After the removal of flood water from the doors and part of the upholstery and the carpets are cleaned and dried, the old favorite will come to life once again.