If your vehicle was in a flood or submerged in water above the tires, there could be potential damage to the engine or the electrical system. It is not recommended to start a car that has been flooded. Starting a vehicle with water still in the engine could cause unfixable damage. It is best to always take your flooded vehicle to an ASE certified mechanic via tow truck, but with a few helpful safety checks before hand. Professionals are able to do a full electrical and engine inspection for a diagnosis.
Assess the Damage
How deep in water was the vehicle? It is necessary to at least estimate how high the water levels were when the vehicle was submerged. Information details are helpful for insurance purposes as well as auto mechanics. You can check to see how high the water levels are by looking for sediments such as mud or water marks.
Start by unlatching the hood and removing the oil dipstick from the reservoir. If the oil is watery or there is clearly water on the dipstick, the engine will not be able to run properly. If the dipstick is water free, move on to the transmission fluid. Continue checking fluids such as power steering and brake fluid for any water damage. A service professional can clear out all fluids as well as any water remaining in the engine. An oil change is always recommended if a car has been flooded.
A flooded car can easily have electrical damage, and it is never recommended to start the car until the electrical powered features are checked. Electrical problems exceed basic functions such as headlights, radio, air conditioning, etc. Cars that experience any loss of acceleration or in transitioning gears could be a result of electrical damage. It is advised to have a full electric diagnosis by a mechanic before getting back on the road with a flooded vehicle.
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