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Insurance Article

Steps to Take After a Car Is Flooded

August 21 2018
car-is-flooded

An estimated 17,500 cars got flooded during Kerala Floods

The recent Kerala floods caused catastrophic damage not only to human and animal life but also to the buildings and cars. In fact, it was estimated that cars worth ₹1000 crores were submerged during the floods.

While such natural disasters don’t come with a warning sign, we can do our best to stay prepared for the aftermath, like purchasing motor vehicle insurance to take care of any expense that may arise due to natural disasters. Water damage can destroy everything from your car’s interiors to your wheels. Read on to find what to do if your car is flooded with water.

Step One: Call Your Vehicle Insurance Provider

Much like any other accident, the first step in your checklist should be to call your vehicle insurance company in case your car is flooded.

Step Two: Do not Try to Start the Engine

While your first instinct when your car is flooded would be to try to restart the engine, resist this temptation. If water has already entered your car engine, trying to start your car can destroy the engine.

Step Three: Assess the Damage

Survey the extent of damage before you take the next step. Debris and mud create a waterline around the interior as well as exterior of your car.

  • Water level above the dashboard: Your motor vehicle insurance company will consider the car has been totalled and will require a professional assessment from a mechanic.
  • Water below the bottom of the doors: Move to Step Four

Step Four: Open the Doors

If your car is flooded, its interiors, if left unattended, can allow mould to grow. Once you open the doors and roll down the windows, do the following:

  • Place towels on the floor
  • Get the car to a higher ground

Step Five: Disconnect the Battery

Before you check the other parts of your vehicle, disconnecting the battery can protect you from electric shocks.

Step Six: Look Under the Hood

Do not start your engine if you see any of the following:

  • Water droplets on the dipstick
  • High oil level
  • Water in the air filter

Step Seven: Change Oil and Air Filter

The next step to take if your car is flooded is to change the fluids. You can either carry out these repairs yourself or wait for a mechanic:

  • Change the engine oil
  • Change the transmission fluid

Step Eight: Check Other Signs of Damage

If you have an older vehicle, chances are the fuel system is not sealed. In this case, you’ll need to check out the following fluids:

  • Braking fluid
  • Clutch fluid
  • Coolant
  • Power steering fluid

However, if you are inexperienced and don’t know how to go about it, it is better to contact a professional car mechanic. Additionally, if your car is flooded, electrical components will be the first to get affected. A thorough check is recommended to ensure that all of them are functioning properly. ​

Step Nine: Check the Tyres

First, clean the tires with a hose to check the damage. Next, check the tire pressure, in case of high pressure, head to a petrol pump to get the pressure to optimal level. 

Step Ten: Total Loss

If your car is flooded and there is a lot of damage which can create recurring problems, you should consider declaring your car as a total loss. This can potentially save you the hassle of getting it repaired every few days, since issues caused due to a car getting flooded can manifest themselves several months, or years, after the event.

Follow this detailed checklist in case your car is flooded to assess the situation. However, taking out a motor vehicle insurance is the best measure to protect your car and cover the losses, in case of a natural or man-made disaster. Furthermore, a vehicle insurance policy also covers losses arising out of theft or third party liability.

Related Article:

6 DIY Car Service & Maintenance Checks for a Smoother Ride
Things You Need to Have in Your Car

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