Hurricane Matthew resulted in devastating damage in the Caribbean and the United Sates. It washed away whatever stood in its path, destroying homes, lives, and of course, many cars. As the world recovers from the impact that Hurricane Matthew made, many people are left with flooded cars wondering what to do with them.
It is important to have a professional look at your vehicle after water damage has occurred. If the car was in a garage, water damage could be minimal depending on how the garage withstood the storm. But if your vehicle experiences serious water damage, you should not attempt to drive the car or turn the car on. If the fuel or oil have been exposed to water, turning the car on will make the damage worse or make the car unrepairable. The best thing you can do is tow the car to a mechanic and let them decide if it should be turned on.
After water damage occurs, you can attempt to dry out the car. Get as much water and mud out of the car as possible with rags, buckets, or wet vacuums. Getting the water out will help you to avoid mold, corrosion and stains. You should also try and figure out how deep the water was and how far up the car it reached. If you believe water reached your dashboard, the car is likely not salvageable.
If water has reached either end of the dipstick, the oil will need to be changed before attempting to turn the car on. If the water was muddy, you should remove the oil pan and wash it off. Muddy water can easily get through engine seals in just a few hours. It is important to inspect the car the best you can to establish where what type of water got through.
Not all cars that face floods are lost causes. Some cars can be salvaged and some cars cannot, it usually depends on how deep the water was within the car. The best thing you can do is tow the car to a mechanic and get a professional opinion.