What To Do With a Flooded Car

A flooded vehicle can require a significant amount of cleaning and maintenance to restore. Thankfully, a flooded vehicle isn’t completely irreparable. Find out how to inspect essential auto parts and what to do before you can start up your flooded car. With the help of a local auto parts store, you can enjoy affordable replacement parts and fluids to bring your car back to life.

Avoid Starting the Engine

The first thing to remember is that starting your engine can cause serious damage. There is likely water in your oil, air filter, and other essential components. If you attempt to start the engine, you risk causing further damage to your vehicle and ruining your engine. This is particularly true if your vehicle was flooded with muddy or salty water.

Remove the Battery

Avoiding starting your engine protects your car, but disconnecting your battery protects you. A flooded car may have a damaged electrical system, which increases the risk of shock as you inspect your car. Remove the battery and, if it was submerged, dispose of it properly and order a new one.

Be extremely cautious removing the battery. A flooded battery may be leaking acid and your electrical system may already be compromised. Be cautious as you remove the terminals to reduce the risk of shock.

Inspect the High-Water Mark

Look for a high-water mark on your vehicle if it wasn’t completely submerged. Your interior typically has an obvious line. This will help you determine which components were submerged and which might be saved. Open up your vehicle to begin to let it air out. Depending on the type of flooding, you may need to replace the interior upholstery and padding.

A low watermark may not require any replacement parts, but a totally flooded vehicle will require a serious inspection and new fluids, filters, battery, and electrical components. Skipping an essential replacement part could put your engine at risk of severe damage. Replace affordable parts and avoid costly transmission or engine repairs.

Check the Fluids and Filters

Depending on your high-water mark, there are a number of fluids and filters that you may have to replace. Here are some common fluids and filters to inspect and consider draining and replacing before starting your engine:

•Engine oil

•Oil filter


•Power steering fluid

•Brake fluid


It may be costly and time-consuming to replace all of these fluids, but running your engine with water in any of these reservoirs or filters can cause serious damage. Take time to inspect every area before you attempt to operate your vehicle.

Look for Electrical System Damage

Most electronics will also be compromised if they are submerged. Look at the waterline and the electrical components that were submerged. Pumps, sensors, dashboard systems, and other electronics may need to be replaced.

Now that you know what to do with a flooded vehicle, turn to an expert auto parts store for more information about restoring your vehicle. Shop for exact replacement parts to quickly bring your car back to life and prevent a flood from completely destroying your ride.