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Flood Damaged Junk Car
Flood Damaged Cars

How to Assess Flood Damage to Your Car

In recent years, we’ve seen a major increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes here in the United States. 2017 was a particularly rough year, and cities all along the coast experienced flood events.

Hurricanes can be incredibly scary, particularly with their incredibly high winds. It’s not just the winds that can cause damage, though: the flood waters that often accompany these storms can wreak havoc on personal property, including cars.

If you have a vehicle that’s suffered damage as the result of a flood, you might be wondering how to assess that damage. Is your vehicle officially a junk car? If so, should you simply sell your junk car rather than trying to repair the damage?

This is a complicated topic to tackle. We’ve put together this blog post to try to walk you through the process of assessing your vehicle.

Flood Damage to a Car

First things first. Before you go any further, take a moment to characterize the type of damage your vehicle experienced:

  • Was your car completely submerged under water?
  • What level did the water reach?
  • What type of flood water was it?

This last question is particularly important. In many instances — especially around coastal areas — flood water is incredibly salty. You’ve probably seen what salt can do to a vehicle in an area where the roads are salted every winter: the salt slowly eats away at the car, particularly on the undercarriage and around the tires. Well, the same is true of saltwater if your vehicle sat in it for some time.

The remnants of salt may not cause damage to the outside of your car, but little bits of salt may have become deposited in the various parts of your engine and other areas under the hood. Over time, the exposure to salt water can result in these parts beginning to rust and corrode. It doesn’t take a ton of rust or corrosion on a sensitive, delicate engine part to effectively cause your car to break down.

If your vehicle was exposed to high levels of flood water, you may need to have its engine and associated parts disassembled and cleaned in order to remove salt residue. As you can imagine, this can be incredibly expensive.

Checking for Damage

Of course, not all flood damage involves seawater. There’s also a big difference between a little bit of water getting into the floorboard of your car, versus your engine sitting in water for days on end.

If you’re not sure what level the water reached in or around your vehicle — maybe you evacuated the area and had to leave a vehicle behind — one trick is to look for a water line inside the car. Once you know where the interior water line is, you’ll have a better sense of how high up into the engine the flood water might have reached.

Overall, it’s best to consult with a professional when attempting to assess flood damage to your vehicle. Was the value of your car prior to the flood already fairly low? If so, it’s generally more cost effective to sell your junk car for cash and purchase a new one rather than attempting to fix the flood damage. Junk A Car pays top dollar for junk cars nationwide, and we’re here to help you get as much cash as possible for your junk car. Visit our website to learn more, or call us at 888-323-7128.