Is Repairing a Water Damaged Car Worth It?

water damaged car

Has your car disappeared underwater? A water-damaged car can turn into a huge expensive mess! You can’t always predict when disaster will strike, but you can prepare yourself.

It only takes 6 inches of water to cause you to lose control of your car. And a 3000lb car can float in just two feet of water! It might only take you misjudging a puddle of water and driving through it thinking you are safe.

If you experience car damage from a flood, you need to know what steps to take next. Or if car water damage restoration is even worth your time and money.

Just how difficult is it to fix a water-damaged car? Do you spend your hard-earned money to fix it? 

Keep reading this guide to find out what you need to know about your water-logged car!

What Is A Water Damaged Car? 

A water-damaged car is damaged by a flood, or by water in some other way. If your car has taken in water at any point, you could face some major repairs.

It is important to take steps to prevent further damage to your car such as

  • Do not start your engine
  • Open up all your doors
  • Call a towing company
  • Have your car evaluated by a mechanic

You should never attempt to keep driving your flooded car around! Even if you can start the engine, you could cause even more damage.

What Should You Do After Your Car Floods?

One of the first things you should do is contact your insurance company to see what kind of flood damage is covered.

It depends on what type of car insurance policy you have. Comprehensive coverage will cover the cost of fixing or replacing your car. If you do not have this type of coverage, you will be responsible for the cost of repairs.

Immediate steps you need to take include:

  • Verify your type of car insurance policy
  • Look into FEMA, depending on the area you live
  • File a claim right away, or as soon as possible
  • Check the damage to your car once it’s safe to do so
  • Document the damage and take pictures

Water damage from leaving your windows down usually won’t be covered.

Once you file a claim, an insurance adjuster will come to inspect the damage and specifically look for signs of water in your engine.

It is important to remember if you would like to add comprehensive coverage to your policy, do it before a storm watch or warning is issued.

Many states do not allow you to make changes to your plan during a storm watch or warning.

Water Damage To Car Engine

If your engine floods, you need an experienced mechanic. Repairing an engine that has flooded is complicated! Once water seeps into the engine, mixes with the oil and forms a type of sludge. 

If you try to crank your engine when it’s filled with this sludge, you will lock up and damage all the moving parts inside.

An engine locking up from water damage is called a hydro-locked engine. Once water enters the combustion chamber of your engine, it can’t compress water the same way it does air. 

There is no place for the water to go, and your engine locks up and stops suddenly.

A hydro-locked engine is almost a guarantee your car will not be fixable, as the costs then become too high.

Water In Car Interior

The interior of your car is soaking wet. Maybe you accidentally left your window open, or maybe something else. 

There are some things you can do to help minimize damage to the interior of your car:

  • Vacuum as much water out of your car as possible
  • Open all doors and windows
  • Soak up water from carpets and seats with towels
  • Use a large fan for airflow to dry out the water
  • Use moisture absorbing products like baking soda

You don’t want to buy an air freshener and forget about it. Lingering moisture is a breeding ground for future mold. Consider having your car professionally cleaned and detailed.

Is It Worth Fixing Your Car?

Once you have water damage on car paint, the engine, and the interior, your car water damage restoration cost will skyrocket. If you are trying to determine if it is worth it to fix your car, there are things you need to consider, such as

  • The age of your car
  • The condition of your car
  • The estimated value of your car
  • What you still owe on your car
  • The total repair cost

Even if your car can’t be fixed you have other options like:

When you use a company to sell your car for cash, they will take damaged and junk cars in any condition. Often they will offer you a free tow and immediate cash.

Estimating the actual cost to fix your car is difficult, as the amount of damage can vary. But a lot of the time, the costs to repair water damage exceed the value of your car.

Think Before You Fix Your Water Damaged Car

Give a lot of thought before you fix your water-damaged car. Make sure you realize the financial despair you could get yourself into.

There are so many things to consider, and sometimes trying to fix your beloved car simply isn’t worth it. 

Consider your options, get professional help, and don’t try to fix the damage alone.

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