Dealing with a flooded car

Flooding has become a common occurrence in recent years – especially in our home county of Worcestershire – which can leave drivers with a difficult clean up job, a hefty repair bill or even an insurance write off. If your car has been affected, here are some tips on what to do next.

Assess the damage if safe to do so

Don’t panic. If the damage is done, take a deep breath and assess the car if it’s safe to do so. If your car is submerged, inform a recovery firm or wait for the waters to clear.

Do not try to start it immediately

Under no circumstances should you attempt to start the engine. Water could be trapped in the engine’s cylinders and attempting to turn it over will cause chaos.

Remove excess water

If you’re able to open the interior of your car without letting more water in, check inside and clear out any that may already be in there. The longer your car is submerged, the more likely it is to be damaged mechanically and inside. Again, only do this if it is clearly safe to do so.

Open windows

If the rain has stopped and once any excess water has been cleared from the cabin, leaving windows open in the car will help to air the interior.

Call a mechanic

This is a good opportunity to utilise your breakdown cover if you have it or call a local mechanic if you don’t. A mechanic will be able to assess your car properly to determine if it is safe to use or advise against using it. Crucially, don’t attempt to use the car until it’s had the thumbs up from a trained professional.

Clean the interior

Should the car be in a fit state to drive, you’ll want to clean the interior. Park your car in a safe and dry location before tackling upholstery with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. If safe to do so, leave windows and a door open to help it dry out and banish any nasty smells.

If needed, inform your insurer

If your car is not safe to drive and in need of repair, give your insurer a call and let them know all the details of the incident. It’s likely they will have the car independently assessed to see if repairs are possible and justifiable or if the car will be declared a write off.

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