How to Dry Out Flooded Cars

Written by mayankj
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How to Dry Out Flooded Cars
Flooding from storms can ruin a car. (flooded buildings in york image by Mike Shannon from Fotolia.com)

Bad weather conditions and heavy rain can lead to flooded homes and roads. When cars are left out during such heavy storm conditions, they also can be damaged by flooding. It is important to dry out your car as soon as possible to save it. If the water is left in the car, it can cause mould growth and stop the car from running.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Car oil
  • Filter
  • Transmission fluid
  • Bearing grease
  • Wet-dry vacuum or carpet cleaner
  • Towels
  • Baking soda

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Disconnect the battery. According to Popular Mechanics, when a car is flooded, the battery ground strap is disconnected to prevent accidentally frying parts of the vehicle. Disconnect the battery and don't turn on the vehicle. Starting the vehicle will compound the damage to the car.

  2. 2

    Assess the damage. Determine how high the water was in your car. Vehicles that were completely submerged in water or had water as high as the dashboard are often damaged beyond repair because the electrical system is damaged. Look for dried mud inside the car, which is an indication of high water marks.

  3. 3

    Check the engine and the vehicle dipsticks. Look for water droplets on the dipsticks or mixed in with the oil. Change the oil and filter after the flooding and again after driving a few hundred miles. According to Popular Mechanics, the oil should be changed before the car is started to prevent damage to the engine.

  4. 4

    Change the transmission fluid. Like the oil, transmission fluid is changed as soon as possible after the flooding to prevent damage to the engine. This is a necessity to keep the vehicle running smoothly. Change the fluid again after driving the vehicle a few hundred miles.

  5. 5

    Clean the bearings and seals and repack as necessary. The seals are designed to withstand some water but not flooding, so they need attention to work properly.

  6. 6

    Clean the vehicle carpeting if it was wet. Use a carpet cleaner or a wet-dry vacuum to bring up the water, then use a towel to dry as much as possible. Blot the carpeting in the vehicle. Put down baking soda after the carpet is dry and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes to remove foul odours. Vacuum up the baking soda afterward.

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