Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

What to Do if Your Car is Flooded

What to Do if Your Car is Flooded

An accident or a natural cause, either one can cause flooding in your car. Insurance might cover the damage, but what should you do with a flooded car? It has a lot of water that inflicts damage to its internal and external parts. 

In this article, you will find out what to do if your car gets flooded, including what to do immediately, the damages inflicted, its repair, and whether it is worth repairing and selling a flooded car. 

Table of Contents:

  1. What Happens When Your Car Gets Flooded 
    1. Damage to the Electrical System
    2. Damage to the Engine
    3. Interiors
    4. Rust-riddled Car Parts
    5. Brake Breakdown
    6. Car Fluids
  2. What Should You Do Immediately? 
  3. Is It Worth Fixing a Flooded Car? 
  4. Saltwater vs. Freshwater 
  5. Best Place To Sell a Flood-Damaged Car 
  6. Conclusion

What Happens When Your Car Gets Flooded

When a car gets flooded, the water level goes up high and it gets submerged. There are various component damages that can be caused by water such as: 

Damage to the Electrical System

Moisture is the number one enemy of any electrical element. When a vehicle gets flooded, the electrical system sustains the most damage. Failures of systems like: 

  • Electrical Control Unit (ECU);
  • Headlights, brake lights, indicators, and other lights; 
  • Air conditioner;
  • Power windows, locks, seats, and steering; 
  • Music player; 
  • ABS system; 
  • Fuses.

Damage to the Engine

Engine is the most critical part of any vehicle. When the water enters the engine, it can inflict damage to the cylinders, pistons, or air intake, causing the engine to shut completely and be of no further use.


Interiors of the automobile can quickly get infected with fungus and get moldy. Due to the high amount of moisture and enclosed space, molds spawn within days, which may cause respiratory or any other impact over the health of the person driving. 

It is advisable to first let the interior dry out before it is further cleaned and sanitized for hygiene, especially parts such as: 

  • Seats;
  • Floor mats;
  • Door panels;
  • Air conditioner;
  • Trunk.

Rust-riddled Car Parts

The majority of automobiles are made with metals, and a rusted part can drastically weaken its integrity. Rust can take months or years to set but once it does, it can easily spread to other parts, therefore it must be replaced or repaired as soon as possible. Here is the list of little rust-prone locations or parts: 

  • Engine;
  • Fuel tank;
  • Chassis;
  • Trunk;
  • Alloy wheels;
  • Brake pads and disc;
  • Screw and bolts;
  • Frame.

Brake Breakdown

After being submerged in water, the rubber pads of the brake tend to lose their grip. Before driving the automobile after it’s flooded, it must be inspected by a mechanical expert. 

Car Fluids

Fuel, coolant, brake oil, engine oil, clutch oil, power steering fluid — contamination of these fluids with flood water can cause serious damage to the car. Checking its fluid is highly recommended in such conditions. 

What Should You Do Immediately? 

In a moment of panic, the only question that arises is what to do with a flooded car? Here’s what you do:

  • Do not start the vehicle until it is completely drained out, and inspected thoroughly. The presence of water in any part of it could cause more damage if tried to start. 
  • Remove the battery power supply, disconnect the cords to avoid any electrical shock. 
  • Immediately try to dry the car as much as possible to avoid long exposure to the water. 
  • Drain and change the fluids, although a car might work with water infused fluids. It is advised to replace the fluids and not drive the auto or even start it. 
  • Recommended contacting the insurance company that insures the car, reporting water damage due to flooding. 
  • Call a mechanical expert and arrange to set up an evaluation and inspection of the car to make sure there isn’t any water contamination and is safe to start the car without any possible damage to it.

These are the few steps and precautions to take immediately upon the flooding of a car for the safety of the person and their vehicle. 

Is it Worth Fixing a Flooded Car? 

If your car was flooded, there is a question that every person comes to: is it worth it to invest in repairing it or not? Flood causes serious damage, and repairing it takes up a lot of hard-earned money. Fixing a flooded vehicle entirely depends on what part of the vehicle has been incapacitated. 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of fixing a flooded automobile. 


  • Minimum damage caused by flooding can be easily fixed. Damage just to interiors can be easily repaired. 
  • If flooded with freshwater, the chances of reviving the automobile are higher. Freshwater causes less damage to the vehicle compared to saltwater. 
  • A fixed flooded vehicle can easily be put up for resale at a certified dealer for a suitable price. 


  • The maximum damage caused by a flood can burn a hole in your pockets. Damage to the mechanical components are permanent and could be fatal. A flooded automobile may be repairable but comes with a huge price tag. 
  • Water entering the automobile will certainly damage the electrical system, moisture will completely ruin the wiring, music systems, AC, automatic windows, mirrors, power steering, and other electrically operated features. Fixing it can be quite expensive. 
  • With heavy interior damage, it might be a better idea to dump and buy a new one. 

It is recommended to sell your flooded car, depending on the intensity of the damage. However, if you decide to sell it off, you should contact your local junk dealer to get the best price for your old car. 

Saltwater vs. Freshwater 

There are two types of water, fresh and salty. Both have their own characteristics and effects on the submerged auto. Here’s a detailed analogy:

  • Saltwater: Saltwater acts as an acid to the metals, corrodes them quickly. Vehicles flooded with saltwater will get corroded, the electrical wiring will go berserk, electrical motors will crash and stop working. Damage caused by saltwater is extreme, and expensive to repair.
  • Freshwater: In freshwater, a vehicle doesn’t face much stress, drain it completely, replace the fluids and filters, check the battery and it might be good to drive. Freshwater would not cause corrosion. Therefore, the engine will be good as new. Just don’t forget to void the excess water.

Best Place To Sell a Flood-Damaged Car

With cars, if they’re damaged beyond repair or not worth fixing it is best to sell them off instead of investing thousands of dollars in them. Wondering who would buy a flooded car? JunkCarsUS is the perfect buyer to help. We buy flooded cars as they still hold some value. A flood-damaged automobile is still worth even if it isn’t running. 

Sell flooded cars for junk and part salvage. Repair the fixable parts on a car and sell them to buyers. A heavily flood-damaged auto’s suitable option is to sell and invest it in a new automobile. The best way to sell a flooded car is by visiting JunkCarsUS for more details. We provide the best price estimate for the junk and all the hectic paperwork. It’s hassle-free and a convenient way to sell for cash


What to do if your car gets flooded? A flooded vehicle is one of the worst situations to be in. However, it is highly recommended taking the necessary precautions if one lands in such a situation. Avoid starting it, allow it to drain, disconnect the battery, and call a mechanic. Make sure the car has been completely fixed before you start, check the fluids, fuel systems, filters, and electrical systems to avoid any further damage. 

Fixing it or not depends on the damage assessed to it, saltwater damages are generally beyond retrievable compared to freshwater. Confused about whether to repair or sell? Either way, if your car was flooded. It is still worth something at JunkCarsUS. Contact us to get an estimate.

Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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