Flood Damaged Cars: Are They Repairable?


AuthorSarah RobinsonCategory Car Advice

What does it mean for a car to have flood damage?

A flood-damaged car is simply a car exposed to water damage which, in most cases, are a result of floods. ##So, is a flood-damaged car repairable? Well, there’s no straight forward answer. It’s like asking if a dentist can fix your hurting tooth without being specific – it could mean anything.

In the case of your car, it could be that its interior has water stains, the engine is hydro-locked or the entire car has been submerged in water. Therefore, to rightly answer this question, you’d need to know the type and extent of the damage done. Some other questions you probably have are “How does a car get flood-damaged?” “What’s the average cost to repair a flooded car?” and “Are flood-damaged cars worth buying?” Read on to find out more…

How Does a Car Get Flood-Damaged?

Floods, storms, heavy rain, etc, are not new occurrences in the US. While you’re likely to escape the storm, your car might not be so lucky. Your car can also get flood-damaged due to driving through a flooded street, which is one of the most common causes. Hence, you should try as much as possible to avoid driving through flooded areas for your safety and that of your car. This is because you won’t be able to control how fast water seeps into your car. If your car windows or rooftop is left open during a heavy downpour, there would be a lot of damage to your car. Even if invisible, water can get into the small spaces of your car and remain there, causing mildew and mold formations. If your car is poorly or improperly sealed, it’s likely to suffer from flood damage after a hard rain. If your car gets into an accident that involves water, it could also end up flooded. This could involve you losing control of your car and driving straight into a lake. Indeed, this can be a devastating situation and most times, your car might not be worth saving after it has taken a dip. Water getting into your car’s engine through the air intake would result in internal damage to the engine – this is called “hydro-lock”. Hydro-lock is likely to occur when you’re trying to drive through high water or when you make an attempt to move your car after noticing water rising around it.

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What’s The Average Cost to Repair a Flooded Car?

There’s almost nothing that can’t be repaired. However, the real issue is if it’s going to be worth it or not. Repairing your car, especially if it was completely submerged isn’t going to be easy on your pocket. You’d be looking at some serious expense, which could be anything around $12,000 or even more! Although, it wouldn’t cost that much assuming it experienced a lesser degree of flooding. Unless you’ve full coverage, your insurance company will not cover your flooded car repair costs. Even if you do have full coverage, you can’t rest assured. Because if your flooded car repair cost exceeds your car’s value, your insurance company will declare it as “totaled” and have it sent to the junkyard unless you decide to keep it of course. If the repair costs for your flood-damaged car are minimal or your car is new, then trying to repair it might not be a bad idea. However, when you decide to repair your flood-damaged car, you should keep this in mind — it will never be the same car before the damage. Why? Water is tricky and so, you can have problems coming up not too long after you got your car fixed.

Are Flood Damaged Cars Worth Buying?

A good car dealer can restore flood-damaged cars to look brand new but don’t be deceived by looks as buying a flood-damaged car is quite risky. First, you need to know how long underwater the car stayed and the type of water that flooded the car. If it was flooded by salt-water, it would rust and corrode much more than if it was flooded by freshwater. If it’s just for short term use or you probably want to rebuild with new parts, a flood-damaged car is a reasonable choice. So, are flood-damaged cars worth buying? Probably not unless you are getting a really good deal. Therefore, any car that’s been submerged in water should be sold way below its market value unless the dealership has proof of extensive restoration. Make sure you’re not being made to pay more than you’re willing to for the car if the worst scenario comes up. Also, bear in mind that when a car is flood-damaged, the manufacturer’s warranty is naturally void too. When deciding whether the price is reasonable or not, consider if you can resell them later or not – flood-damaged cars will likely have no market value for future resale. An easy way to know if the car might be beyond ‘redemption’ is by checking the title for a “Salvage” or “Flood” stamp. If you see this, it means the insurance company, car dealer or former car owner tried repairing it and found out it wasn’t worth the money. This is something to think deeply about.

Selling Your Flood Damaged Car.

If you’ve got a flood-damaged car and your insurance company won’t cover the costs, there’s no need to go through all the stress of incurring high flooded car repair costs. Instead, you should have it sold to us at SellMax. We buy flood-damaged cars all the time and will give you a good offer. Our team of car whizzes will work with you to pick up your car for free, wherever it might be, and leave you with cash. To see how much your flood-damaged car is worth and to get an offer, click here.

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