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Flood waters, is car toast?

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Old 23 Apr 2011, 08:05 am
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15
Question Flood waters, is car toast?

My car was parked in the lot at work while I was out on my route. When I returned I found that all the cars in the lot were flooded and even tow trucks weren't going in after cars. After the waters receded I found that my floor boards were holding water. I took videos of the interior then got the water out with a wet/dry vac. I showed the video to the local Chrysler dealer and he said the car was totalled. I couldn't believe it! He said they are not allowed to sell a car that has been in that much water. I don't know how high the water got, but the seats did not get wet. He said that the wiring under the carpet would start to corrode and it would spread like rust and that I would be forever chasing gremlins. IS THIS TRUE OR ARE THEY TRYING TO SELL ME A CAR???? Thanks
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Old 23 Apr 2011, 08:29 am
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Default Re: Flood waters, is car toast?

Don't know if they're trying to sell you a car but YES the electrics under your seats and in the panels at the bottom of the door openings plus any cracks and crevices that the flood water was able to get to will eventually have problems.

From an on-line site: Flooded cars can usually be restored to working order, but they often have mechanical problems for years afterward. Keep in mind that flood waters are a mixture of water and dirt that
forces its way into every seam and crevice of an automobile and can be
very corrosive and abrasive. If the car has been submerged in any way, it may be necessary to disassemble all mechanical parts for thorough cleaning
and lubrication. A flooded car may develop many expensive to fix problems down the road: corrosion, electrical, electronics, wheel bearings,
transmission, etc.

The worst part: many of those car in the lot will find there way to new owners in other states, not knowing they were sitting in a couple feet of water and wandering what the problem is when things start to go wrong.
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 23 Apr 2011 at 08:37 am.
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Old 23 Apr 2011, 04:52 pm
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Location: NE
Posts: 1,468
Default Re: Flood waters, is car toast?

no one can tell you how high the water got?

Here is what I would do, assume you have a house.

Yank the seats out, and the trim and pull the carpets out.

Take the door panels off and the rear 1/4 intieror trim

You should be able to see what if any water got in

If the bottom of your seats were not wet then I doubt you would have any issues.

THe electronics are up under the dash.

Let everything dry out and maybe wash the floors up.

Buy some of this and flood all your floors and doors and interior with this stuff and then put everything back

Fluid FilmŪ | Corrosion Preventative, Lubricant and Rust Inhibitor

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Old 23 Apr 2011, 08:30 pm
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Location: Mooresville, NC
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Default Re: Flood waters, is car toast?

only way to save it is to pull everything out and let it bake in the sun. EVERYTHING. Any wire connections made will be toast. I've gone through this a couple of times with other cars, first thing I did was order a new wiring harness and strip it to the bare floors. Anything mechanical like seat adjusters, door hinges, etc., get bathed in wd40. I even removed all the grounds, one at a time, snipped of the lugs, crimped on new, made sure the metal to metal contact was good, then reattached and painted over every one.

Took nearly a month to refurb the last one I did, was an Oldsmobile Aurora. Entire wiring replaced, it was a total mess. But, I think the car ran better after than it did
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Old 23 Apr 2011, 11:14 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Formerly NawLins
Posts: 246
Default Re: Flood waters, is car toast?

I live in a flood prone area .... hahaha. Many years ago I worked at an Olds dealer while in high school. We always pulled the seats, pulled the carpet and dried as best possible with Vacs then set in sun, pulled the padding under the carpet and threw it away and replaced after drying the entire floorpan.

There is always a visible water line to measure where the water came up to ..... unless it was a swimming pool that flood the parking lot with clean water!

My Flood Victims:

95 Flood, 1 Foot in residence
73 Mach1 to 2.5 feet, still working on that one.
85 VW Golf - carpet wet held maybe an inch of water - changed oil drove for another 1.5 years with no problems and parked for non related issues.
89 Lumina - Rear of car floated into van parked next to it ... water to bottom of seats. Insurance did not total, sent to dealership cleaned up, changed fluids ... standard proceedure. About 7 months later engine bearings seized ... only a month after a trip from NO to Tampa. All cars sat in water above rockers about 8-12 hours.

05 Katrina - Water about 6 inches higher than 95.
95 Sportage - carpet wet, low mounted computer Okay. Blown Main 60 AMP fuse $5 part. Car sold to family member with below car .... Daily Driver til sold 6 months ago.
03 Optima - in same parking lot as Sportage .. dried out and driven about 2 weeks before it died .... totalled by flood damage. Not cleaned, no service centers open yet.

I agree to unplug anything wired up with plugs below the water line, after dried out when you reassemble use some electric grease when plugging back in to help reduce corrosion. You may have sensors under the car .... O2 specifically that will need replacement if water entered exhaust. Possible auto tranny seleniods and fluid ... it all depends where the water topped up to.

Good luck

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