Can Water Damaged Cars Be Repaired?

Find out if a flooded car can be saved or not depending on the type of water it was submerged in. Learn about hydraulic lock and other problems caused by water damage.

Can Water Damaged Cars Be Repaired?

The answer to the question of whether a flooded car can be saved or not depends on the type of water it was submerged in. If it was salt water, it is likely better suited for the junkyard as salt water is corrosive and can cause serious damage to the mechanical parts and interior of the car. On the other hand, minor floods that drain quickly can often be repaired, but insurance companies usually consider vehicles that are severely flooded or stay in the water for days to be irreparable, leading to a total loss. In most cases, the cost of repairing flood damage is too high for insurers to justify repairs, according to Ibbotson, making the vehicle a total loss. It is important to know if any part of your car has been water damaged before it presents a problem later.

If water enters your car past the dashboard, it can cause internal damage to the engine, which is called a “hydraulic lock”.The amount of water damage your car suffers will determine whether or not it can still be repaired. If you were to drive your car through a pond on your way to work, the damage would not be big and you can change the brake pads. A car damaged by a flood entails a variety of problems, including bad odors, rust, extraneous noises, engine smoke, and electronic damage. Most other insurance policies only cover damage that isn't too extensive and doesn't involve flood damage. Therefore, any car that has been submerged in water should be sold well below its market value, unless the dealer has evidence of a thorough restoration.

However, if the previous owner did not report the damage or filed an insurance claim, flood damage may not appear in the vehicle history report.

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