What to Do If Your Vehicle Has Been Exposed to Flooding
Water can ruin almost anything, and that includes your car. If your car has gotten wet due to flooding or any other issue, there are steps that you need to take. You may also want to take the vehicle to a mechanic to ensure that the water damage hasn't affected any of the components.
In the meantime, however, here are some tips to consider.
Detach the Ground Strap
Remember water is a conductor, and if electricity is coursing through your vehicle, it could travel through the water to get to you. To protect yourself, find and disconnect the ground strap before you get started.
The ground strap is a wire braid that connects the battery of the vehicle to its chassis. Ideally, you should be wearing thick rubber shoes and standing on solid ground while you do this.
Check the Engine Oil and Transmission Fluid
These fluids are essential to your car's operation, and if water gets into them, they won't work. Find your dipsticks and check each of these reservoirs.
If you just see oil or fluid, that's perfect. If you notice a lot of bubbles or water, that can be problematic. Take your vehicle into a mechanic so they can change out the fluids for you.
Clean the Wheel Bearings and Constant Velocity Joints
The moving parts of your vehicle can be the most damaged when you have a lot of water in your system. If possible, locate the wheel bearings. Then, dry them off and look for signs of rust. Luckily, you'll usually only see rust if the water has been sitting for a while.
Find your vehicle's constant velocity joint. This can be around the drive shaft or near the half shaft at the ends of the rear axle. Typically, this is protected by a rubber boot.
If water damage has started to wear down the rubber boot, that's a definite sign that there may be damage underneath. If the boot is intact, you still may want to remove it. If water has snuck past it, dry the velocity joints and check for rust. Otherwise, just replace the boot.
Dry the Interior
Once you've taken care of the basics with the internal parts of the vehicle, it's time to start drying the inside. Open all the doors and windows to increase air flow. Use a wet vac to remove as much water as possible. Then, consider sprinkling a deodoriser on the seats to prevent the buildup of odours.