High Water, Big Problems

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are one of the most common and widespread of all disasters. There are many places in our nation that have experienced high water and/or floods due to spring rains, heavy thunderstorms or winter snow thaws. Although your car may not have been completely submerged in water, or you don’t think it’s been flooded, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should not be concerned about water damage. If you have driven through high water, there’s a chance that water may have damaged your vehicle. The bottom line is how much water the vehicle took on and where it went.

By following these suggestions, and acting preventatively, you can lower the harm done to your car, plus lower the price of the repair bill.

Check interior carpets, upholstery and door and trim panels for dampness. If they are wet, or show signs of having been wet, then the vehicle will need professional attention. If all you do is let the carpet dry, your car will develop mildew and nasty odors. Seat brackets, motors and modules should also be checked for rust and proper operation.

Pull the engine oil and transmission fluid dipsticks. If the fluid appears milky, then it is likely the fluid has taken on water. The vehicle should be towed to your ASE certified technician or repair shop before being driven again. Driving the vehicle with water present may damage the internal parts and require extensive and expensive overhauls or repairs. If you are uncertain at all, let a professional assess the situation.

Check the air filter for water. If it is wet, replace the air filter and change the oil.

Check the undercarriage, bumpers, radiator area and frame for mud, grass, dirt, debris and rust. If any of these are present have the vehicle washed and cleaned as soon as possible.

Have the brake system checked by a professional technician.

Check the exterior lights for moisture and water. Replace headlights and bulbs that contain water.
Listen for abnormal noises while the engine is running. Make a note of where the noise is coming from and take the vehicle to a qualified technician as soon as possible. Pay particular attention to the alternator, serpentine belt, starter, power steering unit, air conditioner and wheel bearings.
Find an ASE certified auto repair shop in South Farmingdale to have the suspension joints inspected and lubricated as necessary. Many newer vehicles are lubricated at the factory for life; however, these joints should be checked for rust.

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