What happens if my car gets flooded?

* What to do if you meet a flood * Fixing a flooded car * Buying a flooded car...

What happens if my car gets flooded?

• Do not try to start your car, as this may exacerbate damage;

• Contact your insurance company, who will advise you about what action to take;

• The sad truth is that most cars that have been in heavy floodwater will be declared write-offs, especially if the water has gone above bonnet height;

• Cars can be reconditioned after being in flood water, but it is an expensive and time-consuming process. It is also easier and cheaper on older cars with fewer electrical systems (such as motorised seat adjusters) in them;

• A flooded car will need to be decontaminated, as sewage will almost certainly have been mixed with water, and then silt and mud will need to be removed;

• This can only be done by taking out every part of the car that was covered in water, including carpets and underlays. Odour-fighting enzymes will be sprayed on interiors, everything must be pressure washed at 80 degrees centigrade or above and the inside of the car will then be misted with an atomiser, ensuring disinfectant gets into every part of the car such as the ventilation system;

• If your car is being repaired, check that the garage cleans up behind the door panels and in any nooks and crannys. Silt and mud will have been carried into every extreme of the car;

• If the car was lifted up and floated away, it is likely to have panel damage from hitting other cars and obstacles on its journey;

• Electrics may work once they have dried out, but the damage usually means they need replacing;

• The drying process can be speeded up by use of a professional dehumidifier and air blower.