If you have a water-damaged car, you are not alone because thousands of vehicles get damaged by floods every year.
Floods are one of the most common types of disasters in the United States and across the entire world, representing about 40% of all types of natural disasters.
Water damage can happen from other water sources, increasing the total number of dollars wasted on water-damaged cars every year.
Unfortunately, most water-damaged vehicles required very high repair costs, and in very few cases, they get repaired and sold back. Most water-damaged vehicles usually end their lifespan in the junkyards.
In this article, we help you understand what type of cars are considered water-damaged cars and the different sources of water damage you need to avoid. Also, our team provides a list of recommendations if you are dealing with a water-damaged car. Finally, we advise people on whether it's worth repairing their water damaged cars or not, and for those who are interested in purchasing water damaged cars, what to consider?
Which car is considered “a water-damaged car”?
As the name suggests, a water-damaged car is the type of car that got water from any source, injuring the car. As a result, this car receives a “flood title” or “water damage” title.
However, not all water affected vehicles are considered water damaged and receive a “flood title;” the can must sit deep enough in the water until most engine compartments get soaked in water resulting in completely damaging the car.
Despite the severity of water damage, most water-damaged vehicles are considered bad, and people should avoid getting scammed and purchase water damaged cars without seeing the type of title or the car’s history.
Water damage sources?
Water can get to your vehicle from different resources, whether when parking near areas of floods or driving through the flood itself as you are running away from the area.
Your vehicle can get damaged by water if you are parking in a garage located underground of larger buildings while a big storm hit.
While cars are created in a way allowing you to keep them during big storm events and driving with it in larger water puddles, it is never recommended that you risk it and attempt to go driving if the trip is not necessary. Just stay home and wait for the storm to clear.
Driving on a rainy day across big puddles is a huge risk for complete vehicle damage. This is because you can not control the speed of water seepage to your vehicle. You can not even manage to keep your major components safe and risk the others. It, every part of your vehicle, will get soaked in water.
Unfortunately, many people still get their vehicles damaged in floods and natural disasters despite the high level of precautions.
If you are dealing with a water-damaged car, here is what you need to do immediately
The National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) provided a list of immediate action items to be done in case your car got flooded:
- If your vehicle got soaked in water, never attempt to start the engine unless your mechanic performs the required level of inspection and cleanup. If you decided to start your vehicle for any reason, all you are doing is just increasing the risk of completely damaging your car. Plus, if there was a small chance you can repair your car, starting the engine can remove all this chance.
- Get the water out of your car as soon as possible. In other words, if you can get the car towed out of the flooding area, do so. If you can dry the internal of the car, do all that you can. All these try to dry out the vehicle helps it, and increases the chance of repairing or restoring your car.
- You can also use dry/wet vacuums to get rid of any water in the interior. If you can take out the seats, it's always recommended. You can use dry towels to dry out the furniture as well.
- Make sure to let your insurance company know about the accident by reporting that your vehicle got affected by a flood or any source of water damage. This is important because some of the insurance companies might give you a hard time when it comes to covering repair costs if they were not informed immediately.
- It is important to note the highest flood or water level that your vehicle got into. This information can be very helpful for professional mechanics as they try to save your vehicle. Once they know where the water got to, they can prioritize which parts to start saving first.
- Reach out to your professional mechanic to perform a thorough inspection of your vehicle's major components, including the transmission, the engine, the brakes, the axles, the fuel components, etc.
- It is important to replace all your vehicle’s fluids mixed with the water or the flood to prevent major components damage. You also need to replace all types of filters like the fuel, the oil, and other filters in your vehicle.
- Once your vehicle is removed from the flooded area, dried as much as possible, and fluids were replaced, it is important to replace all bearing and brake parts, mostly for rear-drive cars as front-drive cars have sealed bearings.
- Finally, it would help if you had your professional mechanic inspect all electrical wires and connections, including the battery and the starter system. Many electrical components are not designed to stand extended periods of floods, although they can still resit shorter periods or water exposure.
Does my insurance company cover repairs for a water-damaged car?
In most cases, insurance companies do not cover repairs related to water damage unless it is included in the policy.
That been said, this doesn’t mean that water-damaged cars are not repairable. When it comes to repairing recommendations, it is all about whether it's worth repairing a water damaged car or just junking it and use the money to buy a new vehicle.
For instance, according to the state insurance company, their comprehensive insurance covers certain types of flood or hail damage due to natural resources but not maintenance issues.
Usually, comprehensive insurance is not mandatory, it is optional, and not all drivers can afford it. Meaning, if your car got damaged by water and you don’t have a good type of insurance, you will end up repairing it from your pocket, assuming you would want to.
Is it worth repairing a water damaged car?
This is one of the most common questions that we receive from most of our customers, is it worth repairing my water damaged car?
The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors, including:
- The age and mileage on your vehicle
- Whether there are other damages or issues in your car
- The comparison between repair costs and the value of the vehicle
- The severity of the water damage.
For instance, if you know that your vehicle has problems with the transmission and it is already at very high mileage, then it might not be worth repairing your water damaged car.
Additionally, if the repair costs approach the overall value of your car, if not more, it is never worth repairing a water-damaged car.
Decided not to repair it, we can buy your water damaged car!
While you can find a private buyer to remove your water damaged car, selling your vehicle as junk is a much better option for you.
Luckily Cash Cars Buyer is here to assist you!
At Cash Cars Buyer, we buy all damaged cars, whether affected by water or by any other damage sources.
We pay the top dollars for your car despite its condition since every car has a value at Cash Cars Buyer.
We provide FREE towing for all customers despite their living locations around the country. With our local junk car removal in most cities around the US, we can remove your water damaged car within one to three days.
All you need to do is give us a call, describe your car, review and accept our instant offer, get your car removed, and receive your cash payment right on the spot.
One of the best things about Cash Cars Buyer is that we have a very flexible schedule where we provide service in all weekdays, weekend, evenings, and same-day pickups. Thus, you never need to cancel your important meeting or appointment to get your water damaged car removed.
How much does it cost to repair a water-damaged car?
As we mentioned earlier, water damage repairs are usually not covered by most insurance companies unless you have a special type of insurance policy.
Water damaged car repairs differ significantly by the source and severity of water damage. For instance, some water damages might be mild and require small repair costs. On the other hand, other water damages can be very severe where you can not even repair the car.
There is no actual price for expected repair costs for water damage. Thus, to get accurate information about how much you would need to pay, you must consult your professional mechanic after he performs a thorough inspection of your water damaged car.
Once the inspection is completed, your professional mechanic can review your insurance policy and let you know what to expect for repair costs. From there, you can decide whether it's worth repairing your water damaged car or sell it as junk.
Some automotive experts came up with average repair cost estimates for certain vehicles indicated that you need to expect about $12,000 to get your vehicle restored after a flood, if not more than this.
Furthermore, since repair costs can be very high, your insurance company might consider your vehicle as “totaled” and ask for sending it to the junkyard to prevent paying a lot of money when it is not worth it.
Even if you decided to repair your car, you need to keep in mind that a repaired water-damaged car will never be the same as your old car before the flood damage. Then, you decide.
Is it worth purchasing a water-damaged car?
Many dealerships are good at buying a water-damaged car, cleaning it, and showcasing it as a good car. However, you must be very careful not to be deceived by the look, and you must have a full understanding of the car’s history.
For example, you need to understand whether this car got damaged by freshwater or saltwater. This is because saltwater damaged cars can get corroded or rusted, raising the risk of purchasing this type of car.
In most cases, it is usually not worth putting money in a water-damaged car unless it's for the short term and planning to rebuild it. It is never a good idea to put money in a car with many bad situations and scenarios shortly.
Thousands of cars get damaged by water every year in the US and abroad. These cars are considered water damaged if they sit in water for a long time, and most of their components got soaked to some level in the water.
It is never recommended to start your vehicle immediately after water damage. The best thing to do is to get it out of the water by towing it, drying the internal and external components as much as possible, perform a thorough inspection, and repair all affected components.
Deciding whether it's worth repairing your water damaged car depends on the severity of the damage, your vehicle’s mileage, and whether repair costs approach the actual value of your vehicle or not.
Insurance companies usually do not cover most water damages unless you have optional insurance like the comprehensive ones. Even comprehensive insurance plans cover only certain water damage sources like floods or hail but not water damage caused during maintenance.