Flooded car

bonebloodyidleDecember 23, 2011

My car ended up in water up to the door handles. Anyone have any tips as to how to dry it out? It's very cold here, the condensation freezes at night so I have to get the scraper to both sides of the glass.

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If water was up to the door handles the first things that you should do is. Drain the engine oil, the transmission fluid and change oil filter and trans filter. then drain the gas tank. The next thing that you should do is find some where warm to get the car into ( tow it ) and let it dry out completely. I wouldn't try to start it while water could be inside the different computer and controllers. If they get energized while wet it could short out the complete system.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 1:22PM
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Engine and electrics are running fine, that's all sorted. It's a diesel so I just drove it out of the flood. But the interior? The seats are OK but carpet and soundproofing are still sodden. Short of leaving it with open doors in 70 degree plus conditions (and I can't see that happening here until May or June) I'll be using the demister a lot.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 6:44PM
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Could you be from minot???????

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:27PM
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You did not give us a hint about the make. model, or what components your vehicle has, therefore a few general items will be mentioned.

Differentials: Some axle assemblies have breathers. Most of the time, these do keep water out of the differential, but full submersion for a period can push water inside the caes. Drain and refill the cases.

Wheel bearings: Wheel bearings should have seals that can keep splashes out, but submersion may let a few drops of water in. It requires only a few drop of water to mess up the lubricant. Repack wheel bearings.

Brakes: Shoe brakes are more affected than disc. Immediately after a dunking, shoe brakes may not offer much resistance. It all depends on materials and design. On one car I owned (some time ago), I lost all brakeing effort after stopping in a flooded area to rescue another driver. Ater I pulled out of the puddle, my brakes were ineffective (Shoe brakes on all 4 wheels). It took many minutes of driving slowly and applying the brakes to regain some braking effort. (The brake shoes were water lubricated and were acting as a hydrodamic thrust bearing.) Once braking effort begins to come back, one has to watch for a fast change in behsvior. Some brakes will "grab" when they are almost moisture free.

Any accessories that went under water should be inspected and dried out if needed. Examples are the alternator and starter motor. The AC compressor probably was not affected. However, its electric clutch may have been.

The brake fluid resevior on top of the master cylinder should be ok. The liquid is sealed when the cover is in place. The vacuum booster for the power brake could have been affected.

Air conditioner/heater system: With water up tot he door handles, this system went under water. Water could have got into the vacuum operated blend door actuators. The back side of the diaphrams are vented to atmosphere. if the water was clean and clear, there should be ok after drying out. But, if the water was loaded with mud, there could be mud in actuators and could interfere with their operation. If present, it needs to be cleaned out. The quick way ia to replace the actuators and acrap the old ones.

The fan motor may or may not be ok. If the bearings are the sealed type, those are probably ok. However, if mud got into the fan scroll housing, that should be removed.

Cruise control: The cruise control actuator - same comments as for other actuators. Depending on the model, there is a control box that meters the vacuum supply to the actuator. This box may be vented to atmosphere and that vent will be filtered. Clean or replace the filter. Cruise control action will be affected if this vent is plugged.

Dash: Make sure that the backside of the dash is clean and dry. There's a bunch of electrical conections back there.

Radio: Rinse the dirt of it (id present) and completely dry before applying any power to it. If it has a tape or CD player, those could be fouled.

Electric window regulators and door lock actuators: These items are normally weatherproof and should be ok for shallow depth immersion. Make sure that the door drains are open. Drying of the door panels will be quickened if the door panels are removed.

Power window and lock switches: These should be throughly dried. The driver's console usually is not water tight and its case could be full of water. Remove and dry.

Power seat: If the power seat motor is sealed, it should be ok, but the seat mechanism should be cleaned and lubricated.

Jack: The jack may be stored under the back seat or in the trunk. In any case, it went under water. Clean it and relubricate.

Spare tire well: There could be water hidden under the spare tire. Remove the spare tire and dry the well. There may be a drain in the well, but if that drain is sealed with rust prooffing compound, do not disturb and remove the water by other means.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 4:01AM
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