Flood water get to your car? Here's what to do

Drivers who took their cars through high water learned the hard way it was a mistake. The question is, what should they do now?
October 31, 2013 8:36:51 PM PDT
Plenty of drivers did the wrong thing this Halloween and took their cars through high water despite the warnings. Some were luckier than others and actually made it across flooded streets, while others were stuck. The question is what should they do now?

Even if you made it through the water, get your car checked out sooner rather than later, and if you were stalled out by high water, do not try to restart the car.

Why do drivers even try to get through high water?

"It caught me by surprise," said Houston driver Ryan Boyd.

Another surprise waiting for some drivers who tried to get through the high water is an expensive repair -- unless they get their car checked out within the next few days.

"Have the fluids check, maybe change the oil, have a look at the transmission to see if it looks like strawberry milk; if it gets water in it, it turns pink, " said Houston mechanic Mike Poutous.

Poutous says the best case for high-water drivers, an oil change costing $35. Driving with water in the engine can ruin it. If your car stalled out, Poutous says do not try to restart it.

"We have had some cars that damaged the engine because the motor will suck water into it and lock it up and bend the rod," Poutous added.

Flushing out an engine and other parts can run a couple of hundred dollars.

If the water got inside the car and soaked the carpet, expect to pay close to a thousand dollars to get things dried out and running again.

If the water gets much higher, you may have to drive a different car.

"By rule of thumb, if you have been in water deep enough to touch the dash, they will total the car, " said Poutous.

Poutous tells us that's because the vehicles computers, air bag control module, and electronics will have to be replaced and that costs thousands of dollars.

Insurance companies will step in, but you will have to meet your copay.

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