Repairing your vehicle after flood damage


It's a long slow process going from a wet car to a dry one, but one that is happening all over town.

Mechanic Mike Poutous said most flood damaged cars need about $500-1,000 worth of repairs, and the carpets are just one area of concern.

"Pull the carpet, shampoos, dry everything, lubricate everything, put it all back together," Poutous said.

If the car stalled in the water, Poutous said the vehicle needs to have the spark plugs pulled out and water removed.

Another potential problem is the transmission. Flood water can get inside the transmission and needs to be removed.

Some cars will likely be a total loss because the electronics were submerged.

"The Japanese cars, the modules are all on the floor anyway and it does not take many of those to total a car," Poutous said.

If you have comprehensive coverage, insurance companies will pay to repair flood-damaged cars. Those with liability insurance will likely have pay the bill themselves.

"It can be very expensive," said Theo Franklin with State Farm Insurance. "If water gets up high enough into a vehicle, more than likely your vehicle can be totaled."

If you had to leave your car on the side of the road, it likely got towed. In the city, that's a charge of $160. In Harris County, it costs $145 and up. If the car was blocking the roadway, police can order it removed by a towing company.

If you have not found your flood-damaged car, the city of Houston has a website set up to help you locate it. Just go to and enter your license plate or vehicle identification number.

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