Are Flood-Damaged Cars Repairable?

Are Flood-Damaged Cars Repairable?

Flash floods, coastal flooding, river overflow - it doesn’t take much for any of these to occur around the US. While you may be able to seek shelter from the storm, your car isn’t always so fortunate. Every year, hundreds of people are faced with flood-damaged cars. The extent of that damage varies, but it leaves them wondering: can my flood-damaged car be repaired?

The answer is not a simple yes or no, unfortunately. Determining whether you can repair a flood-damaged car will require an accurate assessment of the damage. Someone whose car has minimal dampness may be able to dry the car out and move on. Meanwhile, someone whose car was completely submerged in water may be unable to repair their flood-damaged car.

Is Your Flood-Damaged Car Worth Repairing?

The bigger question in all of this is, is your flood-damaged car worth repairing? Depending on the extent of the damage, you’re looking at some serious cash. Unfortunately, unless you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will not cover the flood damage. Even those who do have comprehensive coverage shouldn’t rest so easy. If the repair cost exceeds your car's current value, your insurance company will total your flood-damaged car.

Determine Your Car’s Value

So, before determining whether you can repair your flood-damaged car, start by determining your car’s value before the flood damage. Did your car have any other issues? Is it an old car? These things will determine the value of your car. You can use resources like the Kelley Blue Book to get a clearer picture of your car’s value.

Get Your Damage Assessed

Have a specialist look at the car to determine if your flood-damaged car is repairable or worth repairing. They’ll determine the extent of the damage and give you an estimate on the repairs. Try to get at least three estimates to be on the safe side.

Now that you have the value of your car before the damage and the cost of repairs, you know whether your flood-damaged car is worth repairing. If the repair costs exceed the value, you may want to sell your flood-damaged car to a junk car buyer. That way, you get some extra cash. If the repair costs are minimal or the car is new, then trying to get it repaired is an option.

Types of Flood Damage

To answer the question further on whether you can repair your flood-damaged car, it helps to know what type of flood damage you’re dealing with. Below are some descriptions of types of flood damage and the likeliness that it can be repaired:

Saltwater vs. Freshwater

What kind of water damaged your car? While any water damage isn’t good, a car damaged by fresh water has a better chance of being repaired than a car damaged by saltwater. Since salt is very corrosive it can wreak havoc on your car’s interior and mechanical parts. The engine and electrical components are particularly vulnerable.

When a car is damaged by freshwater, it just needs to be dried out well. After that, things are typically fine. However, saltwater damage will require the car to be flushed out by freshwater. It then must be dried out to assess the damage, which is often severe and expensive.

Mechanical vs. Cosmetic

Was the damage to your car mechanical or cosmetic? This has an impact on whether it can be repaired. Cosmetic damage is a lot easier to repair than mechanical damage. When a car is cosmetically damaged, it’s typically on the interior. The cloth, wood, leather, and other materials are often drenched in water. This is not necessarily an easy fix but is much more repairable than mechanical damage. You’ll have to let the car dry out and get a deep shampoo and condition done to the car. It’s also important to watch for any signs of mold or rust due to flood damage.

Mechanical damage can be rough. For those who were driving their cars at the time of the flooding, you could be facing severe repair bills. The car’s engine sucks in the air to operate. So, when the intake ends up below water, the engine begins sucking in water instead of air. The piston rods will begin to bend and your engine will blow. This may result in the need to replace your entire engine.

A Better Solution

Flood-damaged cars in some cases can indeed be repaired (sometimes at a high cost). However, flood damage can still have a severe impact years later. Damp spots can start to produce mold while other car parts can begin to rust with time. You may also have a permanent mildew smell in your car. You’ll also have to record the flood damage, making it harder to insure and sell in the future.  If your car has water damage from a hurricane it may not be repairable.

If you have an older car with flood damage and insurance won’t cover the costs, your best option is to sell your flood-damaged car online. You can use the money you get from the sale to buy a new car. Junk Car Medics is just the buyer to help. Why go through all the trouble of repairing your flood-damaged car with a diminished value and bad car history? has a nationwide network of tow truck companies that’ll get rid of your flood-damaged car for cash. We will come and remove the car from your property and leave you with cash in hand. All you have to do is call.