Unpredictable weather is Malaysia’s trademark, especially when it’s monsoon season. Even worse, this heavy rain can last for days, causing floods in some areas. If your car was one of the unfortunately flooded, it’s not the end of the world! Next comes, what you should do to maintain your car after a flood.
On November last year, intense rainfalls for several days caused a terrible flash flood that affected many states in Malaysia including some areas in Selangor. Not only it damaged so many homes, it also causes damage to a lot of vehicles.
Floods can cause critical damage to any vehicles as it can damage the vehicle’s electronics, lubricants, mechanical systems, and safety features.
If your vehicle has been submerged in floods or you suspect that your vehicle may have gotten affected by flood, you should take your vehicle to the mechanic to check it. While some damages can be repairable, sometimes there’s no saving for the vehicle.
However, do not fret because it’s still not too late to take care of your vehicle if it has experienced flash floods before. Take a look at these simple things you can do to maintain your vehicle even after a flood.
6 Tips To Maintain Your Car After A Flood
Tip 1: Dry All Parts of the Vehicle
This step is crucial for your vehicle, especially right after the flood has affected your vehicle. First thing that you should do as soon as the flood has subsided is to dry all parts of the vehicle.
Especially parts in the ignition system starting from spark plug, alternator, air filter, coil and cables. Sounds so complicate, not at all. If you have a hairdryer, you can just do it yourself.
Next is to check if the system functions properly so your vehicle won’t break down in the middle of driving. That would have been a nightmare, even more so if you have an important appointment to attend to.
Therefore, it’s wise to be safe. Also keep on lookout or standby should you face any surprise.
Other than that, it is also important to have this step executed well to prevent any future damages to your vehicle.
Tip 2: Replace Oil
The engine parts of every vehicles are primarily designed to be watertight and coated by heat-resistant sealant. Therefore, when it floods, it’s unlikely that water will enter the engine due to its design.
However, water breach may be possible if the vehicle has experienced overheating in the past. When the engine overheats, it causes the engine jacket to bend, therefore increasing the risk of water leaking to the combustion chamber.
Here’s what you want to do, check whether water has entered your engine.
How? It’s really simple, take the dip stick on your vehicle and check your oil condition by looking at the oil’s color.
If the oil color changes to brownish color, it’s a sign that water has contaminated the engine. In this case, your only option is to get your engine and gear oil replaced.
Tip 3: Empty the Fuel Tank
We all know that fuel will never mix well with water, and if this happens to your vehicle, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Water might seep through the fuel tank and it can be a source of problems if you don’t check it sooner.
If the tank goes unchecked for an extended period of time after flooding, rust may begin to appear and corrode the tank’s interior, which is a major source for gasoline leaks.
Therefore, this is why it’s essential to empty your fuel tank after flooding.
Tip 4: Remove Battery Cables
As soon as you realize that your vehicle have been trapped in water, you should immediately remove the battery cables. This is to avoid short circuit and damage to the electrical components in the vehicle.
Tip 5: Ventilate Your Vehicle
This is one extra step that you should do to ensure that your vehicle won’t smell bad after a flood.
If it’s a bright sunny day, open up all your car doors after drying and cleaning up the car as a good flow of air in your vehicle will get rid of foul odours. Other than the smell, it’s also necessary to prevent mold and mildew from appearing at your vehicle’s interior.
You may also need to change your carpets, mats, upholstery, and door panels as these are the exact places mold can easily form.
Don’t take this issue lightly as mold can be dangerous if inhaled continuously. You won’t want to cause medical issue for yourself or your loved ones.
It’s also a good investment to make if you’re also looking to re-sell your car in the future. Interiors are one of the major factors that contributes to the sale price of a used car.
Tip 6: Test the Vehicle’s Electrical Components
Do check on your car’s wiring way before you even decide to turn on your vehicle. If the wiring is good, then you can start checking other aspects of the vehicle’s electronics to ensure everything is in good condition.
Don’t forget to also check the headlights, turn signals, power locks, tail lights, power windows, and all components that’s connected to the vehicle’s wiring.
These are all important steps on how to maintain your car after a flood.
Maintain Car After Flood, To Keep or To Sell?
Aside from these tips to ensure that your vehicle’s inner component still manage to work efficiently, it is as same importance to ensure that the car can still operate smoothly even after a flood.
However, the decision to maintain a car after flood may not be the best for your pocket or your bank account.
In general, if the water level did not reach the dashboard, there’s a chance that your car can be repaired, but if the water level was high enough to reach the dashboard, it may not be cost-effective to repair.
Flood damage can lead to numerous problems, such as corrosion, electrical issues, mold, and more. Even if the car appears to be running fine after the flood, the long-term effects of water damage can be difficult to detect.
Best to send it to experts to elevate the total cost of repairs. If the repairs are extensive and expensive, it may be better to sell the car and use the funds to purchase a new vehicle.
Fortunately, with all the online car selling platforms available like Motor Trader, you can easily list your car up for potential buyers. Head on to www.motortrader.com.my to check start selling your used car.
However, you should also be transparent about the flood damage and disclose it to potential buyers. This information will significantly affect the car’s re-sell and lifetime value.