Many car owners don’t know what to do when their car gets caught in a flood. Water damage can ruin many electrical components and if the car isn’t completely ruined, it will definitely have some damage. Once a car is flooded, many aspects of it change completely. For example, the upholstery will probably be ruined and will need to be replaced. The engine might also be damaged beyond repair and will need to be replaced.

Floods can pose a serious threat to a car’s electronics, lubricants, mechanical systems, and safety features – like airbags for example. If you think your car may have been damaged in a flood, the best thing you can do is take it to a mechanic and tell them your suspicions. They will know how to check for any damages and some of them might be repairable if the water level wasn’t too high. Unfortunately, in some cases, the car will be totaled.

Can a car still work after being flooded?

When you find your car in a flood, the first thing you should do is assess the damage. If the water damage is minimal, then you may be able to repair your car. However, if the damage is extensive, it is best to call a tow truck and take your car to a mechanic.

Turning on your car engine when there is water damage can cause extensive damage to the cylinder block and piston, resulting in a totaled car.

The amount of water damage your car experiences will determine whether it’s still repairable or not. If you drove your car through a pond on your way to work, the damage wouldn’t be much, the most that could be damaged is the brake linings, and you can change those.

If Your Car Has Flood Damage Do These Things

Survey the damage:

Finding your car submerged in a flood can be a daunting experience, but please take a moment to check for any damage it may have endured. It’s also important to take pictures for your insurance in case you need to file a claim.

We advise against starting your car when it’s in this condition as there could be water in the engine which starting it could cause further damage. Engine damage from starting a car with water present is called hydrolock and can result in an extremely costly repair bill, or even needing to buy a new car. We don’t want that to happen, so please exercise caution.

Dry your car as much as you can:

When your car floods, the most important thing to do is to get rid of as much water as possible. If you don’t, mold will grow and your car will always have a musty smell. If your car is still in a flooded area, use a towing service to get it to higher ground, then dry it out.

Drying your car quickly could save you from more damage than necessary. Use a wet or dry vacuum to suck out all the standing water. Using a regular vacuum could result in electric shock, so be careful! Try to get rid of as much water as possible.

Ventilate your car:

When it comes to keeping your car fresh and free of foul odors, there are a few things you can do. If it’s a bright and sunny day, take advantage of the good weather and open up all the doors to let your car air out. A good flow of air will help get rid of any bad smells, dry out the car, and prevent mold and mildew. If the weather isn’t so great, you can use fans to dry out the car’s interior.

If your seats are removable, take them out to dry in the sun. There are other items in your car that might need changing, including carpets, mats, upholstery, and door panels. Having mold and bad smells in your vehicle can cause its value to drop, so it will be difficult to sell later on.


Floods are no joke and can cause irreparable damage to any electrical devices – including your car. If your vehicle has been caught in a flood, it is important to act quickly and get the water out of your car as soon as possible. The longer your car sits in water, the more damage it will endure, and no one wants that.

The best thing you can do is to get the water out of the car and take it to your mechanic as soon as possible. They will be able to help you determine the extent of the damage and what needs to be done next.