What To Do If Your Car Floods

As Houston prepares for the threat of torrential flooding from Hurricane Harvey, a reminder that the storm not only poses a threat to homes, but to vehicles as well. We've all heard the advice to "Turn Around, Don't Drown," but some drivers inevitably find themselves driving into water that is deeper than they thought. Others may find their vehicles submerged partially or fully in water due to flooding in parking lots or structures.

So what to do if you're one of those people who ends up with water damage to your car? KTRH Car Pro Jerry Reynolds says it depends on how high the water goes. "If the water does not get up to and into the dashboard, there's a good chance that (the car) can be salvaged. But if it gets up into that dashboard, you've got major problems.” In particular, Reynolds says the water can damage your catalytic converter and your brakes. Experts warn to change all of your vehicle fluids if water has reached the engine, because water can mix with those fluids and do severe damage to the engine and transmission.

Reynolds also warns not to continue trying to drive through waters after the levels have risen to your doors. "If the water is receding really quick and you can get out of it, do that. But if you get stuck and there's no way out, then be sure to cut the car off because that could save you engine damage," he says.

Even if you don't have engine damage, you need to dry out the inside of your car as quickly as possible. "The main thing you want to avoid is mildew down the road, so if you're going to keep the car and try to clean it inside, you've got to be sure and do it right," says Reynolds.

Get more Texas Hurricane Center tips here.

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