It's difficult to predict when a natural disaster is going to wreak havoc to your home and assets such as your car. During a severe cyclonic storm, vehicles are deemed to be the biggest casualty as walls and trees fall on them. Apart from cyclones, floods are yet another form of natural disaster that can spoil the engine of your four-wheeler if you’re stuck in the water. Floods are pretty common and if you happened to be trapped in one, you will need to know how to get out of it without causing harm to your car. 

Excessive exposure to water can cause immense damage to your car and you should be prepared before a storm hits. Though there are the local Tampa auto body repair companies that can help you with repairing your car after a natural disaster has struck, you should be well-versed with the DIY care tips. Keep reading to learn more about what to do in this situation.

Immediate steps to take after your car has been flooded

When you find out that your car is flooded and the engine will not start, there are 3 main steps to take as soon as possible.

- Never restart your car: Your car’s engine is already stressed and hence you can’t stress it anymore. Water can spoil all components within a car including the transmission and engine. During such a precarious situation, if you try to turn on the engine, more water will enter, and things will get worse. As water harms the engine and the pistons fail to move or compress as they should, it is called ‘hydrolock’. So, if your car is hydrolocked, you may predict the repair costs to be exorbitant in most cases. 

- Eliminate the water: The longer amount of time you allow the water to sit inside your car, the risk of long-term damage is increased. The mechanical parts and wiring are two of the first things that may get damaged due to water. In case of puddles inside the car, get rid of the water as quickly as possible. It is recommended to use a dry/wet vacuum cleaner for any standing water in the car

- Allow ventilation of the car: If you are successful in getting rid of the water from other places of the car and from the cabin, you should immediately ventilate the car. Consider parking your car in direct sunlight, if possible. Ensure that your vehicle has proper ventilation with the windows down and open all doors and allow the heat to dry up the damp areas. Turn on a fan (if possible) to keep foul odors away.

Reach out to your insurance company

Did you reach out to your car insurance agent? If yes, the hardest part is covered. Just one call will keep the ball rolling and initiate scheduling for an inspection.

In case of being affected by a large-scale natural disaster, there are insurance companies that decide on a location where the insured customers take their vehicles. The adjusters check things and decide whether or not the car can be saved. While some damages are visible easily, others may need a closer review. 

In short, it is better to get the process of claim started to begin the path towards recovery with your damaged vehicle. 

Car care tips in case of standing water

- Safety should come first, if you feel that your car is in a potentially dangerous location, call for assistance when moving the vehicle.

- Change the parking place of the car, particularly if it is under a huge tree or right next to a wall. If the wall is old, it may fall on your car due to the intensity of the storm damage. Trees can cause significant damage to your car, and it is best to move the car away from trees even after the storm has struck, as many can still fall during the clean-up process.

- When your car is immersed halfway to the wheels, try to remove the vehicle from the area. Call a towing professional if you need assistance.

- Don’t start your car immediately

- Get help if you can’t dry the car’s interior on your own

- Avoid driving through large pools of water

Keep in mind that recovery can be a hazardous task, ensure that you are safe before removing any debris from your vehicle. Take every step required to prevent further damage to your car, and when in doubt seek help.