Body shop urges flood car owners to use caution

Even if everything seems to be back to normal after flooding, there could be trouble under your car’s hood or even under your seats. Mechanics at Randy’s Body Shop in Paducah explain what you need to look for if your vehicle has suffered flood damage.

It doesn’t have to be sitting in 6 inches of water to be at risk. Underneath most seats in cars, there are electrical components affecting the airbag systems that could be compromised. As most sit nearly on the floorboard of vehicles, Randy's Body Shop Vice President Kyle Wiersma says you should have that checked out.

Wiersma says hardware in the car “may not have a problem at first. Over time they will create problems and electric issues with the car.” If the bluebook value of the car is fairly high and the water level did not hit the dashboard, it may still be worth it to pay for repairs, rather than totaling it. 

But sometimes the damage is too great to be repaired. Many cars were completely covered in flood water, and the cost to repair outweighed the value of the car. That's why comprehensive insurance is so important, according to Wiersma. Without it, newer cars that sustain flood damage will not be covered.

Wiersma also stressed how important it is to have the deductible amount on hand, as your keys are typically not handed back to you until the bill has been paid.

If your car does not seem to be too affected by water damage and you have not checked to see if your car or truck will start yet, Wiersma says don’t. It could have water in the oil or transmission reserves. Starting the car could destroy the engine.

Also, before filing a claim, take many of pictures documenting the extent of damage done, preferably before the water is gone.

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