As the flood waters in Queensland slowly fall, Australia is left with the devastating aftermath. The unexpected flooding savaged people’s livelihoods from communities and created ghost towns in its place. For the people affected by this natural disaster, all of us at Fleetcare have you in our thoughts and prayers.
If you managed to salvage your vehicle in the immediate aftermath there is still bound to be flood damage. However, as a result of the excessive flooding conditions, the amount of cars that are damaged by water will be huge. Consequently, local mechanics (those not destroyed by the floods) may be booked out with appointments possibly reaching into the next few months.
Here are 5 DIY checks you can complete while waiting for an inspection by a professional mechanic. If you are seriously considering salvaging your car, then it is a good idea to complete these checks to minimise damage and subsequent repair costs.
*If you plan on claiming insurance: Before you start checking your flood-damaged vehicle, it’s a good idea to take pictures of all the damages. Make sure all damages are documented so if your insurance claim is disputed you have proof. Ensure the pictures are clearly taken from all angles and areas of your car.
There may well be water in your engine, depending on how submerged your car was. If it looks like the water reached engine level, do not drive your vehicle. Instead, engage in a towing company to deliver your car to an engine repair shop if you can get an appointment or at least to get it to safe high ground where it can be kept while awaiting inspection.
Keep an eye out for droplets of water on dipsticks and check the colour of the oil and fluids – if they are milky then they are contaminated. If they are contaminated, drain the transmission fluid and oil. Once they are drained, you are free to replace the oil and transmission fluid. Do not drive until they are drained.
Once you have allowed time for your brakes to be dry, proceed to inspect them carefully. May be a good idea to replace the brake fluid even if they seem ok.
Allow your interior to dry. You will most likely be left with the lingering smell of mildew. This is not a major problem; just perform a temporary clean with fabric shampoo until you can take your car to the nearest upholstery repair shop to be replaced. Mould can also cultivate in your air-con, make sure this is also checked and cleaned as this can cause respiratory problems for passengers.
Obtain a rust removal product to repair the damage (always follow the instructions that come with the product). Once this has been done, touch up the spots with a colour that matches the original paint. If its more than a few spots, you might need to bring your vehicle to a paint shop to get re-sprayed.
Has your vehicle ever been affected by flooding? Do you have any other DIY tips to share with those affected in Queensland? Please share below.