If your car was flooded: AAA information on repairs - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

If your car was flooded: AAA information on repairs

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Viewer submitted picture: Flash Flooding at parking lot of Crossroads Mall Viewer submitted picture: Flash Flooding at parking lot of Crossroads Mall

We saw dozens of cars partially or fully underwater during Wednesday's flash flooding across the Roanoke Valley.

And with the possibility of additional flash flooding Thursday, Friday, and beyond, we e-mailed AAA Mid-Atlantic for information you can use for help in repairing a flood damaged car.

From AAA Mid-Atlantic:

  • In many cases, insurance companies will "total" a flood damaged vehicle when the vehicle is covered by a policy with comprehensive coverage
  • If a car has been completely submerged, extensive disassembly may be needed for a thorough cleaning
  • Many parts of a car are difficult to clean  and dry because they are too difficult to access
  • Door locks, window mechanisms, wiring harnesses, heating and air conditioning components and many other small devices are tucked away in hidden spaces
  • Electrical systems are particularly vulnerable to flood water damage.  Engine computers, sensors and other electrical devices can sometimes be salvaged but unless they are thoroughly cleaned and dried, problems caused by corrosion may occur months after flood damage.
  • If repairs are done after a vehicle is subjected to flood damage, these components may work initially only to fail later due to contamination.


AAA warns motorists that cars damaged by flood water should not be started until a thorough inspection is completed.  Car owners should contact their insurance company to determine the extent of coverage before seeking repairs.


Before attempting to start a flood-damaged car, AAA suggests the following:

• Inspect all mechanical components, including the engine, transmission, axles, brake system and fuel system for water contamination

•Drain flood water from contaminated mechanical systems and flush with clean water or a solvent as appropriate

• Drain and replace all contaminated fluids, such as oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid and anti-freeze as applicable

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