Following the severe weather and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy, flooding is taking its toll on car owners. Many in the affected areas have driven through high water that may have damaged their vehicles. Even though your vehicle may not have been flooded or completely covered in water, the Car Care Council recommends that motorists follow these guidelines to check for damage due to water intrusion or contamination:
- Check interior carpets, upholstery and door and trim panels for dampness. If they are wet, then the vehicle will need professional attention.
- Pull the engine oil and transmission fluid dipsticks and differential plug. If the fluid appears milky, diluted, is no longer its original color or is beige in color, then it is likely the pans contain water.
- Check the air filter for water. If it is wet, replace the air filter and change the oil.
- Check the undercarriage, bumpers, radiator area and frame for mud, grass, dirt, debris and rust. If any of these are present, the vehicle should be washed and cleaned as soon as possible.
- Have the brake system checked by a professional automotive technician.
- Check the exterior lights for moisture and water. Replace headlights and bulbs that contain water.
- Listen for abnormal noises while the engine is running. Make a note of where the noise is coming from and take the vehicle to a professional automotive technician as soon as possible.
- Inspect the suspension joints and lubricate as necessary.
“It all comes down to how much water the vehicle took in and where it reached,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By being car care aware and following these simple guidelines, you can help minimize the potential for damage to your vehicle.”
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit the Car Care Council's website.