Flooded cars can be partially repaired, depending on the extent of damage and amount car owners or car dealers want to spend. Cars exposed to flooding and water damage suffer considerable damage to vital mechanical and electrical components, as well as their interiors. Fixing water-damaged cars involves extensive repairs, such as re-upholstery, replacing lights and reviving the engine and electrical systems.
When significant flood damage occurs, owners may expect to spend the same amount on fixing a damaged car as they would restoring classic automobiles. Signs of water damage in cars include mud and mildew under the hood and a musty smell inside, as well as water stains on the floor mats and seats. It only takes a small amount of water to cause considerable damage, as water leaks into every crack and seam in the car, causing rusting and corrosion. Cracks and seals along doors and the trunk generally require replacement after water exposure. All components in the mechanical system may require removal, cleaning and lubrication in the restoration process. Dirt and debris on the engines, transmission and braking systems require removal to prevent corrosion. Some mechanical components see salvation with a cleaning using water or special solvent. Liquids used in cars, such as oil, power-steering fluid and antifreeze must be flushed and replaced. On the exterior, cars might need new coats of paint and wheels.