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Drowned Cars

gleneagles
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Drowned Cars

We have all see a number of cars covered in water due to the floods....

Are these cars considered write offs or is it financially viable to repair them assuming they are no more than a few years old ?

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7up
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Re: Drowned Cars

Nothing is beyond repair however the cost in doing so will almost certainly condemn them. Then there is the issue with warranties - how can you provide a warranty on a new car or the repair work if it's been completely flooded and worse, during freezing temperatures? You might have mechanical switches that fail prematurely, printed circuit boards which have tracks that lift off their fibre glass board, rust setting into bits of metal that the spray guns couldn't easily protect (eg inside the structural beams under the car), accelerator cables that rust through, engines with piston rings that rust away (or other important parts).

Then there's the furniture - who wants to sit on a seat that got soaked in sewege? - So that'sl gotta go too... plus the carpet.. and the roof liner...

Lets also not forget that copper corrodes / goes green with a mild growth and so that might add friction to all the electric motors in the windows and the starter motor..

In essence yes you can repair these vehicles but would it be worth the time and hassle? - I suspect for a lot of insurance company contractors like Caffyns, the cost of repair would exceed the value of the car. You can't even guarantee the basic chassis either - they're welded together at the factory and then spray painted with protection - but what about the parts under the welded bits - where the spray guns can't get in? - They're reliant on minimal damp and oxygen to slow down the corrosive process and so you can't even be sure the chassis itselt will have the usual lifespan.

With that said, i do know of a car that was flood damaged, it was written off by the insurers and sent to scrap at my local scrap yard as a Cat C. Now the owner of the yard (near me) took a shine to this particular car as he'd never seen one and decided he rather fancied it. So guess what? - They literally did take out all the carpets, chairs etc and dry them out. He did say the computers under the seats were completely dead so that was those gone but he said after they dried it out and spent a few days tinkering with it, they got it running and being a volvo lump they never had any hassle with it mechanically. The guy then bought a new merc some years later.. and found it to be far less reliable! So.. even if a car is written off and sent to scrap that doesn't mean it's definitely the end of it (although in most circumstances it probabaly is).

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Strat
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Re: Drowned Cars

Aren't car bodies totally submerged in anti-corrosion paint that gets to any part that water would and more?

Agree about the rest of the car though. A job for a hobby restorer.

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7up
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Re: Drowned Cars


@Strat wrote:

Aren't car bodies totally submerged in anti-corrosion paint that gets to any part that water would and more?

Agree about the rest of the car though. A job for a hobby restorer.


Some are yes. But like i said earlier, if you've welded the metal already and it's a closed piece, the paint won't get in there anyway so on the innerside it's still bare metal. I could be wrong but i don't think any form of electrical welding works through paint - but again i may be wrong on that.

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Minivanman
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Re: Drowned Cars

Pretty much written off I'd have though besides which insurance companies seem to write cars off at the drop of a hat.

One of my daughters and through not fault of her own had two cars damaged only slightly in my opinion (for what it's worth) and both were written off without even being seen.

Less hassle for the insurance companies perhaps, so I don't see how they are going to be interested in getting them repaired unless of course they are some sort of valuable and highly insured classic. 


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twocvbloke
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Re: Drowned Cars

Flood-damaged cars can be repaired and put back on the road, but they're not exactly reliable, especially if done by an amateur mechanic, given the water can damage electronic components that control various things in cars these days, some will just cheap out and "refurbish" the damaged parts, which isn't always good...

 

A friend of the mother's had a Nissan Micra that had been in a flood, and the transmission was an utter joke, as it had been filled with water and not flushed properly, resulting in it basically eating itself up and eventally failing, so if you do want to rebuild a flood car, do it properly, a half-bottomed job is ultimately going to be a pain in the bottom in the long run, especially if you sell it on and the buyer comes back with legal action...

gleneagles
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Re: Drowned Cars

@twocvbloke 

Well if you are a car trader then that's true.....

But if it's a private sale and you put on the receipt.....' Sold as seen'.....then you are ok

😁

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twocvbloke
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Re: Drowned Cars

You'd think, but my dad once got stuck with a legal case after selling a car that then leaked oil on the new owner's precious driveway, so "sold as seen" doesn't always mean the buyer is smart enough...

billnotben
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Re: Drowned Cars

I suppose when it comes down to it it depends on the liquid. Like mobiles if it's clean water they often will be fine when dried out. But where in most mobiles you can take out the battery right away it would be difficult / impossible with those cars. So maybe a fair bit of shorting would have occurred before any fuse blew if they even did.

Dirty water is a different matter. If things can't be washed / wiped clean then when it dries out impurities will leave a residue all over the circuit boards probably causing shorts here and there.

twocvbloke
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Re: Drowned Cars

A lot of flood cars I've seen on youtube (there's various channels where they buy cars from auction to rebuild, some of which are flood-damaged), they are NASTY when they're left in standing water, not only do you have mud and dirt from the soled of peoples' shoes in the carpets already, there's also the mud and dirt from the water, and of course, that mud is also made up of sewage, so you have to contend with that (basically, it's a biohazard situation), and of course as flooding can last for days, the moisture also causes mould to form in the soft furnishings inside the car, compounding the problems of cleanup, often necessitating scrapping everthing in the interior for replacements...

 

If it's a bog-standard runabout, it's pretty much not worth cleaning up, if it's a particularly rare(ish) car, it might be worth it, assuming it isn't too far gone from water damage, such as water in the cylinders, engine sump, transmission, fuel system, etc., corrosion's a right pig to fix...

Minivanman
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Re: Drowned Cars

But surely it's only going to be 'repaired' if the owner wants it repaired and that is going to have to come out of their own pocket because as sure as eggs, the insurance company is only going to pay, ahem, ' the market value'.

It's a legal swjndle.

 


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7up
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Re: Drowned Cars

But a lot of owners won't want it repaired as the flood water will also contain sewage. As many of these cars are leased, it makes little difference to the owner (well not the real owner but RK) if it gets written off and replaced.

If it was a high value car (eg new in the last few years) it'll probably still carry enough value to be repaired after it's been written off but insurance companies and accident repair centres know that flood damaged cars can lead troublesome lives.

I knew a guy years ago who bought a new car, his missus took it out a few weeks later, drove it straight through a large puddle and killed it - flooding the engine and transmission in the process.

So off it went to the garage.. they had it apart, replaced the engine, rebuiilt it all... Then the car clutch cable snapped. Got repaired, then it snapped again, got repaired, and again, got repaired..

He said it became so regular that he knew he needed to buy a new clutch cable every few months because it was guaranteed to snap again. Eventually some years down the line, he got fed up of it and had this fault investigated.. turned out that the garage that rebuilt the car hadn't routed the clutch cable properly and had made a bit of a mess of it and in doing so it was rubbing against another part where the cable would then deteriorate over the period of a few months.

So even if you do get a glood damaged car repaired you may well end up with troubling annoyances for the rest of the vehicle ownership.

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wotsup
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Re: Drowned Cars


@Strat wrote:

Aren't car bodies totally submerged in anti-corrosion paint that gets to any part that water would and more?


modern vehicles are made with electro-zinc plated material below the 'waist' ( same as gavanized but not so thick ) and all the seams are sealed ( yes you can weld through the sealer ) - some cars like Jaguar are riveted and glued  ( the rivets are automatically applied by robots and are really only there to hold the parts together until the glue sets,  as the glue is really powerful and is properly set by the paint oven. If sections of chassis do not have drain holes they will be completely sealed.

The electrics would be the main problem, and it the engine was running when it was submerged and water was sucked into cylinders then you get 'hydraulic lock' ( hint you cannot compress water ) and very often bent conrods or broken pistons.