My Car Got Flooded

My Car Got Flooded

rev up your engines today in large part due to the flooding
we had in Houston this week I’m gonna talk about flooded cars now of course
the first thing I’ll say about flooded cars is try not to get your car flooded
in the first place modern cars are pretty close to the ground then of that
much clearance you never want to drive in water that’s more than say halfway up
your tire at max water although it is somewhat compressible it’s not much you get air and gas sprayed into your engine to run the engine they can compress a
whole bunch the water only a tiny bit then it stays solid so what happens is
well the Pistons are going up if there’s water sucked in there it’s got nowhere
to go so it’s still spinning the engine the crankshaft will hold on to the
piston rod rod will Bend the Energy’s got to go somewhere and the weakest
thing is the piston rod the head and the block are pretty strong but the piston
rod is the thinnest part so as it’s being pushed
it’ll just Bend and once it’s bend good-by engine its called Hydro locking
and the air intakes on modern cars are pretty low more efficient for better gas
mileage but here’s your filter but they ever sucked down way under here so you
drive a water and it sucks that water into the engine realize that even if you
only halfway up the tire there people drive by with a truck waves come up the
waves get high the waves get sucked into your engine goodbye engine so Park on
high ground if there’s a storm coming a big parking ramp up in the air drive up
Park it there go have a drink eat something in a restaurant don’t think oh
I gotta make it through and I’m gonna forward through the water because you’ll
end up like people on I45 here in houston they drove and then when I
got to the underpass the water was coming up so they stopped well guess
what there’s hundreds or thousands of cars behind them they’re stuck there
sitting in their car there’s the water the water keeps rising rising ventually
covers their cars and all the cars behind them you don’t want to get stuck
in a situation like that in the first place but if you
do here’s some tips if you’ve driven through water or say your car was parked
and you think it might have gone in water the first thing you want to do is
take off the air filter cover check the air filter check the filter see if it’s
dry like this one or soaking wet if it’s soaking wet water got in there don’t
even try to start the car either towed to a mechanic or take out the spark
plugs you pull them all on to their holes
so then there’s no pressure to be built up when you crank the engine so now if
there’s any water the engine will just suck it in and spit it out the spark
plug tube holes and you put the spark plugs in after the water is gone well plenty of water came out and also
check your engine oil if you see that it’s milky or it’s way over full that
means water got in the engine and it floats the oil floats on top of the
water you’ll see the oil level is too high you don’t want to start a car cause
if that water gets in the engine and starts being pumped through it can ruin
stuff but if it just got in and you haven’t started it you can drain it all
out before it does any damage and if you do have an automatic transmission like
this matrix where you can actually check the fluid check the transmission fluid
to because water destroys automatic transmissions you do not want water an
automated transmission and if some got in and it wasn’t run you drain it it’s
fine but once you start it and it pumps that water mix of water and transmission
fluid it gets in a transmission and ruins things really fast now if you’ve
got a nice car it’s best to have full coverage because insurance companies if your car is in a flood and the water gets up to the dash they’re gonna total
that car and you’ll get you money out of it but any modern car once it gets that
kind of water and if you don’t have insurance playing with the devil trying to
get that thing running because all the electronics in them if they aren’t
ruined now they can be soon or even a year to completely ruin there’s an
example of one of my customers he had a Volkswagens yeah I can’t stand them
anyways but he towed it over here and it’s not running so I start checking
things it’s all kinds of problems and I’m working on he comes by after a couple hours I’m swearing at the thing he says what you swearing about I said
your stupid car I fix one thing and then another thing is still wrong it’s
driving me nuts so what does he say to me he says oh scotty didn’t I tell ya a year and a half ago I had it parked on the street and
water came in through the windows on the side that’s how deep it got and I said
why didn’t you tell me this in the first place
I would have told you to junk the car then because it took a year and a half
but then all the electronics started to fry corrosion got on once corrosion
starts here it just keeps going and going and going not took a year and a
half but it was towed to the junkyard after that you’re not looking at a long
term car if the water gets up to the dash that’s why they told them with insurance
companies say it isn’t you’re car that flooded out but you’re looking at
buying a used car and you’re worried that it might have been flooded in the
past here’s how you can check a bunch of stuff first just go in the car and if it
smells like mold bacteria just walk just leave don’t buy it look under the dash
should be reasonably clean under there and not covered with rust if all these
nuts and bolts are rusted under there hey water got in at some period of time
they’ll turn the key on make sure the check engine light comes on like this
with the key on in the car not running that light should be on the car gets
flooded out a trick of a lot of mechanics is they’ll take the dash out
dry with a hairdryer if the check engine light stays on if it’s got a bulb
they’ll take the bulb out or they’ll short it out with 120 volts since it’s a
12 volt bulb it’ll pop or if it’s LED look at an ice pick and they’ll snap the
LED so that light doesn’t come on if the light doesn’t come home and you turn it
on there’s really suspicious stuff then you don’t buy the car of course you want
to hook up a scan tool anyways or have a mechanic do it to check it out but you
turn it on that light doesn’t come on just walk away you don’t even think
about buying it there’s too many possibilities that it was in a flood and
has serious electrical problems and of course there’s they’ll check the trunk
for water lift up all the crap that’s in here in this case we got an unlock at
first look inside now this one is nice and dark and clear and will look even
further we’ll look inside here take all the stuff out
of the way see if there’s any water or rust stuck
anywhere the carpets look under inside see if there’s mold see if you
smell anything and here’s a really good trick to make it comfortable
there’s Jute under here you can feel it it’s just like the underlayment your
carpet in your house if you push or pull it up and you don’t even see any Jute
it’s all gone and don’t buy the car because when cars get flooded out
they’re gonna stink you got to pull all the seats out take all the rugs which
usually rug assemblies out and then the jute that’s under it is polluted with
the dirty water you take that you throw it away now you’re supposed to buy new
jute and put it all back together when it’s cleaned and dried but many guys are
lazy so when they put it back together they don’t put the Jute in now so it won’t
be as cushy when you step on it that’s no big deal in itself but if there’s
nothing there it was built with it they’re the only reason someone would
take all that stuff out was cuz it flooded out and got ruined and if they
didn’t put it back in don’t buy it odds are that car’s been flooded and be very
leery when you’re buying a used car from somebody you don’t know there’s lots of
disreputable people I know a guy years ago he went from Texas to Jersey bought a
bunch of Hurricane sandy cars cheap brought them to Houston he had his son put them up on the lift they were draining the transmissions and
engines I watched the water come out they had five or six dash units on their
workbench he was drying them with a hairdryer and
I even said you know what the liabilities are for you selling a
flooded car like somebody if they’re big doesn’t work and they get killed you’re
gonna be responsible hey and the son just responded to me ah none of it’s in
our name we sell them through third parties make sure that the person who’s
selling you the car is the one who’s got the name on the title because if it’s a
third party seller a lot of those are flooded or wrecked cars had one customer he called me up he was gonna by using Mercedes and he was meeting the guy in a Sears parking lot and I said to him are you serious that you’re gonna get
$15,000 cash to some clown in a Sears parking lot and then he said yes Scotty
what was I thinking sometimes people don’t think you gotta think when you’re
buying two used cars and now you know a little bit about flooded cars how to
avoid it in the first place and how to definitely avoid buying
a used flooded car, so if you never want to miss another one of my new car repair
videos, remember to ring that Bell

About the Author: Michael Flood


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  2. Water is INCOMPRESSIBLE! This is the proper designation for it to avoid confusion as it compresses so little that you aren't able to measure it without some extreme pressures and instrumentation..

    That's why rods bend and pistons crack with water ingestion…

    Just a useless fact for the day…

  3. You have been teaching about cars since I've been in Highschool! This new information is something great to know, and that way I always trust your input in all things for repairing cars! Thank again old friend! 😎

  4. Have to disagree with the part Scotty says, There's no reason to take that out" (referring to the carpet and jute. ) I modify my cars all the time, and lots of times I will take out the jute and carpet (depending on the car). Some cars look better with the steel showing…and it sure makes it easy to attach computers, or any other devices you want with magnets to the metal frame. I usually paint the metal black.

  5. I bought a 91 tbird from a dealer. Turns out it was flooded and they lied to me saying it wasn't. I've put less than 2k miles and had to replace the entire intake, the heater core and all coolant hoses, the exhaust, the suspension (the tie rod ends were gone, ball joints exposed, shocks collapsed, and I'm having tons of electrical issues. I've replaced the entire interior as well to prevent any mold from killing me. I can't sell the car because it's flooded and I can't trash it because it's my only car and I'm too far in. Buying a flood car can be great, you'll end up with a brand new car. Just know that you'll be paying for it, one part at a time. (I discovered it was a flood car because every fuel line ruptured all at once and I removed the wheel well plastic guards and a dead fish along with dozens of leaves and mud fell out)

  6. SCOTTY two days ago I drove through a puddle that was larger than I thought! Could something go wrong. Car has been running fine.

  7. Pop the top of your air filter off it's a dirty quick fix to continue driving if water gets on your carpet you have to rip it out moldy mess water past the kick panels it's trash

  8. 1:29 Scotty, I test drove a 2019 I4 Camry LE today, and the AIR INTAKE is located way up HIGH, at the same level as the hood safety latch release!!! The air enters thru the front grill and there are some "gills" that allow some air to flow upward toward an area above the radiator that feeds air to intake. Pretty smart. I want to buy my daughter a new car and looking for the least of all the evils available. Toyota's 8-speed "direct no-shift" or Honda's "rubber band" transmission. Choices, choices. Might have to consider the Camry Hybrid with the reliable CVT with a machined "granny-gear."

  9. hey scotty i tell people the same thing but hummm they just dont listen at the it come to bit them in but lol

  10. My Hyundai drove through a lake. 😂😭🤦‍♂️. Give me a break Scotty. I thought the car was swimming in the lake. Thought about using spiders webs to increase my engine lifespan. Their is a ton of rust bucket cars where I am at. 😂😭🤦‍♂️

  11. Sometimes when I'm scanning CraigsList car listings, I see an Audi or BMW with "some flood damage, but fixed". And the price is just a little below market value. Should be more like a good 30~50% below market. Flood damage is like Pandora's box. You never know what's going to go wrong next, but it will be something.

  12. Regarding the story of your customer who had the flooded Volkswagen – all those electrical things breaking could be from the flood, or could just be the normal course of decay for a VW… 😉

  13. You never know whats in flood water – particularly in industrial areas. It has been known to strip varnish off timber doors.

  14. Friend of mine who used to be a gm tech told me a story of a pickup he had to fix wiring in before it went to body shop for headliner and roof repair. Owner had been hunting and picked up a hitchhiker. He told the hitchhiker he had to run in the bank. When he emerged from the bank a crowd had formed around his truck. Hitchhiker found owners 12ga and blew his brains out. When he asked him "why do you want your truck back after that?" Owner replied: "it's a great truck!"

  15. I have flooded manual Honda Civic 2003 it got flooded about 3 years ago and still runs with no issues I have another car now what should I do with it I don’t wanna junk it
    It still runs but it has on lights on dash

  16. Hi Scotty I'm from Houston. I'm so impressed with your knowledge and then the way you explain things. Very positive and easy to remember. Love the channel

  17. too afraid of EFI are we scotty? pah! ive had my car up to the glass in water many times, not all cars are susceptible to water damage. and you'd be surprised what the housewives tale of soaking in rice can do. i've resurrected cars before, i can often do it without replacing any parts. just VERY time consuming, i am a mechanic myself granted but it aint rocket science. i now detail cars for a living and you can usually even get the moisture out of carpet/fabric without too much hassle the hot australian sun easily dries cars out down under

  18. "Eye Roll" Your hatred of VW is getting annoying. I respect a lot of your videos for little bits of info here and there, but your opinion on VW is dead wrong. Owned several for many years with 0 issues and hundreds of kms, both gas and diesel. And have friends with Toyota's that had their share of issues as well. We get it! Your a Toyota fan, now be professional as you claim to be, and stop being soooo Bias! "rant over" p.s- Going to ignore anyone who inevitably is going to try and bash my comment.

  19. My father once went hunting with our family car a small suv (mitsubishi pajero pinin). In order to reach his spot he had to cross a small
    river. Water reached just above the middle of the doors. But no water entered the cabin nor the check engine light turned on. The car worked just fine and still works despite having 300,000 kilometres. Best car we ve ever owned.

  20. Drove the chevy to the levy; the ford is in the river; and the dodge rammed the tree. The only one that I trust will get all three home is the western star.

  21. More people need to watch this video. Everyone forgets about the electronics. They think thay as long as their engine doesn't hydrolock they're fine. I wonder what ends up happening to all the cars you see driving through submerged roads.

  22. Happened to me over here in Ireland I was ok going through the water but a prick in his 4+4 came the opposite direction and put up a bow wave the titanic would have been proud of and the water was sucked into the engine but as I was going very slowly and as soon as the engine spluttered I turned the engine off but damage was done to the engine and broke a few of the valve stems so it was repairable but it never really ran as good as it was but I still got over 200,000 miles out of the car and ever since then I've hated 4+4 cars or as they are derogatory called here in the U.K. Chelsea tractors

  23. The air intake for my '12 Avenger 2.4L 4-cyl is immediately under the hood. I can lift my hood and look right at where the air comes in., and the filter box. I wouldn't drive my car in water that goes above the headlights, but I needn't worry too much about some water on the ground.

  24. Can someone plz reply to this I have a Toyota Corolla 2006 and my front passenger tire smokes and locks after I drive for like 20 mins or at 50mph I had calipers,brake pads,brake hose, changed what can it be I’m getting frustrated.

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