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

100 Replies to “My Car Got Flooded”

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  2. Very good Scotty. This is a unique video. I've never heard a mechanic give advice on a flooded car. And you are correct sir !

  3. Great tips… I'm steering away from flooded vehicles. Besides, I get enough trouble from the ones I already have. Thanks!

  4. Years ago a customer with a limo company bought a gorgeous dark blue late model Lincoln that had been pulled out of the ocean on the east coast. Took the gamble at auction, knowing that fact. He thought he had scored a great deal when he was able to get the water out of the engine and get it started, and it ran great. Body was gorgeous, engine and trans were fine, and everything worked. Well, if you have ever seen what salt water does to copper wires and connectors and other electronics…..this car was loaded…with power seats etc. etc. I remember when after a few months the trouble started….I found wiring harness connectors just disintegrating and crumbling away…after a while word got out about the car, and the Ford dealers in the area would not touch the car…..he couldn't find anyone who would touch it.

  5. I really don't understand why there were negative comments on that previous video. Unless they were these people who were selling these flood-damaged cars in the first place

  6. I sold a car for $15000 to a couple I met in a Sears parking lot, haha!. Don't worry, the car was in perfect condition; I'm not a jerk.

  7. Yeah I wasn't thinking I bought a 1998 Dodge Neon was previously registered in Louisiana guess what all the Electronics in the dash started to short out for no reason the speedometer first oh well the timing belt broke on that one I learned what an interference engine was.

  8. Hey Mr Scotty
    I own a 2008 Honda Accord 2.4l
    Since i buy the car 2 years ago i been using 10w-40 oil
    Can something happen to engine if i used the 5w-20 oil thats the real type of oil engine need it
    And also do you think its time to check valve adjustments car has 155k i buy it with 120k from a used car dealership i don't have any maintenance record

  9. This is good advice. After a hurricane in the Boston area we were flooded and the carpets transmission and oil pan were immediate concerns. I was lucky, only the carpets were a problem but it was a very close call. As usual, Scotty has presented solid investigatory procedure.

  10. Hey Scotty, I found a 1997 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 with a 5 speed manual transmission. The guy wants 3500 for it. The body has 234000 miles on it and he says he put another motor in it that has 169000 miles on it and replaced the clutch 10 miles ago. I took it for a test drive, everything works great and it glides into gear, thing thrifts very smooth. I didn’t see anything leaking and the frame does have some surface rust. Do you think 3500 is right or too expensive due to the miles on the body?

  11. Good looking out scotty! Everything you mentioned is true and I've found that a lot of people moving these flooded vehicles forget to change or thoroughly clean the seatblets… pull out the back seat belts to the max and lood for mud….pull the back seat cushion…sometimes even the front seatbelts, at the extreme extension. I'm 360lbs, so I've discovered a couple without even being extremely discriminating.

  12. 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…

  13. 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! 😎

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

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

  17. 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

  18. 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."

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

  20. 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. 😂😭🤦‍♂️

  21. 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.

  22. 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… 😉

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

  24. 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!"

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. "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.

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