Is flood damage fatal?

10

Asked by Oct 23, 2016 at 08:08 PM about the 2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I got caught in a flash flood on Thursday as I was driving home (a 2011
Subarau Impreza). My car stalled out and wouldn't start. (It wouldn't crank at
all, just made a click). The lights still worked, though. The water was almost up
to my knees outside of the car, and after a minute or two came into the car
enough to soak the floorboards. Once I got out of the car, the cops who
showed up wouldn't let me try to push it to dry ground. So It probably sat in
the water for roughly an 1.5 before the tow truck could get it out. I've filed a
claim with my insurance but it has yet to be examined by an appraiser. What
I'm wondering is whether my car will be totaled? And if not, is it worth trying to
fix? (I know nothing about cars, but have been reading that cars with flood
damage can have a host of problems down the line.)

6 Answers

77,915

If the car is paid for, in my opinion, it's best to walk away from it once you get the insurance settlement. Use the money towards a new(er) car without the flood history. Once fixed it can take months for corrosion to take hold and start wreaking havoc with the electronics in a newer vehicle. It may never be right again. HTH. - Jim

2 people found this helpful.
7,560

There may be a calculated two-fer here: seek the max insurance claim; THEN ask what the "salvage" value is. It may be shockingly low. You can then "buy back" YOUR vehicle for the salvage value and see how it goes as the months and years go by. There's a strong possibility that since you didn't fully "sell" your " TOTALLED vehicle to the insurance company you won't need to chase a new salvage Title (which may have additional bureacratic costs, inspections, and delays), but you WILL lose the sales tax payment due you since you didn't fully "sell" the vehicle to your insurance company. My daughter's Imp suffered colorful and significant hail damage a couple of years ago; following a "totalled" payoff of $8k she was able to buy back for $3k salvage, driving a wonderfully theftproof lunar-scape Imp in Chicago and pocketing the difference. But....

2 people found this helpful.
7,560

...depending upon how deep the flooding was, there's a good chance that your ECM was submerged; as well Jim's cautions are NOT to be taken lightly. Before attempting to return your car to service just by air and vacuum-drying the interior, I would pull up the right (passenger) front carpet and remove the underlying ECM, air-drying it FULLY before reuse. If your Imp won't run or idle smoothly after eventual attempts to restart with a fully-charged battery I'd remove all four spark plugs wires to dry their boots especially. If' the boots are all wet I might blow out or remove the plugs themselves to clean all water out of these ports. But if the car starts and idles just somewhat roughly you may have only ONE wet cylinder wire; use the scanned CEL to properly locate the PO30x code to dry off.... Assuming your high-mounted main harness connectors weren't submerged I'd probably not worry about tranny function; regardless, they're easy to clean off and reconnect. Let me know how it goes, as there may be a silver lining here...besides the possibility of periodic "tarnish" risks for awhile. Good luck.

2 people found this helpful.
10

Thanks so much for your advice! The shop has told me that my engine is locked. I'm still waiting to hear what my insurance is going to say...

1 people found this helpful.
7,560

Delete one motor....

103,445

Fixing a flooded car can mean a ruined engine and problems with the brakes, wheel bearings. transmission and electrical. Inside you may have mold, rust and mildew. If your insurance pays the car off be very, very glad because keeping the car would be a nightmare.

1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Impreza

Looking for a Used Impreza in your area?

CarGurus has 21,588 nationwide Impreza listings starting at $1,919.

ZIP:

Subaru Impreza Experts

  • #1
    TheSubaruGuruBoston
    Reputation
    1,150
  • #2
    F_O_R
    Reputation
    740
  • #3
    Nick Eidemiller
    Reputation
    490
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Impreza WRX
40 Great Deals out of 1,121 listings starting at $2,999
Used Subaru Outback
300 Great Deals out of 39,328 listings starting at $1,500
Used Subaru Legacy
150 Great Deals out of 12,875 listings starting at $1,240
Used Subaru Impreza WRX STI
5 Great Deals out of 523 listings starting at $7,700
Used Subaru Forester
252 Great Deals out of 34,359 listings starting at $1,495
Used Honda Civic
333 Great Deals out of 52,978 listings starting at $1,200
Used Mazda MAZDA3
215 Great Deals out of 25,792 listings starting at $1,950
Used Honda Accord
424 Great Deals out of 101,059 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota Corolla
571 Great Deals out of 66,738 listings starting at $1,449
Used Toyota Camry
761 Great Deals out of 70,900 listings starting at $1,200
Used Ford Focus
406 Great Deals out of 76,949 listings starting at $1,195

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Impreza For Sale
43 Great Deals out of 1,559 listings starting at $14,999
2016 Subaru Impreza For Sale
22 Great Deals out of 579 listings starting at $11,788
2015 Subaru Impreza For Sale
38 Great Deals out of 1,254 listings starting at $10,595
2014 Subaru Impreza For Sale
18 Great Deals out of 442 listings starting at $7,950
2013 Subaru Impreza For Sale
13 Great Deals out of 422 listings starting at $5,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.