Consumer Watch: How to handle your car if it was caught in the flood

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WHAS11.com

Posted on August 5, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 3:51 PM

(WHAS11) - This Consumer Watch is an attempt to answer some questions for the hundreds of people who's cars were submerged in flood water in Tuesday's storm. Some drove into the water, others had the water surround their parked cars.

WHAS11 talked to both an insurance agent and a mechanic to hopefully answer some questions for folks who are wringing out their rides. Reporters witnessed several drivers attempting to drive through standing water and failing.

"If they drove into it and the engines locked up then you're looking at an engine replacement," says Donnie Dalton of River City Tire.

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He says there is not guarantee any car withstands this kind of submersion.

But what about those partial submersions? Dalton says he's seen them come back to life but many of those cars are never the same again.

"Some cars you can pop the spark plugs out of it and turn the engine over a few times and maybe get it to come back. But you've got all the electrical issues too," says Dalton.

And some of those electrical systems are at engine level. So you may be forced to file a claim. If you have comprehensive coverage an agent tells WHAS11 the car is covered.

Comprehensive coverage covers fire, lightening, theft, windstorm, hail, vandalism and collision with an animal. Collision coverage insures against everything else. And just like after Hurricane Katrina, be cautious of any used car purchase.

Any certified mechanic will be able to spot a water logged car in a matter of minutes.

If you have a consumer problem you'd like WHAS11 to look into send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.

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