Flooded Cars?..

Seeing a great number of cars in water recently, some just up to the sills some to the roof bars.
IN this day of lots of electronics in cars what are the chances of them working again, or are they all just insurance write off's, anyone any idea?..
Reply to
tony sayer
The actual electronics are generally well sealed, but the real problem is corrosion of the connectors. That can upset the signals and cause unpredictable problems for a very long time after the car has been dried out.
As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that the car be considered a write off if the water reached the dashboard. At that point, cleaning up and drying out the interior and ensuring you have stopped all corrosion (particularly if it was sea water) become uneconomic for most cars.
Reply to
nightjar
I'd have thought the biggest problem are absorbent materials such as underlay, noise insulation, carpets and seats which can never be 100% dried out. To put right you'd need to strip the interior down to a shell, and replace all the sodden items - not cheap. Going back to the 1990s, plain seats were £400 a pop brand new, so that's £1,600 plus vat plus labour immediately.
These days they're a lot more sophisticated. Also you have all the gubbins like seatbelt pretensioners that I imagine need changing.
No idea if catalytic converters enjoy being submerged either.
Reply to
Jethro_uk
And then there's the "little" problem of water entering the engine while it's running. If anyone is driving through water and it gets into the air inlet, the engine will quickly demonstrate how incompressible water is compared with air. My brother-in-law drove into a large puddle across a road at a fair speed (it was at night and the headlights didn't show the water as looking any different from the road surface, so he was driving at an appropriate speed for what looked like a straight road clear of hazards). Luckily he kept control of the car - it didn't skid out of control - but water got into the engine and knackered it. Being a diesel, with a greater compression ratio, the damage was worse. Fortunately his insurance paid for a new engine.
I'm not sure what exactly failed, but the engine would still turn over (but not fire), so evidently the connecting rods, crankshaft and cam-shaft/valvegear were all still intact. It may have knackered the injector pump: I'm not sure how the pressure of water in a cylinder with the piston at TDC compares with the pressure under which fuel is normally injected into the cylinder, and whether back-flow up the injector port to the pump would have been possible.
I can vouch for how difficult it is to get the inside of a car clean and dry. A former car flooded to a depth of several inches when the drain holes from the gutter at the base of the windscreen got blocked and it overflowed into the car following torrential rain overnight. That required me to remove the front seats, gear lever housing, carpet (top and underlay), and get the carpet professionally cleaned (I was able to wash the underlay in the washing machine). I discovered it just as I was about to set off on a business trip, so apart from mopping up the excess with every towel in the house, I couldn't do anything about it for a couple of days, by which time the water started to pong. I got it all sorted out, and I learned a lot about how the seats of a VW Golf are fastened to the floor and how to unscrew the gear lever housing. That was in the days before air bags, so there were no "bum-on-seat" detectors and also no heated seats, so no cabling to disconnect.
Reply to
NY
Apparently, just north of Cardiff a building site is under water, and the bod on the radio was wondering if the plant equipment would be a write off. I suspect not. That sort of gear is worth stripping down and cleaning out any gunge that might have got inside gearboxes or whatever.
The estate agent is going to have fun selling those houses though, unless of course they are being built for a housing association. Plus of course the issue with flood water on the incomplete properties.
Reply to
Andrew
This storm was very well forecast many days ago, and anyone paying attention to the jet stream and weather over in the USA would have guessed quite accurately that we were in for a 2013/14 type of weather event even further back.
The Met Office have been giving yellow, amber and latterly red alerts, so anyone ignoring those warnings and then damaging their car might find insurance cos being reluctant to pay out, just like they try to wiggle out of accident or illness claims to anyone on holiday abroad.
Reply to
Andrew
Just hush it up. Easily done these days. No previous owner = no trail.
And frankly, given the standard of anything built this millennium, there would be a great expense in knocking it down (a few hard shoves) and rebuilding it to the same standard as before.
Reply to
Jethro_uk
Both my daughter's cars were written off because they were at Fishlake. My cousin who has a specialist garage says that cars should always be written off after even a flight flood because no matter what you do you can't get the reliability if you keep them.
Bill
Reply to
williamwright
In article , Andrew scribeth thus
Indeed! But also there was that bit of vid on the BBC news showing a street in Wales I think were a Audi was bombing down the road with water up to and then over its bonnet makes me wonder just how it kept on f driving maybe the air intake is just that little bit higher?
Course no ones teaches anyone how to drive in a flood anymore do they just go as fat as you can and hope you'll make it thru!..
Unless its the Welney wash, been though here a few times quite hairy but this blokes got the right sort of wagon!
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Reply to
tony sayer
I stumbled across a manual intended for the emergency services etc who might encounter hybrid vehicles. I was surprised that the vehicle in question (and I expect others) have a drain facility on the drive battery to permit the draining of (presumably flood) water, along with procedures to follow. While I?m aware Lithium and water isn?t a good mix, I?d have thought if the battery was flooded and anything bad was going to happen it would have happened before anyone had a chance to drain it.
Reply to
Brian Reay
....
I saw mention online of somebody try to rescue a drowned Tesla. Apparently, one of the cells exploded when he tried opening the battery pack in order to dry it out. Whether that would have been the case had he been able to drain it first is unclear.
Reply to
nightjar
I?m not sure.
If the water can get in, the pack can?t be water tight. Perhaps the action of opening it weakened the structure.
I can?t help thinking the battery would be scrap once flooded.
Reply to
Brian Reay
I was wondering whether opening it allowed air to get in, which fuelled the explosion.
IIRC about 80% of the cells were salvageable.
Reply to
nightjar
What makes you think that lithium is present as a metal?
Any 'explosion' with such a battery is very likely to involve a component other than the 'lithium'.
There'll be a wiki article somewhere that you can use to become an expert.
Reply to
Spike

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