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Old 06-30-2014, 03:29 PM
Location: Kallison Ranch, San Antonio,TX.
1,668 posts, read 3,360,826 times
Reputation: 721


My Son was caught up in flood water during last Tuesday's storm. Water rose to the level of his grill and the car died. He started it up and drove it approx. 500' and shut it off. We had it towed to NP Subaru. After looking at the oil and transmission fluid for signs of water the Service Advisor started the car. I have only heard the engine with the hood down and it seemed to "purr". The Service Advisor and his "best" Technician agreed. My Son had a doubtful look on his face ???
We were told the Oil and Transmission Fluid would be changed. I haven't mentioned that the Air Filter was soaked and other is noticeable condensation inside the headlights.
He checked on the car Friday. It was on the lot in the scorching heat with the windows up.There was a horrible odor and since it wasn't locked he found the carpet damp.**** We think there was appox 1" of water on the floorboard from the flooding.
He requested that the Service Advisor put the car inside and roll the windows down. I confirmed that was done Friday evening.
We checked the car yesterday afternoon as we returned from a weekend trip and there was an odor of his air freshener when we checked. I'm certain any odors are being marked. Unfortunately he didn't have his keys so the carpet could not be checked for dampness.
The State Farm Adjuster will inspect the car on Thursday.
Sorry for the long story......
The car is a 2013 Subaru WRX with 13,000.
One of our delimas is that my Son leaves for Texas Air National Guard Boot Camp tomorrow. There will be no way to contact him.
Any suggestions on what should be checked? I don't want SF to screw us.I will stress that the carpet and padding be replaced as well as all fluids. The biggest concern is the engine and potential problems in the future.
I respect your suggestions and recommendations.

Last edited by wellguy; 06-30-2014 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:58 PM
Location: San Antonio, Tx
7,660 posts, read 8,130,383 times
Reputation: 9235
In my opinion the car is probably fine if it started up and sounded ok especially if the fluids were changed. Usually the only other issue is electrical but by now that has all dried out and should be ok.

The car will probably smell for a while. Think about all of the things on the bottom of your feet day in and day out and all of the time your feet spend on that carpet. Once it gets wet it's gonna smell. Over time the smell will dissipate but you can help that out by shampooing the carpets and upholstery (if not leather)
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:36 PM
Location: San 'Tone
302 posts, read 563,185 times
Reputation: 346
Typically, once a vehicle engine stalls out due to water intake, you wouldn't want to attempt to restart it. If water was ingested into the cylinders, the engine can hydrolock and internal damage ensues. Sounds like your son came out on the fortunate side. Probably has just enough water to cut off airflow, and it died before water could be ingested further. If your engine is running smoothly, you dodged that bullet.

For the interior, the carpet needs to be removed from the vehicle and allowed to dry out completely. There is thick underlayment padding under the carpet that soaks up water like a sponge. It will mildew and smell otherwise. Any floor mounted control modules/computers (SIR typically) need to be inspected and have the terminals cleaned. Electric contact cleaner and dielectric grease are applied to prevent corrosion from any water intrustion into electric terminals.

The insurance adjuster should be familiar with this process. (Especially if they've been in SA for any amount of time with our regular flash flooding.. this is simply routine.) The carpet will get shampooed somewhere along the process.

I was a technician at a local dealership for both the 1998 and 2000 floods. I've done dozens, of flood restorations on cars. Sounds like your situation is one of the less severe, it should be remedied easily enough. You made an insurance claim, and you took it to the dealer. You did your part right. Their part done right, (and that should be expected at the dealership) you won't have anything to worry about in the future from this incident.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:49 PM
1,881 posts, read 2,319,496 times
Reputation: 3395
I agree with everything Mr. Rattle Axis said.....and I have been repairing automobiles for a living for almost 35 years.
He dodged a bullet on this one. Someone higher up saved his engine and quite possibly his life.
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