Dealing with flooded vehicles following Hurricane Sandy

The brunt of Hurricane Sandy may have passed, by New Jersey and New York residents are only just beginning to assess the damages of this massive storm. Footage from across the affected areas has repeatedly shown abandoned cars caught in deep floods, and if you happen to have a vehicle that got caught in the raging waters brought on by Sandy there are steps you should take to protect your vehicle from further damage.

Once the flood waters recede and you can safely access your vehicle, the first thing you should do is pop the hood and disconnect the battery for safety reasons. Do not attempt to start your car, as there is certainly plenty of water still left inside the vehicle, much of which will contain dirt, sand and other debris that could cause a great deal of damage. Chances are that those who live in coastal towns will not be able to salvage their vehicles, as salt water causes irreparable problems.

If the flood waters were not too filled with debris, there is a chance your vehicle, or at least parts of it, could be saved. You will need to wait a few days at least for the many electrical and other components to dry out entirely, but in the meantime you can assess the fluids. Check the dipsticks for signs of water, which will not mix with oil or transmission fluid. If you notice water in the mix, you'll need to have the fluids drained and replaced.

In most cases of extreme flooding, vehicles that get left in the water are considered totaled. In this case, car owners will need to contact their insurance companies, and then have an insurance adjuster visit the vehicle and assess the damages. Those in need of a replacement vehicle in the wake of Hurricane Sandy might want to stop by New Jersey State Auto Auction, located in Jersey City to find their next ride.