Avoiding costly water damage to vehicles during flood season

even a small amount of water can cause serious damage and costly repairs.
Valley News Live at 10:00PM KVLY - VOD
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 9:40 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Mechanics in the Fargo area are cautioning drivers to watch out for potential problems with their cars in the aftermath of heavy flooding. Local garages and auto shops are reporting an increase in vehicles coming in with costly water damage, as well as other issues related to the recent flooding.

“There was a newer Silverado going into like four feet of water, and he fried his electrical system, and it was like $3,000 to get all of that fixed,” said Dennis Johnson, owner of Johnson Auto Repair.

According to Johnson, floodwater can wreak havoc on a vehicle’s electrical system, causing damage to sensitive components such as the engine control module, sensors, and wiring. Additionally, other components such as the transmission and brakes can also sustain damage.

“When your car goes through the water, it sucks it right up into the air intake,” Johnson said. “It puts that water right into the pistons, and when the pistons hit water, it messes with everything internal.”

In light of these potential problems, local mechanics like Johnson are urging drivers to take precautions to protect their vehicles. They advise drivers to avoid driving through standing water if possible, as even a small amount of water can cause serious damage and costly repairs.

“Even if you have to go through insurance because you went through the water, it’s going to cost you a deductible that could be expensive,” Johnson said. “The best thing to do is just back up and go around to find another route.”