What To Do If Your Car Is Flooded Or Becomes Submerged

A street in Lekki, Lagos

With nearly hundreds of residents may be facing the prospect of their cars being submerged in a torrent of sea- and/or rainwater in Lekki and VI area of Lagos. Some who otherwise escaped the floods could find themselves in a potentially life threatening situation once they venture out if their cars suddenly become inundated on a waterlogged thoroughfare or under a viaduct.

For starters, if your car is currently under water or suspect it’s been flooded by the storm surge take heed. It’s advisables that you not to try starting a car that’s been submerged without first having a technician perform a thorough inspection and cleaning. Salt water, for those who live in coastal areas, can be particularly damaging to a car’s components.

“In addition to the obvious damage done to upholstery and carpeting, flood water is a corrosive and abrasive mixture of water and dirt that works its way into every seam and crevice of a vehicle,” don’t you know s a flooded car’s engine, transmission and fuel, brake, power steering and electrical systems are vulnerable to increased wear and premature failure.

If you’re calling a mechanic or other service for roadside assistance, be patient, as you’ll probably be on a long list of those seeking help, and have reasonable expectations. Tow trucks are set up to drive through about 18 inches of water to pull submerged vehicles to dry land, but don’t expect drivers to sacrifice their own safety or the integrity of their equipment negotiating levels deeper than that.

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If a car has been completely or partially submerged, extensive disassembly may be needed for a thorough cleaning. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come cheap. Depending on its make, model and age, the cost to restore a flood-damaged vehicle could exceed its value, in which case the owner’s insurance company would consider it “totaled.”

If you live on higher ground and your vehicle has thus far remained dry, be extra cautious when venturing out for the first time to avoid becoming submerged in standing or surging water. Dips in the road, viaducts and areas adjacent to rivers and streams are especially susceptible to flooding during or after a normal downpour, and you should never assume that standing water is shallow enough to negotiate. If local authorities are telling residents to stay off the roads, don’t risk the trip in the first place.

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