Tropical Storm Barry is taking its toll. It can also take its toll on cars.
As Tropical Storm Barry moved closer last week, we in New Orleans began to hunker down to brace ourselves for wind and flooding. And there's no immediate end in sight when it comes to rain. The Weather Channel is predicting thunderstorms at least through Thursday.
Heavy rains and flooding take their toll in many ways - from property to emotions to people. They can also take their toll on cars that are engulfed by floodwaters or are driven through high water.
Even though your vehicle may not have been flooded or completely covered in water, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends that you follow these guidelines to check for damage caused by water intrusion or contamination:
- Check interior carpets, upholstery and door and trim panels for dampness. If they are wet, then the vehicle will need professional attention. If you simply let the carpet dry, it will quickly grow mildew and give off foul odors. Seat brackets, motors and modules should also be checked for rust and proper operation.
- Pull the engine oil and transmission fluid dipsticks and differential plug. If the fluid appears milky, diluted, is no longer its original color or is beige in color, then it is likely the pans contain water. The vehicle should be towed to your repair shop. Driving the vehicle with water present may damage the internal parts and require extensive overhaul or repairs. The council reminds motorists that some new synthetic differential fluids may appear to be milky, but are not water contaminated. When in doubt, a professional automotive technician should make the evaluation.
- Check the air filter for water. If it is wet, replace the air filter and change the oil.
- Check the undercarriage, bumpers, radiator area and frame for mud, grass, dirt, debris and rust. If any of these are present, the vehicle should be washed and cleaned as soon as possible.
- Have the brake system checked by a professional automotive technician.
- Check the exterior lights for moisture and water. Replace headlights and bulbs that contain water.
- Listen for abnormal noises while the engine is running. Make a note of where the noise is coming from and take the vehicle to a professional automotive technician as soon as possible.
- Have the suspension joints lubricated, if necessary. Many newer vehicles are lubricated at the factory for life; however, these joints should be checked for rust.
“It all comes down to how much water the vehicle took in and where it reached,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By being car care aware and following these simple guidelines, you can help minimize the potential for damage to your vehicle.”
If you need help checking to make sure your car made it through the flood, or, if you know your car was flooded, call the New Orleans auto care pros at Twin Tire Auto Care for help.
Twin Tire has been the trusted New Orleans auto care and auto repair service center since 1973. Twin Tire has three convenient New Orleans auto care and auto repair service centers to help you - Marrero, Harvey and Hammond. We can help you with that.
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