Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) was our Katrina but without the warning. It left hundred of vehicles submerged or partially submerged under muddy (and dirty) waters for hours. If you’re car was submerged what do you do? Well, if you have the right type of insurance, you might as well have it totaled by the adjuster. Unfortunately, most people dont even have insurance for this type of damage. (By the way, its called FTVEE or Flood, Typhoon, Volcanic Eruption & Earthquake.) So as a car owner, what are you supposed to do? Above anything else: don’t start your car…

First, start drying out your car. If the flood reached the top of the dashboard, start with the carpets the seats, and the plastic trims. Rain and flood water are highly corrosive with the interior and drying them out quickly will reduce the chance of rust.

Second, is disconnect the car’s battery. Its also a chance to clean out the battery contacts and terminals with a small steel brush.

Third, check the engine ECU. Its the black plastic box about the size of a paperback novel. Its also usually located high in the passenger kickwell. If the flood is higher than the car’s floor, might as well take a look if its wet. If it is wet, rinse with demineralized water, and dry with a hair dryer.

Next, check the engine and transmission dipsticks. If you see water droplets at the end, then water has definitely entered the engine. Remove the oil pan, clean any mud and let the water out. In any case, change the oil, transmission fluid and the filters. Unfortunately, you’ll have to replace the oil and the filter again after a thousand kilometers instead of the normal five thousand.

Engine seals, crankshafts, axles are pretty well sealed but are more designed to keep fluids in rather than keep water out. So have those checked, and be prepared for hefty repair bills if they have water in them. Next, have the wheel bearing repacked and cleaned. If you have sealed-for-a-lifetime bearings, you may have to wait for them to fail.

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