After more than 12 house of continuous heavy pour in Penang, many vehicles were immersed in flood water for hours. What should you do with your car right after the water subsided?
1. NEVER ever turn your car engine on! It’s really tempting to start your car but NO! Your car engine will be damaged when you’re attempting to turn it on. And, unfortunately, comprehensive motor insurance in Malaysia doesn’t cover damages/loss caused by natural disasters including flood. So, it’s best to reduce the risk level of damage of your car especially the car engine board which will cost you a fortune. (If you’d like to know about extra cover for natural disasters, you can read more here.)
2. CALL TOWING SERVICE. Check for your insurance company toll free number or a trusted mechanic to tow your vehicle. Let the mechanic check your car and do the rest for you. Usually, the mechanic will check the oil and air cleaner first. Then the electrical systems like the power windows, signal lights, air cons etc. are checked if they’re working. And finally, the mechanic will check whether the brake, power steering, and coolant reservoir are contaminated.
3. You can start DRYING the interior. Mold can grow very quickly if water got inside the car. Open all doors and put towels on the floor to soak up water. Replace carpets, floor mats, seat padding etc. that got wet.
4. CLEAN your cushion seats at car wash centers. It might be more expensive than the usual price as the cleaning will be more thorough than the normal wash. After cleaning, you will still have to bear with the smell for a short period of time until it goes away completely.
For those whose cars are safe during the flood, you can also take note of the following just in case the rain comes back anytime soon as forecast.
1. If you really have no choice and could not move your car to a safe place, find something that is compact and waterproof, like plastic, to PLUG into the exhaust opening. This will prevent water from flowing into the exhaust pipe.
2. REMOVE the battery terminal. We wouldn’t know how long our car would be stranded on the streets during the flood. So it’s best to remove it to reduce the level of damage.
3. SAVE whatever you can, especially important stuff and things that are not waterproof. Flood water is usually contaminated with a lot of mud. It will take you much effort to clean them after they’re covered with mud.
Hopefully not, but if flood happens again, DO NOT attempt to drive in flood water especially if the water level has raised over the exhaust pipe and engine.
Last but not least, stay dry, stay safe everyone.
For motor insurance covering flood, please read more here.