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June 18, 2014 10:10 PM

Flood Damaged Cars Drain Wallets

Sioux Falls, SD

When the torrential rains came this week were you driving in your car?  With so much rain falling so quickly, many drivers just powered through it and that was a mistake for some. 

Every year, drivers attempt to make it through a flooded intersection and end up with damage to their vehicle.
 
When the rain came down this week, intersections throughout Sioux Falls flooded and many drivers just plowed on through.  Some even stalled out in the middle of the road. 

"If there's running water over a road, don't cross it and if it's puddled up just assume it's deeper than you think," Broadbent said.

Mechanic Tom Broadbent has been fixing customers' cars all week. 

"She was just tooling down the road heading for lunch and the next thing you know, her car stalled.  She got in way deeper than she thought it was--you can't tell," Broadbent said.

Broadbent says when drivers are lucky, it's not hard to dry out the vehicle and it can run a few hundred dollars--but it can also be much worse.

"It sometimes ruins the engines--we've had them come in where it's actually bent a rod or broke a piston.  Most of the time we can just reverse the motor a little bit; pull the plugs and dry everything out and they're good to go," Broadbent said.

When you hit the water, you never know what's lurking underneath.  In this case of this Subaru, it has its spare tire on because the driver was going through some deep water and hit a pothole--it damaged the tire and car's suspension.

If you do drive through deep water and just cross your fingers-- you could be in for a headache down the road. 

"A year down the line, you start running into electrical issues--it can haunt the car forever," Broadbent said.

While in many cases mechanics can fix a flood-damaged car, sometimes it's not worth making the repairs. 

"When you start jumping over $1500, most people are going to call their insurance company and the insurance guy makes the call from there," Broadbent said.

Often leading to a title stamped as a flood car.

Broadbent suggest that if you do try to attempt driving through a large puddle in the road, go slow so that it doesn't splash up into the engine and so that you can back up if it gets too deep.

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