Signs your vehicle could have water damage

BEAUMONT – by Lauren Huet
If you drove through high water during Friday’s flash flood, your vehicle may be at risk for problems down the road.
Beatrice Douglas is at Meineke in Beaumont.
“Today I’m just getting an oil change, and my tires rotated, and basic maintenance,” said Douglas.
Douglas says the reason her car doesn’t have water damage is because she stayed off the roads Friday.
“I didn’t drive because I feared for the safety of my vehicle,” said Douglas. “I already have an older vehicle, has a lot of miles on it, there’s a lot of things that need to be done as far as repairs go, and I didn’t want to add water damage to the long list of repairs that I need to make on my car.”
However, many Southeast Texas drivers did brave the rising waters, and some cars didn’t make it.
“The obvious is the ones that you see on the news with the water up to the doors, but it’s the ones you don’t see that could catch up to you later,” said Danny Davis, the service manager at Meineke on North Major Drive in Beaumont.
“As far as not stalling out, all that means is that you didn’t get water in the motor. It doesn’t mean that you didn’t get water in your front end parts,” said Davis. “It doesn’t mean that you didn’t get water in any of your electrical components underneath.”
Davis hasn’t received many calls about water damaged vehicles since Friday, but says the calls will come further down the road.
“That could come six months, eight months down the road whenever the corrosion builds up into the modular wire. Then you start having issues,” said Davis.
Davis says to be aware of warning signs that your vehicle could be damaged.
“Sometimes if you have a pulsation in the pedal whenever you hit the brakes, you can tell that the pulsation is there to let you know that the rotor has got warped,” said Davis. “You definitely want to make sure to check your fluids, as always.”
Davis says driving in high water can contaminate your vehicles’ fluids. Another sign your vehicle may have gotten water in it is if warning lights start coming on.
As for Douglas, she’s glad she didn’t risk it.
“Absolutely, a lot of cars are totalled out because of the water damange and that’s just not something I can afford right now,” said Douglas.

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