As I’m sure you all know, there’s been quite a bit of damage around here due to Hurricane Sandy. Cars have take a real hit as many of them were floating and we’ve seen quite a few them here at the shop. Have we saved any is the question that keeps coming up and the answer is YES. We’ve saved a few, not all. When a car is damaged by water it needs to be addressed immediately. Salt water is the most corrosive but even that can be cleaned if it’s washed with fresh water right away. Unfortunately, the way the system is set up, that rarely happens. For one thing, it was hard to even get a lot of them in time since they were submerged and in some cases stacked on top of each other. You can’t imagine how heavy a completely soaked vehicle is, 6 people are needed just to push one. All the tow trucks were so busy there was a pecking order to get one towed.
Some that were brought to the shop, having spent a few days in salt water, we tried to clean but it was too late. Another issue is to clean them properly you really have to disassemble the engine to some degree. Since the insurance companies haven’t given you the go ahead, you really can’t even touch them. The few cars that we have been able to revive were either older, classic cars which don’t have many electronics or cars with no insurance that we could jump right into. So far, the insurance companies seem to paying for everything but they’re so backed up they haven’t even picked up the junk vehicles yet, some of which we have sitting here.
Then there’s the poor customer who recently bought a 2008 Jeep and didn’t get the photo inspection so, the insurance got bumped down from collision to liability only and he isn’t collecting a dime. His Jeep is so salt damaged that we can’t do anything for it which really stinks (literally).
I guess if there is a moral to this story it would be to make sure to park your car on higher ground if possible. My block in the city is on a hill and I did think about that ahead of time. I guess during the next real storm there will be fewer parking spots since some of other drivers will pay attention to that, hopefully.