Tulsa Mechanics Repair Water-Damaged Vehicles

Tuesday, September 22nd 2009, 4:01 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Monday's heavy rainfall caused major problems for drivers as they either abandoned their cars or drove through water hoping it wouldn't cause any serious damage.

A Chevy Cobalt fell victim to the storm. On Tuesday, rain water could still be seen on the floorboard and in the cup holders, even dripping through the grill.

"And the air filter's on this side and it weighs ten pounds. It's supposed to way a couple ounces, it's full of water," said Chuck Zachariae of Firestone Auto Care.

The Chevy was one of several around Tulsa that was drenched in the Monday rain. Some cars were stuck and abandoned in the road, and others had to get help from a friendly motorist to keep going.

9/22/2009  Related Story: Flash Flooding Strands Tulsa Area Motorists

A day later, mechanics are dealing with the aftermath.

"Water in the oil, water in the tranny fluid, if it's a rear wheel drive it will be in the rear end also because it'll submerge it and suck it in the top half side," said Chuck Zachariae.

Chuck Zachariae at Firestone Auto Care says this car is one of the worst cases. It was stuck in an intersection when it was overtaken by water.

"For sure it's going to have to have the new computer and new battery, we start there. All the fluids will have to be changed and probably clean out the gas tank and clean out the lines for the fuel," said Chuck Zachariae.

Not all of the cars are that bad, but Zachariae says if you drove through any water, it's important to get your oil changed. That gives you a good idea if there could be bigger problems.

Zachariae says there's one sure way to avoid water in your engine -- stay away from anything deeper than your tire.

"If you can't see the curb, don't run into it," said Chuck Zachariae.

Zachariae says if you think your engine may have suffered serious water damage do not drive it or turn on the engine. That will cause the problem to become worse.